Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!
THE SV OICE .G OF
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
It’s Spring—New life all around and time for new beginnings.Time to celebrate Christianity’s most important event—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Time to rededicate ourselves to the Lord. Time to become true representatives of Jesus Christ. You don’t need to tell anyone; because if you are truly representing Christ, it will show. You won’t need to be asked to serve your Church, you will do it automatically. It is also time to think about one of our most precious assets, our children. They are our responsibility and our future. We are told to train them in the Lord, and when they are grown, they will not forget this training. Our children belong in Church on Sundays, and they will want to come if you do. Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North & South America 3025 Denver Street • San Diego, CA 92117 telephone: (619)276-5827 web: http://saintgeorgeinsd.com
Church Officers & Staff PARISH PRIEST
V. Rev. Protopresbyter Bratislav Krsic email: email@example.com PARISH DEACON
Rev. Deacon Paul Germain (on bishop-approved sabbatical) CHURCH OFFICE VOLUNTEER
Dorothy Vukotich PRESIDENT
Nemanja Selezan VICE PRESIDENT
Vladan Trifunovic TREASURER
Linda Alemany SECRETARY
Ana Miletic-Sedy MEMBERS-AT-LARGE
Toma Jovanovic, Vojkan Popovic, Jeffrey Wilgus, Dusan Selezan STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY
Toma Jovanovic AUDITING BOARD
Miro Copic, President; Sean Wright, Dusanka Urosevic TUTORS/VESTRYMEN
Mico Lukic, Jeffrey Wilgus, George Skaljac, Vojkan Popovich, Miro Copic, Milan Miljkovic S.S.S. ST. GEORGE CHOIR
Velimir Jovanovic, President CIRCLE OF SERBIAN SISTERS (KOLO Sestara)
Snezana Pantovich and Bojana Rajkovic Co-Presidents CHURCH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
Mira Jovanovic MORAVA FOLKLORE ENSEMBLE (SENIOR)
Dobrila Undheim, Director ADULT ORTHODOX FELLOWSHIP
Nemanja Selezan VOICE OF ST. GEORGE
Marsha Jovanovic, Editor (619)988-0650 • FAX (619)588-5767 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Srdjan Dragic, Cover
Thank you to PeeWee Morava for dancing on Savindan and a special thank you to their dedicated and outstanding instructor Joanna Aud. PeeWee kolo is always eager for new members. Practices are Sundays after lunch (1pm). Contact Joanna Aud or Tia Ducich for info (email@example.com). In the picture, front: Filip Jovanovic, Karolina Miletic-Sedy, Maksim Krimerman, Grace Briscoe; back: Joanna Aud, Milos Vuskovic, Natalija Ducich, Isidora Vuskovic, Luke Ducich.
In this issue... The Most Celebrated Paschal Sermon Introduction to The Jesus Prayer On Fasting Our ministry in the Church today My dear fellow co-workers in Jesus Christ Red Eggs at Pascha (Easter) Themes of each Sunday of the Great Lent CHURCH CALENDAR 2014 Sweet 16 Birthday Party for Vesna Vasic News from your Kolo Sestara St George Choir MORAVA! Stewardship List—Adults, as of March 5, 2014 Stewardship as Christian Concept Treasurer’s Report 2013 Director Srđan Golubović and Krugovi in San Diego
3 4 6 7 8 10 10 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27
Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
The Most Celebrated Paschal Sermon Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord! Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward; If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
Христос васкрсе! Ваистину васкрсе! Hristos vaskrse! Vaistinu vaskrse!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
His flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he said, "You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."
And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay. For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that toiled from the first.
Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows. He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord! First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!
To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!
Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Every Easter Orthodox churches around the world read this sermon by John Chrysostom (349-407), the early church's famed preacher and archbishop of Constantinople at the great Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia).
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it. He destroyed Hades when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 3
Introduction to The Jesus Prayer Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.
