Mr. Tomislav Nikolic,
President of Serbia
Mr. Ivica Dacic,
President of the Government of Serbia
Mr. Aleksandar Vucic,
First Vice President of the Government of Serbia
Esteemed Mr. President,
Еsteemed Mr. Prime Minister,
Еsteemed Mr. First Vice President of the Government,
In this, for both Serbia and the Serbian people very difficult and crucial – and perhaps fateful moment, we address you on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church in fatherly and brotherly manner, with respect and trust in Your Orthodox Christian conscience and in Your sense of patriotism and the state responsibility. We do not address you in an ordinary way, but by this public appeal, and we do it for many reasons, of which two are the most important - shortness of time (the Brussels’ ultimatum expires as early as Tuesday) and a need to refute, in the most obvious manner, the impudent lie which has been shared for the last few days by certain people and media about the silence of our Church regarding Kosovo (!).
Please be informed of several changes in the 2013 church calendar made by the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade based on on characteristics of the Orthodox Church Typicon:
- The feast day of the 1st and 2nd Finding of the Head of St. John the Baptist, which falls on Meatfare Saturday, March 9/24, will be celebrated on Friday, March 8/23 (Great Typicon, compiled by V. Rev. V. Nikolajevic, 46a).
- The feast day of the Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste (Youth's Day), which falls on Friday of the first week of Lent, March 22/9, will be celebrated on Cheese-fare Sunday, March 17/4 (Great Typicon, compiled by V. Rev. V. Nikolajevic, 46a).
- The feast day of the Translation of the Relics of St. Nikolaj of Zicha, which falls on Great and Holy Friday, May 3/April 20, will be celebrated on Tuesday of Bright Week, May 7/24 (since the feast day of St. George the Greatmartyr, falls on Bright Monday).
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
TO HER SPIRITUAL CHILDREN AT CHRISTMAS 2012
+ I R I N E J
BY THE GRACE OF GOD ARCHBISHOP OF PEC, METROPOLITAN OF BELGRADE KARLOVCI AND SERBIAN PATRIARCH, WITH ALL THE HIERARCHS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TO ALL THE CLERGY, MONASTRICS,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!
"Rejoice O ye righteous, rejoice O heaven, dance O mountains for Christ is born…”
(Hymn from the Nativity of our Lord Matins, tone four)
The Nativity of our Lord brings to us joyous and wonderful news that the Son of God became Man, the God-Man Jesus Christ. With His Incarnation, the prophesy of Saint Isaiah the prophet has been fulfilled: “Lo, the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which is translated: “God is with us”. (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14) From that day until the end of the age, God is with us and we belong to Him. The Son of God has descended to earth, and man has ascended to heaven. Everything has been united. Angels sing with men and men participate in the angelic life. Saint John Chrysostom called Christmas the mother of all feasts, and contemplating the Birth of God in awe as a wondrous mystery, he glorifies it by saying: “I look upon an astounding mystery. Shepherds’ voices I hear in my ears. Angels and archangels sing, seraphim glorify, they all participate in the Feast, looking upon God on earth, and upon man in heaven. They look upon God, Who is in heaven, as upon Him Who is the Cause of His own descent to earth. They look upon man, who is on earth, and see how through God’s love for mankind he dwells in heaven.” God without body puts on flesh; the Invisible becomes visible, He Who is unapproachable becomes approachable, the Timeless one receives a beginning, the Son of God becomes the Son of man. This manifestation of God in our world and our life is the beginning of our own entrance into God’s world. And so, the meaning of Christmas is in the reality that God came to people so that they may come closer to Him.
His Holiness Irinej will read Christmas Enclytical of the Serbian Orthodox Church on Friday, January 4th, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade.
We call representatives of media to attend this event. Please send accreditations on firstname.lastname@example.org no later than January 3rd, 2013 until 12 a.m.
of the Serbian Orthodox Church
''We swear you by Almighty God that in no way should you detract from the worth, greatness and importance of our reconciliation. Let not one empty and unverified word pass over your mouths. Let our reconciliation be an example for all the other Serbs, wherever they may live. Do not allow any one of us by our actions to hinder this common sanctity. Our reconciliation has just begun. We have planted a young seedling which we need to nurture and cherish as the apple of the eye that it may grow to the pride of all'' (Metropolitan Iriney of New Gracanica - 19 February 1993).
During the past few weeks there appear a multitude of unverified, inaccurate and often malicious articles published on the internet related to the litigation in which the Serbian Orthodox Church is attempting to return to her fold the now usurped New Kalenich Monastery in Canberra.
In light of the same, the Metropolitan Executive Board of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church desires to emphasise the following:
Philanthropy, The Charitable Foundation of the Serbian Orthodox Church organized a conference “Social Protection in Rural Areas – Possibilities and Challenges” on 13 December 2012, the day of Saint Andrew the First called Apostle. The Conference was organized in the St. Sava Hall in Nis, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Jovan of Nis. The conference was attended by number of prominent participants, representatives of local authorities and social welfare institutions from whole Serbia, as well as respective representatives of civil society active in the area of providing social services to the most vulnerable rural population.