RUSSIAN ECCLESIASTICAL MISSION IN JERUSALEM : June 16, 2006
Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany Leads the 110 th Anniversary Celebrations of St Alexander Nevsky Podvorie
Following a successful renovation project lasting six months, St Alexander Nevsky Podvorie [local representation] in Jerusalem once again opened its doors to pilgrims and visitors. For some ten years, access to the holy items of the Russian House was prohibited because of the dire condition of the roof and ceiling.
Jerusalem 's Municipal Buildings Department approved the renovations and lifted the ban on entering and using the Podvore.
Since it was also the 110 th anniversary since the consecration of the Church of St Alexander Nevsky , the Council of the Orthodox Palestine Society in the Holy Land decreed to organize a celebration. It was decided to adhere as closely as possible to details gleaned from historical documents. As it was one hundred ten years ago, these celebrations lasted three days.
On June 2, 2006, at at 7 am, Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, Overseer of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, consecrated a new, donated bronze cross, 3.4 meters high on the southern flat roof of the Podvorie.
It was manufactured in Belarus , then flown via Lufthansa jet through Frankfurt to Tel Aviv, then shipped by special transport to the Holy City . During the consecration of the cross, the bells of Ascension of the Savior Convent on the Mount of Olives and of Holy Trinity Cathedral and the St Alexander Podvorie pealed throughout Jerusalem . After the installation of the metal support structure, made in Bethlehem, the cross will be elevated over the Church of St Alexander Nevsky, then gilded.
After the consecration of the new cross, a breakfast was offered.
On Sunday, June 4, at 8:30 am, the altar table of St Alexander Nevsky Church was consecrated. Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany was joined in the service by the Deputy Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Hegumen Andronik (Kotliaroff) and Hieromonk Iliia of the REM.
Especially joyous and heartwarming was the moment when Abbess Elizabeth and the nuns of the Bethany Community of Christ at Gethsemane Convent formed a procession and brought the altar's icons into the church, handing them one by one to Archbishop Mark.
Once again, the ringing of bells marking the occasion rang out on the Mount of Olives and Holy Trinity Cathedral.