NEWS AND EVENTS - Friday, December 29, 2017
TWENTY FIFTH PARISH ANNIVERSARY IN BOSTON
The Boston parish and the Cathedral of Saint Sava celebrated the great jubilee on December 9 and 10, 2017 –25 years since it’s re-establishment and 25 years of continuous service to God and the people. The celebration began with a Vespers service which was followed by a banquet and a special program in the church hall.
Even though it was snowing on Saturday, a large number of people responded by coming to the celebration. In addition to the local priest and parishioners, the celebration was attended by the Bishop of the Canadian Diocese Dr. Mitrofan, Bishop John of Worcester and New England from the Antiochian Archdiocese, and our own Bishop Irinej of the Eastern American Diocese. Others in attendance included priests from the Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Greek Orthodox Churches. The Consul General from the Consulate of the Republic of Serbia in New York, Honorable Mirjana Živković, was also present. A large number of parishioners from the Patterson parish in New Jersey joined the celebration along with several Serbian priests including Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic (New York), Fr. Djokan Majstorovic (New Jersey), Fr. Chris Rocknage (Pennsylvania), and Fr. Ivan Marjanovic (Maine) who served. Two diocesan deacons, Jovan Anicic and Milos Zdralic, also attended and served.
The program opened with the singing of the national anthems of the United States of America and the the Republic of Serbia by the "Desanka Maksimovic" choir who participates in the Liturgy every Sunday performed Rukovet II by Mokranjac that evening.
During the program, the guests were greeted by the Church Board President, Chris Tehlirian, and later by parish priest Protopresbyter Stavrofor, Aleksandar Vlajković. The guests were also addressed by Hi Grace Bishop Mitrofan of Canada, who for 25 years served as the Bishop of the Eastern American Diocese.
In his address to the people, Bishop Irinej expressed his admiration for the success and progress of the Boston parish. Among other things, he said: "I often wonder how you did it, in 25 very short years to show this unprecedented success, and I heard that your beginnings were very modest. In the beginning, 15 to 20 believers were gathered, and they would serve from Sunday to Sunday and then tonight we see this magnificent gathering and these beautiful children ... "
"Whenever a community celebrates one jubilee celebration like this significant 25th anniversary”, His Grace continued, “what is really being celebrated? We celebrate a community that knows how to rejoice, when we have weddings, baptisms ... Indeed, only within a community can a man when he is with his closest neighbors multiply and double his joy, and also within a community that what is difficult , sad and unpleasant, will be halved because you share it with others. When we celebrate Slava we proclaim the words 'Christ in our midst’ and we respond, 'He is and shall be'. And if indeed Christ is in the midst of our community as it is in the midst of this community, then you are one Christian community and you become one perfect community of Christ's love. Thank you for your existence, thank you for gathering here and bringing your children here to learn our tradition. How nice it was to listen not only to the visiting choir that came from Ohio, but also to hear your wonderful children singing these original and authentic songs. "
At the end of the Saturday program, the Gračanica Ensemble performed the choreography of Srboljub Ninković, "Gnjilane". Some of the most beautiful Serbian dances, like this one, come from Kosovo. "Gnjilane" represents a wedding dance, which begins with the dance of a mother-in-law who holds the bread as a symbol of fertility and a decorated sieve, as a symbol of wealth. Then, bride and groom, and finally the whole wedding party.
The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the St. Sava Cathedral in Boston continued on Sunday, December 10, at the Holy Hierarchical Liturgy, which was led by the Bishop Mitrofan of Canada together with the His Grace Bishop Irinej of the East-American Diocese and His Grace Bishop John of the Antiochian Archdiocese along with many priests. The program included performances by Desanka Maksimovic Choir, the children's singing and folk group Sveti Sava and the Male Choir Kosovo from Ohio.
After the welcome address by Chris Tehlirian, and in gratitude for the past twenty-five years, gifts were presented to Fr.Aleksandar. On behalf of the church committee, he was given a pectoral cross, and the Circle of Serbian sisters donated beautiful green vestments for which the Fr. Aleksandar expressed gratitude.
The guests were then addressed by Mr. Mirjana Živković, Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in New York. She said that the parish of St. Sava Cathedral in the Diaspora is often cited as an example for other communities.
With symbolic gifts to the bishops, Nada Sizemore, a member of the church committee, thanked everyone in attendance. At the end of the program, Bishop Irinej blessed the future endeavors of the Cathedral and, with sincere congratulations for the happy 25th anniversary, emphasized that this parish is deeply engraved in his heart and in his prayers. He described Boston parish as a community of love. He also relayed greetings from HRH Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine Karadjordjevic. He emphasized that today's presence of the Consul General Mirjana Zivkovic is so important and that this is demonstrated by the unity of the church and the state. In the end, he thanked his brothers bishops for their participation in the celebration and lead the participants in the joint song Sedam Sati Udara. This joyful event will remain in the memory and in the hearts of all present for a long time.