The upcoming Election Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church, scheduled for January 22, is one of the central themes of our media scene. The Holy Synod states with satisfaction that one part of media deals with that issue seriously and responsibly, but notices with deep regret that an approach of great deal of media reporters and commentators is sensationalist, biased and partial, so they often use disinformation and obscure gossip, usually from anonymous sources, neither respecting the spiritual authority of the Church nor its late head. Also they do not care for the feelings and the dignity of our people, expressed at the send-off and the funeral of Patriarch.
The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children
at Christmas, 2009
By the Grace of God
Orthodox Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands, Locum Tenens of the throne of the Serbian Patriarchs, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:
Peace from God! Christ is Born!
Again this year, our dear spiritual children, here we are before the cradle of the Divine Child Jesus Christ. The immense mystery beyond comprehension of the birth of God the Logos took place in a lowly cave in Bethlehem, which from that moment, once and for all time, became the center of the world – the center of God’s glory and a source of comfort to all those who have sought after God throughout human history.
On Thursday, December 24, 2009 at the Saint Sava Memorial Cathedral on Vracar, beginning at 9:00am, the Divine Liturgy for the dead and forty-day memorial service will be served for Patriarch Pavle of Serbia of blessed repose. The memorial service will be served at the end of Divine Liturgy, about 11:00 am. After that, at the monastery Rakovica on Patriarch's tomb, a small commemoration will be served.
On that occasion and in prayerful remembrance of Patriarch Pavle, as well as of days from November 15 till 19, 2009 when hundreds of thousands of people participated in magnificent funeral procession of their First Hierarch - the Information and publishing institution of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in cooperation with the Ministry of Faith, has published a photo album entitled From Death into Life.
The Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission , responsible for preparation of agenda of an upcoming Holy and Great Assembly of the Orthodox Church, began working 10th December at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, near Geneve. The Commission will discuss the three topics from pre-prepared catalogue: the question of a way of declaring autonomy and autocephaly, as well as the question of diptych, which is order and rank of the Churches. It is planned that the Commission's work lasts until December 17, and its proposed texts will be submitted for a discussion and an adoption by the next in the row, the Fifth Pan-Orthodox Conference (previously four conferences were held in 1976,1982,1986,2009).
Regarding the information that one of the deputies of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, on the session held in the afternoon on November 25, 2009, read my alleged letter regarding the proposal of the Statute of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, I can only make a statement that it is a clear forgery, which is a felony.
Namely, neither on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops nor on behalf of me I did not comment on the theme that is being just discussed by the Assembly.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on its session on November 25, 2009, brought a decision that the Divine Liturgy and 40-day memorial service will be served on December 24 of this year at St. Sava Cathedral on Vrachar. The Divine Liturgy will commence at 9:00am and the memorial service will be served at the end of the Divine Liturgy around 11:00am. Afterwards, at Monastery Rakovica, at the grave of Patriarch of blessed repose a commemoration will be served.
At the same session the Holy Synod of Bishops scheduled a session of the Elective Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church on January 22, 2010.
From the Office of the Holy Synod of Bishops