Christmas Caroling with the Branko Radichevich Cathedral Choir

For the fourth consecutive year, the Serbian Singing Society Branko Radichevich, our Cathedral choir, visited nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and private homes through the northern portion of Chicago, Cook and DuPage counties and southern Lake County, traveling through the more than 1500 square miles that comprises the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Libertyville and Chicago.

Car-caravans of singers visited patients referred to them by Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral clergy, several elderly parishioners in their homes and the president of Holy Resurrection's Kolo Sestara, on January 2nd and January 8th, 2011. The senior choir was joined by some of the junior Brankies' singers on January 2nd.

We were especially honored to carol for His Grace Bishop Longin at the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God (New Gračanica) Monastery, who warmly received us after returning from officiating at Divine Liturgy at St. Sava Monastery nearby. His Grace was extremely touched at the gesture and joined us in song.

Ninety-five year old Zarija Perović said that there were no words to express his gratitiude for visting and singing for him at his home. Several of the residents visited truly could not express any words of thanks, but their faces and emotions did the talking for them. The Brankies were blessed to again visit longtime member Vera Monson for the fourth year now at Abington Manor in Glenview. Vera joined the Brankies in song, especially her favourite of 'Zvi Jazici'.

The choir wishes especially to thank His Grace for being so generous with his time, Milica Barjaktarjević for organizing the caroling schedule, Stevan Perović for the much needed "refueling" at his father's home, our Cathedral clergy for their help and Kolo president (and Brankies member) Mira Djordjević, her husband Milutin and their family for the hospitality at the end of a long Saturday, and lastly, all the parishioners of Holy Resurrection Cathedral for their help, support and appreciation for the choir's modest, but spiritually uplifting effort.

How humbling yet joyous these two days were! The overall feeling among the Brankies is that this is one of the nicest things that the choir does for the parish and indeed that the parish does for the choir.