The Jesus Prayer, or the Prayer of the Heart, centers on the Holy Name itself. It may be said in its entirety: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner;” it may be changed to “us sinners” or to other persons named, or it may be shortened. The power lies in the name of Jesus; thus “Jesus,” alone, may fulfill the whole need of the one who prays. The Prayer goes back to the New Testament and has had a long, traditional use. The method of contemplation based upon the Holy Name is attributed to St Simeon, called the “New Theologian” (949-1022). When he was 14 years old, St. Simeon had a vision of heavenly light in which he seemed to be separated from his body. Amazed, and overcome with an overpowering joy, he felt a consuming humility, and cried, borrowing the Publican’s prayer (Luke 18:13), “Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me.” Long after the vision had disappeared, the great joy returned to St. Simeon each time he repeated the prayer; and he taught his disciples to worship likewise. The prayer evolved into its expanded form: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.” In this guise it has come down to us from generation to generation of pious monks and laymen. The invocation of the Holy Name is not peculiar to the Orthodox Church but is used by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Protestants, though to a lesser degree. On Mount Sinai and Athos the monks worked out a whole system of contemplation based upon this simple prayer, practiced in complete silence. These monks came to be known as “Quietists” (in Greek: Hesychasts). St. Gregory Palamas (1296-1359), the last of the great Church Fathers, became the exponent of the Hesychasts. He won, after a long drawn out battle, an irrefutable place for the Jesus Prayer and the Quietists within the Church. In the 18th century when tsardom hampered monas-
ticism in Russia, and the Turks crushed Orthodoxy in Greece, the Neamtzu monastery in Moldavia (Romania) became one of the great centers for the Jesus Prayer. The Prayer is held to be so outstandingly spiritual because it is focused wholly on Jesus: all thoughts, striving, hope, faith, and love are outpoured in devotion to God the Son. It fulfills two basic injunctions of the New Testament. In one, Jesus said: “I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16: 23, 24). In the other precept we find St. Paul's injunction to pray without ceasing, (1. Thess. 5:17). Further, it follows Jesus' instructions upon how to pray (which He gave at the same time He taught His followers the Lord's Prayer): “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:6). And Jesus taught that all impetus, good and bad, originates in men's hearts. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). Upon these and many other precepts of the New Testament as well as the Old, the Holy Fathers, even before St Simeon, based their fervent and simple prayer. They developed a method of contemplation in which unceasing prayer became as natural as breathing, following the rhythmic cadence of the heart beat. All roads that lead to God are beset with pitfalls because the enemy (Satan) ever lies in wait to trip us up. He naturally attacks most assiduously when we are bent on finding our way to salvation, for that is what he most strives to hinder. In mystical prayer the temptations we encounter exceed all others in danger; because our thoughts are on a higher level, the allurements are proportionally VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 4
subtler. Someone said that “mysticism started in mist and ended in schism”; this cynical remark, spoken by an unbeliever, has a certain truth in it. Mysticism is of real spiritual value only when it is practiced with absolute sobriety. At one time a controversy arose concerning certain Quietists who fell into excessive acts of piety and fasting because they lost the sense of moderation upon which our Church lays so great a value. We need not dwell upon misuses of the Jesus Prayer, except to realize that all exaggerations are harmful and that we should at all times use self-restraint. “Practice of the Jesus Prayer is the traditional fulfillment of the injunction of the Apostle Paul to ‘pray always:' it has nothing to do with the mysticism which is the heritage of pagan ancestry.” The Orthodox Church is full of deep mystic life which she guards and encompasses with the strength of her traditional rules thus her mystics seldom go astray. The 'ascetical life' is a life in which 'acquired' virtues, i.e., virtues resulting from a personal effort, only accompanied by that general grace which God grants to every good will, prevail. The ‘mystical life’ is a life in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit are predominant over human efforts, and in which 'infused' virtues are predominant over the 'acquired' ones; the soul has become more passive than active. Let us use a classical com-parison. Between the ascetic life, that is, the life in which human action predominates, and the mystical life, that is, the life in which God's action predominates, there is the same difference as between rowing a boat and sailing it; the oar is the ascetic effort, the sail is the mystical passivity which is unfurled to catch the divine wind.
The Jesus Prayer is the core of mystical prayer, and it can be used by anyone, at any time. There is nothing mysterious about this (let us not confuse “mysterious” with “mystic”). We start by following the precepts and examples frequently given by our Lord. First, go aside into a quiet place: “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile”
(Mark 6:31); “Study to be quiet” (I Thess. 4: 11); then pray in secret— alone and in silence. The phrases “to pray in secret, alone and in silence” need, I feel, a little expanding. “Secret” should be understood as it is used in the Bible: for instance, Jesus tells us to do our charity secretly—not letting the left hand know what the right one does. We should not parade our devotions, nor boast about them. “Alone” means to separate ourselves from our immediate surroundings and disturbing influences. As a matter of fact, never are we in so much company as when we pray “. . . seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. . .” (Hebrews 12:1). The witnesses are all those who pray: Angels, Archangels, saints and sinners, the living and the dead. It is in prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer, that we become keenly aware of belonging to the living body of Christ. In “silence” implies that we do not speak our prayer audibly. We do not even meditate on the words; we use them only to reach beyond them to the essence itself. In our busy lives this is not easy, yet it can be done—we can each of us find a few minutes in which to use a prayer consisting of only a few words, or even only one. This prayer should be repeated quietly, unhurriedly, thoughtfully. Each thought should be concentrated on Jesus, forgetting all else, both joys and sorrows. Any stray thought, however good or pious, can become an obstacle. When you embrace a dear one you do not stop to meditate how and why you love—you just love wholeheartedly. It is the same when spiritually we grasp Jesus the Christ to our heart. If we pay heed to the depth and quality of our love, it means that we are preoccupied with our own reactions, rather than giving ourselves unreservedly to Jesus —holding nothing back. Think the prayer as you breathe in and out; calm both mind and body, using as rhythm the heartbeat. Do not search for words, but go on repeating the Prayer, or Jesus' name alone, in love and adoration. That is ALL! Strange—in this little there is more than all!
