On Wednesday, July 18, the feast day of Venerable Sergius, Abbot & Wonderworkerker of Radonezh, the Heavenly patron of the murdered Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich, and also the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of his widow, the Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, Nun Barbara (Yakovleva). and those with them, His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, celebrated Divine Liturgy (and served the All-Night Vigil the evening prior), at the "Royal" church of the Convent of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane. His Grace was co-served by Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky; head of the Ecclesiastical Mission of the Russian Church Abroad in Jerusalem), and a multitude of visiting and pilgrim clergy.
Abbess Elizabeth (Smelic), rectress of the convent, prayed at the services, along with Abbess Barbara (Novikova), rectress of Ascension of the Lord Convent on the Mount of Olives. The two convents are part of the Ecclesiastical Mission.
Arriving at the end of Divine Liturgy was His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem & All Palestine, who joyfully welcomed Bishop Nicholas, Fr. Roman, and all of the worshipers. In his sermon , His Beatitude spoke of the meaning of the spiritual feats of St. Elizabeth, and wished Abbess Elizabeth and the nuns the abundant mercies and blessings of God in carrying out their monastic labors.
Patriarch Theophilos and other delegates from the Jerusalem Patriarchate prayed at the crypt of St. Elizabeth during the moleben service that followed.
After the services, the convent sisterhood offered a festal luncheon.