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The Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) in the Holy City of Jerusalem

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December 9

Reading:

The majestic Church of the Resurrection, built by Saint Constantine the Great and his mother Helen, was consecrated in the year 336. In the year 614, this edifice was destroyed by the Persians, who set fire to it. Modestus, the Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Theodosius, and later Patriarch of Jerusalem, rebuilt the church in 626 and had it reconsecrated. In 637, Jerusalem fell to the Moslems; however, the holy shrines were left intact. But in 934, on the Sunday of Pascha, the Saracens set fire to part of this church. Again in 969, the Moslems set fire to the dome of the church, plundered all the sacred objects that were found therein, and surrendered John IV, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, to the flames. In 1010, the Moslems, under Hakim the Mad, Caliph of Egypt, destroyed the church to its foundations, but in 1028, by the mediation of Emperor Romanus III Argyrus of Constantinople, the church began to be rebuilt on a more modest scale. This third edifice was completed and reconsecrated in 1048. In 1099, the crusaders took Jerusalem and ruled there for eighty-eight years, and during this time they made certain changes in the structure, which, for the most part, has remained unaltered ever since (See also Sept. 13).

Apolytikion of Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection in the Fourth Tone

Thou hast shown the earthly beauty of the holy tabernacle of Thy glory to be like unto the splendour of the heavenly firmament, O Lord. Strengthen it for ever and ever, and accept our prayers which we unceasingly offer therein unto Thee, through the Theotokos, O Thou Who art the Life and Resurrection of all.

Kontakion of Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection in the Second Tone

Do Thou renew the consecration and enlightenment of the Spirit in the hearts of them that faithfully celebrate the consecration of Thy house and temple which, according to Thy good pleasure, was built in Thy Divine Name, O Thou Who alone art glorified in the Saints.