the Serbian Orthodox Church
July 16, 2004
OF NEW BISHOP IN SARAJEVO
its regular meeting from May 10 to May 19, 2004, the Holy Assembly
of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church selected Hieromonk Dr.
Maksim (Vasiljevic) as Bishop of Hum and vicar (auxiliary bishop)
of the Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosnia.
ceremony of consecration of the new bishop, the chirotonia of
the elected Bishop of Hum, will be performed by His Holiness Serbian
Patriarch Pavle with the concelebration of several bishops, priests
and deacons of our holy Church in the Nativity of the Most Holy
Mother of God Orthodox Cathedral in Sarajevo.
to the description by the Holy Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovich, the
consecration of a bishop is comprised of three separate rites:
the rite of election, of confession and the actual consecration.
Before the Vigil on the eve of the consecration, the hierarchs
who are to perform the rite take their places at a table in the
middle of the church. From the altar two senior priests lead the
candidate to the table. All stand as the protodeacon reads the
nomination, to which the candidate responds: "I return thanks,
and accept, and say nothing contrary thereto." The hierarchs
chant some brief prayers, invoking the Holy Spirit Who was sent
down upon the Apostles and empowered them to "catch the universe"
with the preaching of the Gospel. After a short litany, the nominee
delivers his acceptance speech. He then retires to the altar and
the Vigil begins.
The next morning, after the reading of the Hours, the hierarchs
again take their places behind the table, in front of which is
a large eagle rug. The senior priest and protodeacon lead the
bishop-elect onto the tail of the eagle. He is asked, "How
believest thou?" and responds by reciting the Creed. Advancing
to the middle of the rug, he expounds on the Creed by reciting
a second "confession of faith". Finally, at the top
of the rug, he is asked to explain his attitude towards the canons
and traditions of the Church. The candidate promises to observe
these and likewise "to preserve the peace of the Church and
firmly to hold and zealously to teach the people entrusted to
me, and not to devise any thing whatsoever which is contrary to
the Orthodox Catholic Christian faith of the East all the days
of my life....I promise also to do nothing through constraint,
whether coerced by powerful persons, or by a multitude of the
people....I promise to visit and watch over the flock now confided
to me, after the manner of the Apostles...and to inspect with
diligence, and to exhort and inhibit, that there be no schisms,
superstitions and impious veneration, and that no customs contrary
to Christian piety and good morals may injure Christian conduct....And
may our God, Who seeth the heart, be the witness to my vow."
The bishop-elect then bows down before the assembled hierarchs
and kisses their hands as a sign that he is entering their ranks
and as a pledge of love and peace with them in Christ. The choir
sings "Many years", and the bishop-elect goes into the
altar, where he stands at the side on an eagle rug, waiting like
a bride-to-be, as the Liturgy begins.
After the Small Entrance (which represents the coming to earth
of the Lord incarnate) and the singing of the Trisagion, the senior
priest and protodeacon lead the bishop-elect through the south
door onto the ambo to the Royal Doors where he is received by
two hierarchs. While the candidate kneels with his head touching
the altar table, an open Gospel is placed face down upon his head,
as a sign that although he is given authority over all, he himself
is under the law and his head is Christ. Holding the Gospel in
this way, the bishops pray: " O Lord our God...do Thou make
this man...to be an imitator of Thee, the true Shepherd, Who didst
lay down Thy life for Thy sheep; to be a leader of the blind,
a light to those who are in darkness, a reprover of the unwise,
a teacher of the young, a lamp to the world..."
The new bishop
is then vested as a hierarch, and when the omophorion-an article
unique to the episcopal office- is placed upon his shoulders,
the clergy followed by the people shout thrice, "Axios!"
("Worthy"), indicating their assent to the implied question:
"Is he, in truth, worthy of this ministry?"
the end of the Liturgy, the Chief Bishop gives a word of instruction
to the new bishop and hands him his pastoral staff. The new bishop
blesses the congregation with both hands as the choir sings, "Eis
polla eti Despota" (Many years, O Master).
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP USA VISITS SERBIA
Christian Fellowship/USA is a student organization with a concern
for peace between different ethnic groups visiting Belgrade and
the Serbian Orthodox Church from July 14-16, 2004. The fellowship’s
goal is to study areas where interethnic conflicts have occurred
and find the best solutions for problems between conflicting peoples.
During the course of the year 2004, the Christian fellowship intends
to study three regions: the Balkans, South Africa and South America.
During their three-day stay in Belgrade the students visited St.
Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Vracar and the Patriarch’s
residence, where they met with His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje
and Niksic of the Holy Assembly of Bishops and Hieromonk Irinej
Dobrijevic, consultant to the Holy Assembly of Bishops. The students
then toured the Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church and Kovilj
Monastery, where they spoke with His Grace Bishop Porfirije of
In his address
during the meeting with the U.S. students who are helping people
to reconcile and overcome interethnic differences, Bishop Joanikije
emphasized that there are two kinds of peace, the divine and the
secular, both equally necessary for peace as a whole.
Since peace on earth can also be an artificial peace, an authentic
feeling of peace can only be secured through God in the Church,
where at every Holy Liturgy we pray for peace and hear “Peace
Sharon Harper and Tom Sharp of Yale University are leading the
group of about 30 students of all confessions and races from Yale,
Wesleyan, the University of California-Los Angeles and the Claremont
Colleges. Their pilgrimage to the Balkans includes Serbia and
Montenegro as well as Bosnia and Croatia.
KATHARINE KARADJORDJEVIC’S GIFT
Karadjordjevic visited the Dr. Dragisa Misovic Clinical-Hospital
Center in Belgrade on the occasion of the hospital’s patron saint’s
day, the feast of the Holy Martyrs Cosmas and Damian. A generous
donor to the hospital, on this occasion she presented the institution
with a neonatal incubator and aspirator valued at over 15 000
euros. This gift is a part of the “Let Us Breathe Life into Serbia”
campaign sponsored by the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian
Orthodox Church. The Princess Katharine Foundation has taken part
in this campaign for the past three years and has already donated
more than 60 incubators to maternity wards in Serbia.
donated equipment will be used by the Department of Neonatal Care
in the new Gynecology and Obstetrics building of the Dr. Dragisa
Misovic Clinical-Hospital Center, which was damaged during the
1999 NATO bombing.
Borba daily, Belgrade, July 16, 2004
GROUP CAMPAIGN BEGINS IN SOKO GRAD MONASTERY
participants in this year’s fourth annual campaign began to arrive
in Soko Grad Monastery near Ljubivoja. This traditional event
brings together Serbian children from the emigrant community.
Among the new arrivals in Soko Grad Monastery are five boys and
girls from Belorussia, who will be joined today by 15 more youths
from Moscow and other parts of Russia, and several professors
who are studying the Serbian language. “The guests from Belorussia
and Russia will enhance and contribute to this year’s roster of
participants, who will be helping archeologists in unearthing
the foundations of ancient Soko Grad,” said His Grace Bishop Lavrentije
of Sabac and Valjevo. By Monday approximately 200 participants
are expected to arrive who will also be visiting other holy shrines
and cultural and historic sites in the homeland, as well as Vukov
Trsic. Various cultural and artistic societies from throughout
Serbia are preparing entertainment and they will also have ample
opportunity to make friends with their peers.
Vecernje Novosti daily, Belgrade, July 16, 2004
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