May 2015- Church of Serbia
Ascension Day – the Patron Saint-day (slava) of the capital was celebrated yesterday with the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at the church of the Holy Ascension of the Lord in Belgrade. His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch officiated the Holy Liturgy and the traditional slava procession through central streets of Belgrade (photo gallery).
At the Liturgy to His Holiness concelebrated: His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and Their Graces Bishops Atanasije of Bihac-Petrovac, Grigorije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina, Irinej of Australia-New Zealand, Andrej of Austria-Switzerland, Joakim of Polog-Kumanovo, Marko of Bregalnica and David of Stobi. This year’s host of the slava was Mr. Sinisa Mali, Mayor of Belgrade. Metropolian Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral addressed the people gathered at the Ascension church.
Following the Liturgy and the sermon the Ascension procession went through the streets of the capital during which prayers for health and every progress were offered.
A few thousand believers in a solemn procession went through downtown streets which were closed for traffic. The procession was led by Serbian Patriarch Irinej, Mayor of Belgrade Mr. Sinisa Mali, Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic and hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church. At the head of the procession the Precious Cross from the Holy City of Jerusalem and the flag of Belgrade from 1938 were carried.
As the Patron Saint-day of the city, the feast of the Ascension of the Lord was celebrated for the first time in 1403, when Despot Stefan Lazarevic made Belgrade the capital of Serbia. The Patron Saint-Day of the city was not celebrated since 1946, and it was restored in 1992.
On the occasion of the slava of the city of Belgrade, the solemn reception was held at the City Assembly (Old royal court) in the presence of many guest, during which writer and humanist Peter Handke received the Charter of Honorary Citizen of Belgrade.