On Easter Monday, 2 May 2016, His Grace Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina, Administrator of the Metropolitanate of Dabar-Bosnia, arranged an Easter reception for representatives of the Church and religious communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, diplomatic corps and international organizations, public and political life of BiH, Republic of Srpska and Federation BiH.
Among invitees there were representatives of other Churches and religious communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, MPs and delegates in the Parliament Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ministers and deputy ministers in the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, representatives of the authorities of the Republic of Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as representatives of political and public life.
Parishioners watched in horror as a massive 4-alarm fire engulfed a Serbian Orthodox church in Manhattan on Sunday — hours after hundreds celebrated Easter services, authorities said.
“For this to happen on such a holy day, I don’t know what to say,” said Alex Velic, a 31-year-old churchgoer, as enormous fireballs erupted from the shattered windows of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava on West 25th Street.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej officiated the Paschal Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at the Saint Sava Memorial Cathedral on Vracar in Belgrade at midnight.
The Paschal service was attended by President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic. Thousands of believers came to the Cathedral to welcome the Holy Fire, which this year, with the blessing of Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and Serbian Patriarch Irinej was transferred from the holy city of Jerusalem to the Serbian capital.
The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2016
By the Grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting:
Christ is Risen!
“Christ is risen, trampling down death and raising the dead. Rejoice, all you people!”
(Paschal Canon, Ode 9)
Let us celebrate today, dear brothers and sisters, our Lord God, “For He has visited and redeemed His people” (St. Luke 1:68) and with the light of His Resurrection He enlightens the entire universe! Let us glorify our Lord “who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised for our justification”. (Romans 4:25) Let us glorify our Lord Who, having become a man for us, has died so that by His Resurrection he could open to us doors of new life! For all of us who have been baptized into Christ, in Christ we have died to the old man, so that resurrected, reborn, renewed in Him, we can live with Him forever. (cf. Romans 6:8) Christ is risen from the dead and has become the Firstborn of the dead (cf. I Corinthians 15:20), so that we too who have died in Adam, may be made alive in Christ, becoming a new creation.
Great Lent and Holy Week are two separate fasts, and two separate celebrations. Great Lent ends on Friday of the fifth week (the day before Lazarus Saturday). Holy Week begins immediately thereafter. Let's explore the meaning of each of the solemn days of Passion Week.
Lazarus Saturday: Lazarus Saturday is the day which begins Holy Week. It commemorates the raising of our Lord's friend Lazarus, who had been in the tomb four days. This act confirmed the universal resurrection from the dead that all of us will experience at our Lord's Second Coming. This miracle led many to faith, but it also led to the chief priest's and Pharisees' decision to kill Jesus (John 11:47-57).
Palm Sunday (The Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem): Our Lord enters Jerusalem and is proclaimed king - but in an earthly sense, as many people of His time were seeking a political Messiah. Our Lord is King, of course, but of a different type - the eternal King prophesied by Zechariah the Prophet. We use palms on this day to show that we too accept Jesus as the true King and Messiah of the Jews, Who we are willing to follow - even to the cross.
Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: The first thing that must be said about these services, and most of the other services of Holy Week, is that they are "sung" in anticipation. Each service is rotated ahead twelve hours. The evening service, therefore, is actually the service of the next morning, while the morning services of Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday are actually the services of the coming evening.