It is good to have regular hours for prayer and to retire whenever possible to the same room or place, possibly before an icon. The icon is loaded with the objective presence of the One depicted, and thus greatly assists our invocation. Orthodox monks and nuns find that to use a rosary helps to keep the attention fixed. Or you may find it best quietly to close your eyes—focusing them inward. The Jesus Prayer can be used for worship and petition; as intercession, invocation, adoration, and as thanksgiving. It is a means by which we lay all that is in our hearts, both for God and man, at the feet of Jesus. It is a means of communion with God and with all those who pray. The fact that we can train our hearts to go on praying even when we sleep, keeps us uninterruptedly within the community of prayer. This is no fanciful statement; many have experienced this life-giving fact. We cannot, of course, attain this continuity of prayer all at once, but it is achievable; for all that is worthwhile we must “. . . run with patience the race that is set before us . . .” (Hebrews 12:1). I had a most striking proof of uninterrupted communion with all those who pray when I lately underwent surgery. I lay long under anesthesia. “Jesus” had been my last conscious thought, and the first word on my lips as I awoke. It was marvelous beyond words to find that although I knew nothing of what was happening to my body I never lost cognizance of being prayed-for and of praying myself. After such an experience one no longer wonders that there are great souls who devote their lives exclusively to prayer.
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Prayer has always been of very real importance to me, and the habit formed in early childhood of morning and evening prayer has never left me; but in the practice of the Jesus Prayer I am but a beginner. I would, nonetheless, like to awaken interest in this prayer because, even if I have only touched the hem of a heavenly garment, I have touched it— and the joy is so great I would share it with others. It is not every man's way of prayer; you may not find in it the same joy that I find, for your way may be quite a different one—yet equally bountiful. In fear and joy, in loneliness and companionship, it is ever with me. Not only in the silence of daily devotions, but at all times and in all places. It transforms, for me, frowns into smiles; it beautifies, as if a film had been washed off an old picture so that the colors appear clear and bright, like nature on a warm spring day after a shower. Even despair has become attenuated and repentance has achieved its purpose. When I arise in the morning, it starts me joyfully upon a new day. When I travel by air, land, or sea, it sings within my breast. When I stand upon a platform and face my listeners, it beats encouragement. When I gather my children around me, it murmurs a blessing. And at the end of a weary day, when I lay me down to rest, I give my heart over to Jesus: "(Lord) into thy hands I commend my spirit". I sleep—but my heart as it beats prays on: “JESUS.” H.R.H. Princess Ileana of Romania
On Fasting Fasting is a medicine. But medicine, as beneficial as it is, becomes useless because of the inexperience of the user. He has to know the appropriate time that the medicine should be taken and the right amount of medicine and the condition of the body which is to take it, the weather conditions and the season of the year and the appropriate diet of the sick and many other things. If any of these things are overlooked, the medicine will do more harm than good. So, if one who is going to heal the body needs so much accuracy, when we care for the soul and are concerned about healing it from bad thoughts, it is necessary to examine and observe everything with every possible detail. Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Therefore, whoever limits the fast to the deprivation of food, he is the one who, in reality, abhors and ridicules the fast. Are you fasting? Show me your fast with your works. Which works? If you see someone who is poor, show him mercy. If you see an enemy, reconcile with him. If you see a friend who is becoming successful, do not be jealous of him! If you see a beautiful woman on the street, pass her by. In other words, not only should the mouth fast, but the eyes and the legs and the arms and all the other parts of the body should fast as well. Let the hands fast, remaining clean from stealing and greediness. Let the legs fast, avoiding roads which lead to sinful sights. Let the eyes fast by not fixing themselves on beautiful faces and by not observing the beauty of others. You are not eating meat, are you? You should not eat debauchery with your eyes as well. Let your hearing also fast. The fast of hearing is not to accept bad talk against others and sly defamations. Let the mouth fast from disgraceful and abusive words, because, what gain is there when, on the one hand we avoid eating chicken and fish and, on the other, we chew up and consume our brothers? He who condemns and blasphemes is as if he has eaten brotherly meat, as if he has bitten into the flesh of his fellow man. It is becuase of this that Paul frightened us, saying: “If you chew up and consume one another, be careful that you do not annihilate yourselves.” You did not thrust your teeth into the flesh (of your neighbor) but you thrust bad talk in his soul; you wounded it by spreading untruth, causing great damage both to yourself, to him, and to many others… St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople
