Church of St. Catherine (Beirut, Lebanon)

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The Saint Catherine’s parish is located in Ashrafieh, an eastern district of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. A broad Lebanese Greek Orthodox community resides in this district.
Iconostasis of the Church

The Saint Catherine’s parish is one of eleven parishes falling under the jurisdiction of the Greek orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut and its dependencies.


Contents

Location

Saint Catherine’s church is located in the Saint Catherine’s Monastery and is the worship place of both the parish and the monastery that includes also the Zahret El Ihsan school.

The address of the Monastery is the following: Zahret el Ihsan street, Ashrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon


History

Since the foundation, late in the XIXth century, of Zahret el Ihsan school and Saint Catherine’s Monastery, a large central hall in the monastery served as a place of worship for the nuns, the students and the orphans that the convent sheltered. The religious offices, with the exception of the Eucharist, took place in this hall. For the Sunday mass and the great feasts, the nuns and the students went on foot to the neighbouring churches: Saint Nicholas and Saint Dimitri. The Akathist of the Theotokos (called Χαιρέτισμα) that was celebrated the first five Fridays of the great Lent and the Matins of the Holy Saturday (Lamentations called Επιτάφιος Θρήνος,) celebrated on Holy Friday evening, attracted a great number of believers who came from different regions of Beirut.

On the 22nd of April 1950, 18 years after the death of the hegumen of the monastery Mother Mary (Geahchan) and 3 years after the death of the principal donor to Zahret el Ihsan Mrs. Emily Sursock, the worship hall was consecrated as the church of the monastery by H.E. Elia (Saliby) metropolitan of Beirut and its dependencies.

In 1976 and with the beginning of the civil war in Lebanon, the Saint Catherine’s church became parochial when the metropolitan of Beirut H.E. Elia (born Saliby) designated Father Elia (born Issa; 1916 – 2003) as pastor of the church and the new parish, and Mr Elias Geahchan (1910 – 2006) as church’s mandatary.

Later on in 1994, Fr Elia Issa was promoted by H.E. the present metropolitan Elias (born Audi), to the archimandrite title, and served the parish until his death. Archimandrite Seraphim (born Bardawil) is the present pastor of the parish, assisted by Fr Stephanos (born Abdelnour)
Archimandrite Seraphim in front of the altar

Structure

The parish includes 550 households and covers a part of Ashrafieh, an eastern district of Beirut. It neighbors four other parishes: Annunciation of Our Lady to the west, Saint Nicholas to the north, Saint Dimitri and Presentation of Our Lady to the east.
Saint Catherine's parish is in the heart of Ashrafieh

Religious services

The Divine Liturgy is celebrated on:

. Sunday morning at 9:30 AM, preceded by the Matins at 8:30 AM

. Saturday morning at 8:30 AM, preceded by the Matins at 7:30 AM

. Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM

Sunday vespers are celebrated on Saturday evening at 5:00 PM


Patron Saint’s day

The Parish celebrates the Saint Catherine’s of Alexandria feast on November 25. Vespers, Matins and Divine Liturgy are then headed by H.E. the metropolitan of Beirut and its dependency.

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