May be blessed the Christ our God and His Church, Which helps us to remember to His salvational sufferings, and also to celebrate His Glory Resurrection.
This year, with bless of the Reverend Bishop Acacius, these feasts were celebrated in the Spiritual Center of the Paraclete (Uteshiteljevo), with presence of a few sisters of New Stienik Monastery, who helped in organization of the feast, preparing the food and accommodating in camps the believers who wanted to stay at the Paraclete.
Solemn Pontifical Services started at Holy and Great Wednesday. Church wisely established the office of the Holy Unction, which is on that day available to all present believers, where our merciful Lord helps us with His Holy Sacraments, to celebrate His Holy Resurrection with pure body and spirit after long fasting and repenting.
Thank to God grace and to His omnipresent Comforter, the sufferings of Christ were followed by stirring services, in which all the priests, the deacon and the readers of the STOC took part. In the Holy and Great Thursday The Holy Cross was brought out from the altar, and first Archihiereus and the whole clergy, and after them all the believers venerated it.
In the Holy and Great Friday in the evening, the Holy Cross was brought back into the altar, and the Epitaphion was carried out by the fellow-clergy, while the Archihiereus was walking under it during the funeral Procession around the temple. In the end of the procession at the entrance of the temple, the believers started to go inside under the Epitaphion, because of the God` bless. After that, the Epitaphion was placed in the middle of the temple, where the Archihiereus anointed with nard oil the holy wounds of the Lord, so that beautiful smell of the Most Pure Body was spreading through the whole temple till the next day. The believers piously watched over the Epitaphion until the most thrilling night between the Holy and Great Friday and Saturday, when the reverend Bishop and the chanters were chanting statie alternately, lamenting the funeral of Christ. On everyone`s face you could see the reflection of great sorrow and suffering for the Christ. It left deep impression on all the believers, so many of them stayed beside the Epitaphion till the evening of the Holy and Great Saturday, when everyone expected impatiently the moment when sorrow would be changed by the most cheerful feeling bestowed to the mankind from God. In this Holy And Great Saturday such comfort and rejoice for us was the baptism of one young recent convert girl, who was dressed in white during the next few days, reminding us also on that salvational Holy Sacrament.
In the most glorious night of the Holy Resurrection, everything turns into light, in ourselves and around us as well. That night, thank to the great mercy of God, becomes the anticipation of the Eternaly Day and Light, when we will be together with our Creator. The most solemn service began when the Archihiereus joyfully and pontifically transmitted the Heavenly Light from his dikiri and trikiri to everyone, and after that altogether with lighting candles started the procession around the temple. After going around for the third time, in front of the entrance of the temple, the Archihiereus pontifically chanted the hymn of the Holy Resurrection for the first time, and then the believers were joyfully repeating it. Then all came into illuminate temple, decorated with white clothes. During the whole night in the temple you could hear the loudest voices from the heart: “Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!” One of the happiest moments was kissing one each other among all. Many children and the believers received the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, with great love and thankfulness to God, for providing us such possibility to feel Heavenly rejoice completely awake and tireless. After the service we were comforted by blessed eggs and cheese fare.
Traditionally, after solemn lunch, the children have their program for the believers, which consists of the songs and recitations. This time, they sang Serbian national songs about our beloved Kosovo, as support to the Serbian people who suffer and preserving of the fighting national consciousness.
Glory be to God, for He loves us so much and makes us worth of celebrating the Holy And Glorious Resurrection of Christ!
Christ is Risen!