His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, who led a group of pilgrims from his Diocese on a Passion Week visit to the Holy Land, concelebrated the Paschal Divine Liturgy at the Lord’s Tomb in Jerusalem on Sunday, May 5, 2013, at the invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All of Palestine, who presided.
Also serving at the Paschal Liturgy together with Bishop Longin were Priest Vasilije Vranic, parish priest at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Chicago and Pilgrimage organizer, and Diocesan Deacon Nikolaj Kostur.
During the course of the Holy Week pilgrimage to Christianity’s holiest sites , Bishop Longin and Frs. Vasilije Vranic and Nikolaj Kostur concelebrated with Patriarch Theophilos twice, on Palm Sunday and Pascha, and were received by His Beatitude at the Jerusalem Patriarchate on three separate occasions. The diocesan pilgrims also attended these divine services and events, prayerfully approaching the Holy Mystery of Communion whenever possible.
In addition to concelebrating with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Bishop Longin and the pilgrims were also blessed to attend the Holy Thursday service of the Washing of Feet and the Holy Saturday service of the Holy Fire, both also led by Patriarch Theophilos III.
On behalf of the group, Bishop Longin thanked Patriarch Theophilos III for the gracious hospitality extended to the pilgrims during their prayerful stay in the Holy Land.