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The Georgian Patriarchate’s TV station “Ertsulovneba” recently did a short segment on our English language parish at Tbilisi’s Blue Monastery. It has been dubbed in Georgian but it is still interesting to witness the Liturgy and the congregation.

Father Joseph and Dylan Crawford are interviewed in English, and Tamuna Crawford and Joseph Smith are interviewed in Georgian.

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Services for Holy Week at Sioni Cathedral will be held thus:

tbilisi-sioni-cathedral-01

Holy Wednesday: Administration of the sacrament of Holy Unction, the anointment of the faithful with oil at the conclusion of the liturgy. Commences at 5 p.m.

Holy Thursday: The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil, incorporating the  Twelve Gospel Readings of the Passion of Christ. The readings are:

The service commences at 6 pm

Holy Friday: The Deposition of the Body of Christ from the Cross is commemorated with a Liturgy. Christ’s body is represented by the Epitaphios ,an icon of His dead body embroidered on a silk cloth, which is borne around the church by the clergy and solemnly installed in a “tomb” within the sanctuary of the cathedral. This service commences at 2 pm, the same time as Christ was reported to have died.

Holy Saturday: The Vigil of the Resurrection begins at midnight on Holy Saturday, preceding the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, Pasqa. The service typically continues until dawn, although not all will stay for that length.

The Vigil service is very heavily attended and past experience is that one must be inside the cathedral by 10.30 p.m. or one will not gain admittance. Many hundreds of people congregate outside the cathedral and participate in the service despite being outside, and they can witness the parade of resurrection icons circling the cathedral and join in the Resurrection Hymn, Kriste Aghsdga.

May you all have a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Pascha.

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For those in Tbilisi, a Divine Liturgy in English will be celebrated at 9 am this Saturday at the Blue Monastery (Lurji Monasteri). 

Directions can be found here. All are welcome.

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It is with pleasure I received correspondence to this effect, which I would like to share with any readers in Tbilisi.

“Simon Appleby,

Greetings in the Lord!

My name is Father Joseph Fester. I am an Orthodox priest from America under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. My wife is working in Tbilisi for at least the next two years. With the blessing of His Holiness, Patriarch Ilia, we will be offering an English language Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Andrew (Blue Monastery Church) in Tbilisi starting this Saturday, October 4. Hours starting at 9am and Liturgy at 9:30am. If any of your readers would like more information, they may contact me at jfester99@gmail.com. The choir at St. Andrew’s is learning english and will respond to the litanies in English and as they learn more, we will expand their English language responses. I will serve in English. Everyone is invited to participate, whether Orthodox or interested in the Orthodox Faith.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this information.

Protopresbyter Joseph Fester”

The Blue Monastery is next to the Russian Church in the vicinity of the Tbilisi Philharmonia. A map showing the exact location can be found here.

I am particularly pleased that the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Georgia are co-operating to serve the needs of the Anglophone Orthodox faithful and those curious about the faith in this city. May this initiative be fruitful, and great thanks to all who have made it possible.

 

 

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On the Wednesday evening of Holy Week, a Liturgy is held at the conclusion of which all the baptised Orthodox Christians in the congregation are anointed with oil, to heal their spiritual and physical ills.

Holy Unction is considered one of the seven sacraments, the others of which are baptism, marriage, chrismation, eucharist, confession, and ordination.

The practice follows Apostolic Tradition, mentioned in the New Testament “…let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).

The full service is composed of psalms from the Old Testament, hymns of direct supplication to God, and prayers to the saints to intercede for the petitioner. In addition, there are seven readings from the Gospels preceded by seven other New Testament writings, notably the epistlesof Saint Paul and Saint James. After each set of scriptural readings, a prayer is offered on behalf of the penitent by the priestasking for forgiveness and the sanctification of the oil. Traditionally, the service is celebrated by seven priests, but where fewer than seven priests are available (which is often the case), it will be served by at least one.

At the end of the service, the priestputs holy oil on the forehead, eyes, ears, nostrils, lips, chest, and hands of the parishioners in the form of the cross and blesses the recipient.

(From Orthodoxwiki.org)

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