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Our ministry in the Church today The beginning of another calendar year presents us with the opportunity to reflect on the life and mission of the Church in our modern society; moreover, particularly how this mission is carried out on the local parish level with all imminent opportunities and challenges. One of the collective gatherings in the parish to reevaluate the ministries and plan for the future work of God’s Church is the Annual Assembly. It is at this time of the year that God’s people gather around their parish priest and lay leaders to carry out the work they have been entrusted with by God Himself. This understanding that it is His work that we do is essential in the life of the parish. The Church is the Body of Christ. The Church is the foretaste and the realization of the kingdom of God. That is why the Liturgy as the central service of the Church begins with the words: Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… Furthermore, it is of vital importance for one’s participation in the Liturgy—the common work of God’s chosen people “ordained” by the virtue of baptism to proclaim the Kingdom of God to the world, to be there on time to hear this very proclamation of the Blessed Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is therefore this participation in the Kingdom of God that is the main work of God’s Church or the local parish. Moreover, it is through and in this participation that we attain the true knowledge of God that leads a person to a true freedom in proclaiming Him to the world. In other words, if we believe that we possess the true knowledge of God, then that very knowledge itself will freely lead us into the next level of parish ministry and spiritual life, and that is carrying out of the very commission of Christ our Lord: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them … (Matthew 28:19).
This aspect of the Church life must unequivocally be a concern of the entire local Church, but most especially those who assist the priest in the ministries of their local parish, that is the members of the parish council. If someone does not possess this understanding of the Church life, it is better to allow others who do to minister and allow time for selfimprovement and growth through educational opportunities in the parish, diocese, and the sacramental life of the Church. The end result of this approach to the ministries in a parish is one that facilitates her transformation and growth. All those often times legitimate concerns about budget and daily operation of the parish would be answered through and in this missionary impetus of the community. We must be mindful among other things that there can never be a separation between ongoing administration of the parish and her liturgical life. Both aspects of the Church life on the local parish level are a part of the ongoing ministry of the Church as the living organism in route to the Kingdom of God. As such it has many historical and mundane realities to deal with, but the Church does so guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The administration of the parish, or as often called the business of the parish, must be managed in such a way that it supports the mission and ministries of the Church. Over the centuries, the Church has survived all regimes and corporations led by many talented and well-educated businessmen. But, as history teaches us, their motto was to control, subjugate, and bottom line profit. These undertakings are foreign to the Orthodox Church. She is guided by the Holy Spirit and her mission is to keep, proclaim, and practice the Kingdom of VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 7
God on earth leading people into eschaton—the future life. The clergy and laity working together as the freely-willed gathering of Orthodox Christians form the local community with the blessing of their local canonical bishop. The Church is constituted by the people of God. In a vibrant Orthodox parish every member participates in the Liturgy and in reality has his or her place in the Church; the feeling of alienation is totally foreign to those members. The parish is their family that gathers every Sunday and Feast day for a Eucharistic banquet. There they get their spiritual sustenance, healing and inspiration to proclaim the risen Lord to their neighbors. Alas, this transformation can be a possession of every local parish. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. (II Corinthians 8:12)
Protopresbyter Bratso Krsic
C E L E B R AT I O N * D E D I C AT I O N * P R O G R E S S * V I S I O N My dear fellow co-workers in Jesus Christ Hristos se javi! God has manifested Himself! Greetings to you all during these Holy Days of the Theophany of our Lord, I pray that the new year of our Lord, 2014 be a blessed and fruitful time for all of us and our entire St. George parish family! As we look ahead at the opportunities in the months and years ahead, let us first of all express our gratitude to the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One God, for the many great things that have happened here. All of which inspires in us the optimism that we are given in Christ. As He Himself promises us, with faith we know we can accomplish great things and even that which appears to be impossible. Thank you for all that you do to make Saint George a parish of faith and love. You and your families are in my prayers. I ask for your prayers as well. May the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you! Liturgical Life. The reality in our parish is that we have room for improvement when it comes to liturgical participation, especially on major feast days when they occur during the week. Even Sunday worship could be better. I am noticing more and more that Sunday is becoming less and less a day of Liturgical gathering and a family day and it is becoming more
