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.
His Grace Bishop Maxim celebrated his Krsna Slava on Lazarus Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Saint Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, California.
His Grace concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with the V. Rev. Nicholas Ceko, Cathedral Dean, Rev. Norman Kosanovich, and Deacon Zoran Aleksich, together with Orthodox faithful from many parishes in the Western American Diocese.The responses were sung by the Cathedral Cantors led by director Jonathan Braun.
One of the most miraculous details of our Savior’s life was foreseen by the Prophet Zacharias through the dark glass of time, and described thus: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; proclaim it aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, the King is coming to thee, just, and a Saviour; he is meek and riding on an ass, and a young foal And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.(Zach. 9:9). The Apostle Luke, an eyewitness, describes this event:
On April 17, 2016 His Grace Bishop Mitrofan of Eastern America visited St. Sava parish in Boston where he served the Divine Liturgy and in the afternoon the parish of Synaxis of Serbian Saints in Bideford (Portland), where he took partin Vespers service.
Divine Liturgy in Boston Bishop served along with local parish priest, protojerej stavr. Aleksandar Vlajković and guests priests protojerej Ivan Marjanovic and protojerej stavr. Rumen Peloski from bulgarin parish.Vladika gave a thoughtful sermon, stressing in this Sunday dedicated to Mary of Egypt all the challenges and temptations of today, but also the depth of God's mercy for all those who sincerely repent and expect forgiveness from God. Nearly 100 parishioners have participated in the holy communion.
Her Majesty ELIZABETH II
The Queen of the United Kingdom,
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and
Head of the Commonwealth
London SW1A 1AA
You have placed crowns of precious stones upon their heads.
They asked life of you and you gave it to them—long life forever and evermore!
In this day in which we commemorate the 90th year of Your Majesty's birth, kindly allow Us to express, on Our own behalf and on behalf of Our hierarchs, clergy, monastics and faithful, living throughout Your domain Our earnest offering of congratulations and sincere appreciation to the Lord for Your long life, and for Your most gracious Reign.
As the Spiritual Leader of Serbian Orthodox Christians, living in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as throughout the Commonwealth, We rejoice knowing that Your Majesty is both their Sovereign and Godmother to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia.
We pray The Lord of Lords and The King of Kings, Christ our God, to bless Your Majesty with many more years of health and prosperity, peace and joy!
Long may You reign!
With Our most profound respect,
Archbishop of Pech
Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and
Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church
On Saturday 16 April, His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church visited the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College in Toronto and presented a new book published within his diocese entitled "The Christian Heritage of Kosovo and Metohija: The Historical and Spiritual Heartland of the Serbian People".