Bringing the Youth of the New Gračanica Midwest Diocese Together
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; thanks be to the protection of Most Holy Theotokos;through the prayers of all the Saints; with theblessing of Bishop Longin, and by the hard work of the Diocesan Youth Department, the second Annual Winter Youth Retreat of the Serbian Orthodox Midwest Diocese was held at the Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God (New Carlisle, Indiana)from Wednesday, December 26th through Sunday, December 30th, 2012. The theme of this year’s retreat was “Keeping it Real”. The Winter Retreat allowed youth from several Great Lake states to come together and deepen their understanding of our Orthodox faith while strengthening their relationships with like-minded peers.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, celebrated the midnight Christmas Liturgy in Saint Sava Memorial Cathedral on Vracar. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic attended the service.
The memorial cathedral of the Serbian people on Vracar tonight was full with people. Тhe head of the Serbian Church officiated at the solemn Pontifical Liturgy with the concelebration of the priesthood of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac.
Christ is from Heaven – receive Him!
Christ is on earth – be exalted!
Sing to the Lord all the earth!
(St Gregory the Theologian)
Our much beloved Clergy and Monastics, Sons and Daughters, Our dear Spiritual Children,
Celebrating today the Birth of Christ according to the flesh, and repeating those same all joyous and wondrous words of Saint Gregory the Theologian, we hear the words of life which throughout the ages invite us to hasten and encounter Him, who came down from heaven. Those same words invite us to open our hearts! Be exalted with Him, who for us took on our human body. Christ is born let all the earth, sing! Let the people sing and rejoice, for unto us Almighty God is born as a little child!
After the morning Christmas service, the feast day of the Nativity of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was celebrated at the Gracanica monastery with the Divine Liturgy. His Grace Bishop Teodosije presided with the concelebration of eight priests. Besides a few hundred believers who participated at the Liturgy there were also representatives of the Government of Serbia: Mr. Aleksandar Vulin, chief of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija; Mr. Mirko Krlic and Veljko Odalovic, President of the Government Commission for missing persons. High international officials also attended the Christmas celebration and lunch: Mr. Samuel Žbogar, chief of the EU Office in Kosovo; Major General Folker Halbauer, KFOR chief commander, Mr. Dimitris Moshopoulos, the EU special representative for the issues of religious and cultural heritage of the Serbian Orthodox Church iand others.
The prayerful commemoration of the 1700th anniversary of the Christianity began on October 28th , 2012 at the Cathedral Church in Nis with the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Grace Jovan, Bishop of Nis. Thirty three priests and three deacons concelebrated.