Dormition of the Mother of God in Gethsemane
The holiday of the Dormition of the Mother of God is called the
"Pascha of the Mother of God." It is celebrated with great
solemnity in Jerusalem. Arab Christians gather in great numbers
from various cities, mostly from Bethlehem. Some walk 12 kilometers,
with the children. A great wave of pilgrims from Greece, Cyprus,
Russia, Rumania and Serbia occurs during Dormition Lent. For this
reason, the church in Gethsemane is overfilled. Our convent, called
Russian Gethsemane, is particularly hospitable to pilgrims at this
time. After a Greek liturgy, they all go to the Convent of St Maria
Magdalene, where the nuns offer them food and water.
The Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God over Her holy tomb
is very ancient. Many times it was ruined and rebuilt. At the present
time, it is fairly humble-looking. The underground church is reached
by descending 48 steps. There are no windows in the church, and
it is always in half darkness. But during this holiday, everything
changes: innumerable lamps adorn the church, and the staircase itself
becomes a candle stand, shining brilliantly, on the Dormition.
The Gethsemane nuns come to pray and place candles at the Tomb of
the Mother of God. In Russian Gethsemane, all-night vigil and divine
liturgy were headed this year by His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland.
Vladyka came with a group of pilgrims to share the holiday celebrations.
The icon of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Gethsemane.
Divine service at the Tomb of the Mother of God.
Entrance to Gethsemane, where the Tomb of the Mother of God is located.
The staircase to the church, illuminated by candles placed by pilgrims.
Nuns of Russian Gethsemane in the church of the Tomb of the Mother
Our nuns of Russian Gethsemane.
The Tomb of the Mother of God.
Entrance to the Tomb.
The beginning of divine liturgy at the Church of St Mary Magdalene
in Gethsemane on the holiday, at which His Grace Bishop Peter of
Procession of the cross on the Dormition.