Mass baptism in the church of St. Marko

On the plateau of Belgrade's church of St. Marko on Palm Sunday, April 17 2011, a mass baptism of about 550 pupils of Belgrade's primary and secondary schools was performed. 

This is the most massive baptism that was done in Belgrade. Along with pupils also few preschool children and adults were baptised as well. Mostly they were close relatives of the newly-baptized pupils. The baptism was organized by the Committee for religious education of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac, and it was performed by many Belgrade's priests led by His Grace Vicar Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno, who is also the chairman of the Committee for religious education.

Long before eight o'clock lots of pupils gathered in front of the church of St. Marko along with their religious teachers. Some of these newly-baptized pupils do not attend religious  education, but they were encouraged to go to the baptism by their friends. They were accompanied by their godfathers and parents.

The group baptism commenced at 9.30 am. In front of the church of St. Marko three tables were set up with the consecrated water. 

The newly-baptized pupils ascended the stairs and entered the church, in which His Grace Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno, with the concelebration of a few priests and deacons and the chanting of the Choir of the St. Marko's church, served the Divine Liturgy. 

Since that morning on Palm Sunday, this year's Belgrade Marathon was started, Bishop Atanasije, addressing the newly-baptized pupils reminded that they also with this act of baptism were starting a sort of spiritual marathon - the marathon of life in Christ.

J. Bajic, contributor of Radio Slovo Ljubve