Day 3 was a VERY special day! After the choir returned from their Day 2 adventure to Bethlehem and their continuing preparation for their concert and recording, they ate dinner and rested in their hotel to get some extra strength to participate in, yet another, special pilgrimage event….a midnight Divine Liturgy being served in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (above) in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Prior to the service, the ensemble and accompanying pilgrims walked through the immense and incredible site that is the Holy Sepulcher. The first site one sees walking into the complex is the anointing table where Joseph of Aramathea prepared the body of Jesus for burial with special oils after Jesus was taken down from the cross and brought to the Tomb. Pilgrims who come, venerate the sacred stone and bring religious artifacts, icons and crosses they want to be blessed on the anointing table of Jesus.
The actual burial place of Jesus can be seen just past the anointing table. The Sepulcher is an ornate, stone structure that houses the final resting place of Jesus before He was resurrected back to life. This is the most sacred place for all of Christianity. All believers are welcome to enter the Sepulcher, through a small opening and make their way into the cave where the body of Jesus was entombed. The ultimate of sacred places where a believer can come venerate the last resting place of Our Savior. Truly moving.
PaTRAM Institute™ received the blessing of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to serve a midnight Divine Liturgy at Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified on the cross. A small but incredibly ornate and stunningly beautiful chapel above the main church of the Holy Sepulcher, where the pre-Liturgical matins were read. It should be noted how RARE an opportunity it was, that was bestowed on PaTRAM™ by the Patriarch, to give the blessing allowing a Liturgy to be served on such hallowed ground! Such a blessing!
After the very special night singing the Liturgy at Golgotha, the choir and pilgrims walked back through the Old City to their hotel for some much needed rest in preparation for resuming their rehearsing for the big Jerusalem performance to come. This time the setting was the Notre Dame Center Hall, right across the street from where they were staying, and where the PaTRAM Insitute Male Choir will be performing, tomorrow, June 18th at 11am. The Maestro, Ekaterina Antonenko, molds the sound and shape of the choir in the performance hall.
Tomorrow is the big day…the choir’s first performance! More to come….