On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the feast of the Prophet Elijah of Thesbes, so named from his hometown Thesbes or Thisbes of the city of Gilead.
During this feast, the Church recalls to its memory the things about the prophet Elijah as described in the Old Testament, mainly in the books of the Kings, but also in the New Testament, in the Gospels through the words of the Lord and in the Catholic Epistle of Saint James the Brother of God.
The prophet Elijah, as from his zeal for God, was called a zealot, and because of his faith he was heard and performed many miracles through God, such as the absence of rain for three years and the falling of rain again, the burning of the stones and firewood of the altar on Mount Carmel, the resurrection of the daughter of the Sumanite woman, the crossing of the Jordan river and the throwing of his fleece to his disciple Elisha, through which he parted the waters of the Jordan and walked as if on dry land and also received double his teacher’s grace.
According to his apolytikion, the prophet Elijah is: “the incarnate angel the prophets’ summit and boast, the second Forerunner of Christ’s presence”.
In honour of the prophet Elijah, Vespers was held in his Holy Monastery, between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, on Tuesday evening, by Metropolitan Benedictos of Diocesarea, and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast, presided over by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, along with Metropolitan Isychios of Capitolias and the Archbishops Aristarchos of Constantina and Theodosios of Sebastia. The chanting was delivered by Angelos in Greek and the choir of Saint James the Brother of God under Rimon Kamar in Arabic. The service was attended by many Greek-speaking Orthodox believers, but mainly Arabic speakers from the occupied territories and especially from Jerusalem.
Before Holy Communion the Patriarch of Jerusalem proclaimed the divine Word.
After the Divine Liturgy, the hard-working caretaker of the Monastery Monk Achillios hosted a reception and a rich banquet, with the help of the nuns of the Holy Monastery of the Ascension of the Lord.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem