1. Message of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church concerning the convocation of the Holy and Great Council to be held on Crete on the occasion of the feast-day of the Holy Trinity, from 17th to the 27th of June 2016.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of
the Serbian Orthodox Church
№ 62/min. 164
25. Мay 2016
МESSAGE OF THE HOLY ASSEMBLY OF BISHOPS
OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
to Primates and Holy Synods of the Local Orthodox Churches
In the days of the most joyful Christian Feast, which fills every human being and all of creation with catholic meaning and good tidings of salvation in Christ, we welcome the summoning of autocephalous Orthodox Churches to the Holy and Great Synod which, if God allows it, will be held at the Orthodox Academy in Crete, on Pentecost, from 17 to 26 June 2016.
In brotherly love, with responsibility and great hopes, we reflect on this Holy and Great Synod during the session of our Local Church’s Assembly, and remind ourselves as well as others that the Orthodox Church is a Synod (Council), called by God in Christ and inspired by His Holy Spirit, as was the Synod of Holy Apostles, which took the following words as its guiding hand: “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15, 28). We rejoice at the prospect of commencement of the Holy and Great Synod on the Feast of descent of the Holy Spirit. For, it is and should be a pneumatic, Pentecostal event of communion (κοινωνία) of Churches. Assembled in order to “accordantly celebrate the All-Holy Spirit”, we believe that where the Church abides, there the Holy Spirit abides as well; and, where the Spirit of God abides, there abide the Church and all grace, and the Spirit is truth” (Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 3, 2, 4, 1).
When the day of the Jewish Pentecost drew near, the disciples of Christ returned from Galilee to Jerusalem.
On the fortieth day after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, they were all together in one house. Jesus Christ appeared to them and spoke with them saying, "Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. He, who believes and is baptized, will be saved, but he, who does not believe, will be condemned. And these signs accompanies those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
On Sunday, 5 June 2016, when we listen to the Gospel’s story of the Blind Man, with the blessing of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, Metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarchate His Eminence Arsenios (Kardamakis) from Vienna, President of the Council of Bishops’ Conference for Austria and Director for Orthodox Religious Education in Austria, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Belgrade Cathedral of Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel.
He was concelebrated by Protopresbyter-stavrophor Dr. Dragomir Sando, Very Revd. Fathers Panayotis Karatasios and Dimitris Kasapis, Presbyter Vladimir Vranic, chief of the Office of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch, as well as by Protodeacon Radomir Percevic.
This year the church in Belgrade’s municipality of Vozdovac celebrated its Patrons Saint-day (slava), the feast of Holy Emperor Contantine and Empress Helen the Equal-to-the-Apostles.
On the feast-day, June 3rd 2016, with the blessing of Serbian Patriarch Irinej, His Grace newly-elected Bishop Irinej (Dobrijevic) of East America, officiated the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of the dear guest from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Grace Bishop Elija of Philomenion for Albanian speaking believers in USA.
Who shall declare Thy might, O Christ? And who shall number the multitude of Thy wonders? For as Thou wast doubly seen in Thy goodness on earth, so didst Thou doubly grant healing to the sick; for not only didst Thou heal the bodily eyes of the man born blind from the womb, but the eyes of his soul also. Wherefore, he confessed that Thou art a hidden God, granting all the Great Mercy.
--Doxasticon of the Feast, Tone 8
On this day, the sixth Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the miracle wrought by our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ upon the man who was blind from his birth.
The President of the Republic of Serbia received in audienceHis Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, at the Presidency of Serbia in Belgrade on 30 May 2016.
His Holiness was accompanied by His Grace Bishop Arsenije of Toplica and the members of the Committee for completion of works on the Saint Sava Cathedral – protopresbyter-staurophor Stojadin Pavlovic, dipl. ing. arch. deacon Miroslav Nikolic, chief architect of the Saint Sava Cathedral, and Mr. Milan Andric, lawyer. The meeting was attended by Professor Dr. Vojislav Milovanovic, protomaster of the Saint Sava Cathedral, President of the Assembly of the Society for construction of the Saint Sava Cathedral Mr. Miodrag Kostic and adviser to the President of Serbian for culture Mr. Radoslav Pavlovic.