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Leavetaking of Pascha

23 May 2012

Today, May 23, 2012, is the Feast of the Leavetaking of Pascha, and the Forefeast of the Ascension. It’s the last time we sing the Paschal Hymns until next year, and Paschal Matins is a repeat of the Easter Vigil service.

Yhis year was special, because it coincided with the visit of the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, Theodoros Ii, and so all the clergy were asked to meet him in the Archbishop’s Chapel in Johannesburg.

Leavetaking of Pascha in the Archbishop’s Chapel 23 May 2012

Patriarch Theodoros spoke at the end of the Divine Liturgy, and Archbishop Damaskinos of Johannesburg also had something to say.

His Beatitude Theodoros, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.

So we sang his Fimi:

His Beatitude Theodoros
Most Divine and Most Holy
Our Father and Shepherd, Pope and Patriarch
Of the Great City of Alexandria
Of Libya, Pentapolis and Ethiopiza
Of all the land of Egypt and all Africa
Father of Fathers, Shepherd of Shepherd
Bishop of Bishops, Thirteenth in line of the Apostles
And Judge of the Universe, Many Years!

Archbishop Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria addressing the clergy in the Presence of the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, Leavetaking of Pascha, 2012

After the Liturgy and the addresses, we were all given Easter eggs and had a nosh up in the Archbishop’s office.

I put my Easter egg in my pocket, and when I got home it had broken, and I had to clean it off my cell phone — just as well it was one of those that closes. I can’t think the keys would have worked too well if raw egg had gone all over them.

But that is the first time I have ever enountered a raw Easter egg. Usually they are hardboiled. But the phone still worked — the top photo above was taken with it.

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