Serbian Orthodox Church
On Tuesday, March 9, 2010, the Feast of the First and Second Findings of the Honorable Head of St. John the Baptist, His Grace Bishop Longin served the Hierarchical Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts with His Grace Peter, Bishop of Cleveland of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in their Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, Illinois. Fifteen priests and four deacons served with the Bishops. At the Small Entrance, Bishop Peter awarded several priests. Following Liturgy, there was a Lenten luncheon in the church hall.
From Friday, March 6, until Sunday, March 8, 2010, His Grace Bishop Longin visited the churches in Indiana. With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and by the request of Abbess Markina (Zugic), Vladika served Friday evening the All-Night Vigil, beginning at 10pm, at the Stavropigial Patriarchal Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God in New Carlisle, Indiana. Divine Liturgy was served in the early hours of Saturday. Deacon Nikolaj Kostur served with His Grace. Along with the nuns, a good amount of faithful from Chicagoland prayed and communed of the Holy Gifts. Following Holy Liturgy, a meal was held in the monastery refectory.
Great and joyous is the day this week of our Lord's Resurrection and great and joyous is this Sunday of our Lord's Cross - two events connected with one another, united, two events equally salvific. The Lord rushes, hastens to Jerusalem, to the suffering for our salvation. This is the endless, pre-eternal love of God for His creation and that most loved creation - Man. And the Lord created man in the sign of the Cross. When man stands, says St. Irenaeus of Lyon the great martyr from the second century, (Asia Minor, he suffered in Lyon, south France), when he stands and stretches out his hands, he is a living and walking Cross. God created man in the sign of the Cross and as St. Bishop Nikolaj says all of the universe is in the sign of the Cross. Upright or vertically and horizontally all of the universe is marked with the Cross, signed with the Cross, crossed.
Thе celebration of our church Slava was held on Sunday, February 28th. After the Holy Liturgy and Procession around the church, Slava Bread and wheat were blessed and the celebration continued with an appropriate program, keeping in mind that this is the time of the Great Fast. During the delicious, fasting lunch, we had a film presentation about Miroslav's Gospel. Film contained many interesting information and details about Serbian history and culture.
These beautiful words from the church hymn resounded in the souls of the many faithful who prayerfully celebrated the third Sunday of Great Lent at St. Elijah the Prophet Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Merrillville, Indiana. In the full cathedral church the pious people, together with the clergy, offered their prayers and with fear of God and a firm faith bowed down before the Honorable Cross of our Lord. This prayerful celebration was made complete with the presence of the spiritual father of the New Gracanica-Midwestern American Diocese, Bishop Longin.