Magnificent Celebration of the Parish Slava in Akron
Magnificent and prayerful, as it fits, the Parish of St. Demetrius in Akron celebrated its Krsna Slava this year.
As our people in the Diaspora, in the struggle for existence, are unable to attend Holy Worship on weekdays, this year’s Parish Slava in Akron was celebrated on Sunday, November 10.
Priests in vestments, children bouquets of flowers and faithful, warm-hearted people, at the door of the Church, greeted their Archpastor and Father, His Grace Bishop Irinej, Bishop of Eastern American.
Upon entering the beautifully arranged Church, Bishop Irinej, together with the clergy, officiated the Divine Liturgy.
According to the Gospel reading, the Bishop gave his interpretation from the depths of his heart and soul.
A large number of the faithful received Holy Communion, which in particular contributed to the Eucharistic joy.
Following the Prayer Behind the Ambo, His Grace and the Clergy exited the Church to the outside entrance of the Church to bless the newly raised monument. This monument is dedicated to all Serbian people, who were innocent victims, that do not have a burial place or anyone to pray or light candles for them.
Upon returning into the Church, the blessed Slava Gifts prepared by the Kumovi were blessed by His Grace Bishop Irinej and the Clergy.
The festive table of love was prepared by the blessing given in the Church.
This year’s Kumovi are Goran and Vanja Zoric.
For next year, Slobodan and Sladjana Marinkovic have been chosen to be Kumovi.
During the banquet, the Bishop honored the following deserving individuals with His Gramata: Geraldine Ostich, Michael Ostich, Milorad Jovic, Miodrag Stankovic, and Mr. Mario Jokic, who made the monument, receiving a Letter of Gratitude from the Church Community.
In his welcoming speech during the banquet, Father Dragan Goronjic thanked the Bishop for his visit and blessings today, and spoke of the feats and sacrifices of our Serbian people, during the wars, and even of those Serbs who came to Akron 100 years ago and in difficult times for Serbs they decided to take ships from their homeland as helpless Serbian people, however, many of them never made it to Serbia because their ships were sunk and their bodies were gone. May the Church of God never forget them, Father Dragan noted, is also witnessing the erection of a monument which Bishop Irinej blessed and which was erected in honor of these brave people, whose names are not known. During his speech, Father Dragan also read various texts and passages that witness the suffering of our people throughout history. He noted that this event is also made more complete by the fact that we are in the year when our Holy Church celebrates eight centuries of its Autocephaly. Also, the Slava Host referred to the works and life of St. Demetrius, who with his life leaves an indelible mark and example to all of us who are called Christ’s children.
Father Dragan gifted wonderful insignias, the Cross and Panagia, as a sign of appreciation and gratitude to His Grace Bishop Irinej for his canonical visit, for His Grace is the host of all the Parishes of our Diocese and is also a good father who cares for his spiritual children.
At the Conclusion of the Celebration, Bishop Irinej greeted everyone present. He thanked everyone for helping the life and work of this Church community, whose works are visible and can never be hidden. The Bishop also spoke emotionally about the life of Saint Demetrius and the respect of his cult with the Serbs, which was transmitted through the great and wonderful enlighteners Cyril and Methodius. His Grace called on all believers of this parish to continue to assist their priest in the building of this congregation, so that they can proudly say that they are children of Saint Sava, who gave our Church the greatest gift – Autocephaly, which is celebrated this year for the 800th time.
As part of the celebration of Parish Slava, the film Тихи кутак Христов (о Светом Мардарију) “The Silent Corner of Christ” (about Saint Mardarije) was shown, directed by Radisav Jevric, was produced and produced by the Ostrog Monastery.
It truly was a blessed and unforgettable day in the life of this parish.
May all Glory and Thanks be given to God!
Fr. Maksim (Ilic)
Serbs, Yours Will Not Forget You
That knot, the knot of torment and bitterness
all these summers and winters…. chests tightening,
and it did not… ..time did not heal wounds,
with each year, it gets even harder.
Hope disappeared; how fists are squeezed like wings,
hope is the last one to die ……… .so they say;
to live your lives somewhere hidden,
and to us about your disappearances we are only lied to.
It’s hard to admit to yourself
to know that you are no longer here,
but neither our love nor our longing
washed away by storms, neither winds nor heavy rain.
Oh how they just push hard
this stifling burden of sadness and pain,
which has broken many hearts for years,
that you have no grave anywhere for yourself.
Somewhere far away, are your earthly remains,
In the meadows, hills, rivers and forests,
but you have long since ascended to heavenly heights
and found eternal rest to wounded souls.
Look down here towards us,
to the Holy Cross standing here,
there will be an earthly home for you
and here will these verses of mine live for you.
In front of the Church of the Holy Martyr St. Demetrius,
in one, only seemingly, distant Ohio,
faithful people have raised this memorial for you,
and their prayers are now in heaven.
As if all of your mounds are here,
For you will candles be lit here,
tired bones will peacefully sleep,
because your Serbs will not forget you.
— Source: Diocese of Eastern Diocese & spc.rs