The ceremony on the Holy Mount of Grabarka

The Polish Orthodox Church – Paweł Karczewski
Translation by Kamila Siemieńczuk – August 2014

The ceremony on the Holy Mount of Grabarka has ended. Services in the monastery lasted all night. Thousands of the faithful worshiped the relics of the Venerable Cross and St. Mary Magdalene. Celebrations were crowned by Liturgy celebrated at the altar of the field before the church of the Transfiguration. The Metropolitan of Warsaw and the entire Poland – Sawa – was there. The Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and his wife took part in the Liturgy, as well.

Just before the start of the liturgy Metropolitan Sawa spoke to the faithful: “Just like the apostles standing in front of Christ on Mount Tabor, we are standing today in front of His temple on the Holy Mount of Grabarka”. Metropolitan added that: “This year’s President’s presence at the Holy Mount of Grabarka has a unique meaning. 25 years have passed since the meaningful date – June 4, 1989”. Also, Metropolitan stressed the importance of Christian values ​​in the modern world: “We still recall, as disciples of Christ, that secularization of the world is not good at all. ”

The prelate gave the red egg with an icon of the Mother of God to the President. Metropolitan reminded of the miracle associated with the figure of St.. Mary Magdalene, who gave the egg to the emperor. President’s spouse Anna Komorowska received a copy of the Icon of the Iwierska Mother of God.

The President talked about his visits to the Holy Mount of Grabarka – both official and private ones – “I always prayed here. Also for overcoming the differences that divide us (…) I always thought that in this special place it is easier not only to pray, but to act, work. ”

During the Liturgy Mariusz Jurczuk, vicar of the parish of St. Trinity in Hajnówka, preached: “All of us make many choices every day. Unfortunately, we stray very often then. We look for illusory happiness, forgetting about the eternal happiness. ”

After the ending of the Liturgy, the moleben and the procession around the church, Metropolitan Sawa and President Bronislaw Komorowski planted an oak of freedom around the cemetery and a pilgrim house. The action of planting oaks is an initiative of the Office of the President and the Polish Forests.

The ceremony on the Mount Grabarka was attended by: Archbishop of Lodz and Poznan Simon, Archbishop of Wroclaw and Szczecin Jeremiah, archbishop of Lublin and Chelm Abel, Archbishop of Bialystok and Gdansk Jacob, Bishop of Supraśl Gregory, Bishop of New York and New Jersey Michael (USA), Bishop Bobruisk and Bychowski Serafin (Belarus), Bishop of Siemiatycze Jerzy ( the Orthodox Ordinary of Military) and Bishop of Gorlice Paisjusz. During the all-night vigils and the liturgy the Orthodox Theological Seminary Choir, under the direction of prof. Vladimir Wołosiuk, sang.

During the ceremony, beside Bronisław Komorowski’s presence, there were other official guests, including Voivode of Podlachia Maciej Żywno, members of the Polish Parliament: Eugeniusz Czykwin, Robert Tyszkiewicz, Aleksander Sosna (advisor to the President for the Orthodox community and the Belarusian minority in Poland), Deputy Marshal of the Podlachia Walenty Korycki, vice president of the regional council of Podlasie voivodship Marek Masalski, Deputy President of Białystok Adam Poliński, the governor of Siemiatycze Mikołaj Mantur.

Photos: Tomasz Grześ, Rafał Stepaniuk