Serbian Orthodox Church
The monastic brotherhood of Dechany led by its abbot, Very Venerable Archimandrite Sava, welcomed His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej and Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the occasion of the beginning of the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the afternoon on 14 May 2016.
On the next day, on the Sunday of the 15th of May 2016, hierarchs officiated the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral church of Saint Great Martyr George in Prizren, and performed the rite of consecration of the renovated buildings of the Theological Seminary of Sts Cyril and Methodius in Prizren.
The working sessions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops will commence at the Patriarchate Palace in Belgrade on May 16, 2016.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, officiated the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the conciliar concelebration of the hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church at the Patriarchate of Pec on 14 May 2016. They all gathered on the occasion of the beginning of the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Following the Holy Liturgy the rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit was performed for the blessed and successful work of the Assembly. His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije held a speech, after which he served on the monastery's cemetary a commemoration for abbesses and nuns of blessed repose of the Great Laura of the Patriarchate of Pec.
His Holiness and bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church were welcomed by the clergy and monks of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, led by Bishop Teodosije. His Holiness will officiate the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit in the church of Holy Apostles at the Great Laura of the Patriarchate of Pec, when this year's regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops will begin.
To all Diocesan Clergy, Church-School Congregation Boards and Faithful
Dear Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy and our dear Serbian Orthodox faithful,
Christ is Risen!
As you certainly all know, our entire Diocese, and indeed our entire Serbian Orthodox Church, suffered a terrible and tragic loss on the very day of the Holy Pascha of our Lord with the destruction of our cathedral church of St. Sava in New York City. While the church building is a total loss, we rejoice and thank God that there were no serious injuries or loss of life. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the New York Fire Department, and we await their findings.
Nonetheless, our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in the New York area have lost their spiritual home, the heart of their religious and national life. Their loss is personal for them, deeply emotional and truly tragic. Yet, even as the embers of the temple still smoldered, the community expressed its determination to continue its church life there. The building is gone, but the living church remains, and its members need our prayers and our support, both spiritual and financial.
The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in New York City, an architectural treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a New York City landmark, was tragically destroyed by a fire on Sunday, May 1, 2016, on Easter, the holiest day for Eastern Orthodox Christians.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America visited St. Sava Cathedral on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 to pray with and give support to the Serbian community in New York. He was visibly moved by the devastating scene left behind after the May 1st fire that destroyed the entire church building, and ajoining rooms. He prayed with those present by singing the paschal hymn 'Hristos Voskrese' and the troparion to St. Sava. The Serbian community of New York, the deanery, and throughout the Eastern Diocese thank His Eminence for his love and support!