Church of Serbia – October 2014
“Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church and with choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and bishops worship, apostles and prophets rejoice together, since for our sake she prays to the pre-eternal God.” [Kondak]
On October 14, 2014, the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos – “Pokrov”, His Grace Bishop Longin, many clergy, nuns, singers, seminarians, and the faithful gathered for a day of spiritual enrichment and joy. On this day, the Slava of New Gracanica, Bishop Longin also celebrated the 15 year anniversary of his installation (by Metropolitan Amfilohije at New Gracanica) and welcomed the Serbian Clergy Brotherhood who held their annual meeting in conjunction with the Slava.
His Grace Bishop Longin served the Divine Liturgy with a full Altar of clergy: V. Rev. Archimandrite Thomas Kazich, Rev. Hieromonk Serafim Baltic, Rev. Singel Serafim Milojkovic, Rev. Nikolaj Kostur, Rev. Hieromonk Filotej Petrovich, V. Rev. Luka Novakovic (Belgrade), V. Rev. Djurica Gordic, (San Francisco), V. Rev. Dr. Zivojin Jakovljevic (Cleveland), V. Rev. Aleksandar Vlajkovic (Boston), Rev. Sasha Petrovic (Omaha), V. Rev. Aleksandar Bugarin (Kansas City), V. Rev. Ilija Balach, Rev. Radomir Plavsic (Chisholm), Rev. Dr. Aleksandar Novakovic, Rev. Dobrivoje Milunovic, Rev. Aleksandar Savic, V. Rev. Radomir Cutilo, Rev. Nikola Radovancevic, V. Rev. Nedeljko Lunich, V. Rev. Dr. Branislav Koncarevic, V. Rev. Cedomir Kostic, Rev. Darko Spasojevic, Rev. Radovan Jakovljevic, Rev. Dr. Vasilije Vranic, V. Rev. Sava Bosanac, Rev. Peter Sailovic, Rev. Aleksandar Petrovic, Rev. Aleksandar Vujkovic, Rev. Dragan Petrovic, Rev. Dr. Predrag Samardzic, Rev. Marko Matic, V. Rev. Luka Lukic, V. Rev. Marko Pantic, V. Rev. Jovan Jovic, Rev. Miroslav Obretkovic, Deacon Milovan Gogic, Deacon Marko Bojovic, subdeacons Zoran Stojakovic and Marko Bojovic and Monk Symeon. Several nuns from the Nativity of the Mother of God (New Carlisle) were present at Liturgy as was Abbess Jovana visiting from Monastery Duga, Montenegro.
The Episcopal Choir sang the responses for the Tuesday Liturgy and the St. Sava Seminarians assisted in the Altar and procession, and with singing. The early morning’s overcast and rainy weather cleared up so that after the Liturgy, the Slava Litija could go forward outside. A sea of beautiful blue vestments worn by the Clergy led the Litija during which the Tropar was sung and Gospels were read, followed by the choir and faithful. The Slavski Kolac was then cut in the Church with the resounding singing of “Svjati Mucenici” by everyone.
A lovely warm Slava luncheon was then held in the hall. Bishop Longin, overjoyed with the full participation of clergy and great attendance of people, addressed the crowd thanking all for coming and congratulating him on his 15th anniversary. Fr. Tom Kazich, Iguman of the Monastery, then greeted all and explained the significance of the Bogorodica in our lives. Fr. Deacon Milovan Gogic, who was hosting the program then called the Brkic children, visiting the US from Serbia, to sing several spiritual songs (a cappella) with one song from Bishop Longin’s home town. The Clergy Brotherhood’s participation at the Slava with president Fr. Dobrivoje Milunovic made the day even more special as they are dedicated and enthusiastic priests working diligently for the future of our Church. At the conclusion of the inspirational program, and benediction, all sang “Eis Polla Eti Despota” to Bishop Longin. All would agree this Slava day was an exceptionally prayerful day of unity, fellowship and good will.
“Remember us in your prayers, O Lady Virgin Mother of God, that we not perish by the increase of our sins. Protect us from every evil and from grievous woes, for in you do we hope, and venerating the Feast of your Protection, we magnify you.”
Photos by Ruzica Maric