TEL SKUF / NINEVEH PLAINS / MOSUL, Iraq — Celebrations of Feast of the Holy Cross, a holiday which holds a significant place in the hearts of Christians, were limited this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Practicing recommended medical protocols, dozens of residents from Tel Skuf in the Nineveh Plains in Iraq residents and displaced peoples from Batnaya, Tel Kef, Baqufa, and Mosul living in Tel Skuf celebrated the Feast of the Holy Cross on Sunday. The ceremony began with a Divine Liturgy in the Mor Gorgis Church delivered in part by Father Karam Najib Qasha and Father Shaher Nuri of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Tel Kef. Father Fares Marrouki attended the torch lit ceremony in front of historic Tel Skuf. Local nuns participated in the rite of distributing the Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy.
Residents of Alqosh in Nineveh Plains also held celebrations at Mor Gorgis Church in the town center of Alqosh while adhering to the preventative instructions of the Health Committee.
In Mosul, young volunteers made 500 wooden crosses within which debris from Mor Gorgis Church in Bartella, were placed. The Mor Gorgis Church in Bartella, in eastern Mosul city, was burned down by the Islamic State. “This voluntary work has been made in remembrance of the brutal crimes that our Christian people had been subjected to across the region,” said priest of Mor Gorgis Church in Bartella, Father Dr. Bahnam Pinuka.