and more a day of shopping, sports, and even work. This phenomenon is all around us affecting many communities. Only those parishes that are liturgically strong; i.e. children, youth, young adults and adults participate in the Liturgy by singing, serving, praying, etc., are able to resist this temptation. Those who do not resist it, lose the chance to see the transcendent meaning for themselves and their lives. So what is the answer? The answer is frequent attendance at the Church services, participation in the sacramental life of the Church, reading of the Scriptures and the Lives of Saints, making a pilgrimage to a monastery, etc. Christian Education. Orthodox Christian Education is an activity that should concern all of us; i.e., grandparents, parents, children, youth workers, teachers, neighbors, orthodox parishes, and our clergy. I am grateful to our Sunday school teachers and parents for their support and regular participation. Our Sunday School teachers for this school year are: • Anne Briscoe • Ana Miletic Sedy • Protinica Lisa Krsic
I thank them for their love and dedication to our parish education program. SOTAYA. The new program for this year is SOTAYA: With the Blessings of the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America and the support of the Central Church Council, we announce the reestablishment of the Serbian Orthodox Teachers and Youth Association. The purpose of this ministry is to unite young adults and youth members of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Dioceses throughout North and South America. It is a special forum in which people will be brought closer together through a ministry of faith and fellowship.
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Today’s societal norms and advancements in technology make this a complex and difficult time in history for young people to grow and be shaped into men and women without the bombardment of negative and destructive influences. Members of SOTAYA will be brought together through Church-related as well as social and cultural events. The three-fold purpose, orientation, and implementation of SOTAYA is designed to (1) reflect the Orthodox Christian Faith, Tradition, and Life in today’s society; (2) offer members opportunities to nurture and enhance relationships within this framework; and (3) encourage one another to collectively “commend ourselves and all our life to Christ, our God.” SOTAYA is a ministry to young adults, ages 18-35 towards their greater integration into the life of their parish. Often, young adults feel isolated or overlooked in their own parishes. The impact of rapidly-advancing technology, and particularly the rise of social media opportunities, cannot be discounted, as young adults begin finding their way, discovering their gifts, wondering how or if they fit into society and for that matter, the Church. SOTAYA is an opportunity to reach out to our young adults and give them a chance to connect with their peers as well as their faith. It is the spiritual arena where they have the opportunity to explore how to belong and participate more fully in the life of the Church in worship, in various ministries of the Church and in camaraderie with one another. Pilgrimage. This year our diocese is organizing a pilgrimage to Serbia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Mount Athos, for youth and young adults. It is my prayer that we as a parish send at least one representative from each group. More information is available on our parish and diocesan website. Culture and Heritage Programs. Our folklore groups: Morava Sr., Morava Jr., and PeeWees continue to promote our Serbian culture and heritage through folk
songs and dance. I am especially grateful to Morava seniors for having me visit them occasionally for a 15 minute spiritual reflection (questions and answers with Fr. Bratso). They have my full support, and I am grateful to all directors, choreographers, and parents for their participation: Dobrila Undheim, Tia Ducich, Marina Skendzic, and JoAnne Aud. Projects/Ministries Completed in 2013 • Served regular Liturgical services; home blessings and pastoral visits to the sick and hospitalized. • Sunday Matins/Jutrenje is now served regularly. • The Voice of St George published quarterly (Thank you to Marsha Jovanovic for production, editing, and writing; and Srdan Dragic for cover creation) and weekly bulletins. • Regular e-newsletters sent every Monday morning at 5:30am. • Our parish website is regularly updated: www.SaintGeorgeInSD.com • Parishioners and supporters now able to make a donation online through a secured account from the website. • Participated in the Diocesan Summer camp in Jackson, CA, July 25–29, 2011. • Offered two more semesters of Serbian language classes. • Served meals to the homeless on the third Wednesday of each month at God’s Extended Hand in downtown San Diego. • Sunday School related activities: Vrbica, Field trip, etc. • Our youth members participated in the Oratorical Festival of our diocese taking the second place. • Adult Bible studies were held on several Wednesdays during the year.
Scholarships. During the Vidovdan celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2013, we were able to once again award two scholarships to graduating high school students. The value of each scholarship was $1,000.00. The first scholarship – St George scholarship was initiated by St George Church Board president Vladan Trifunovic. This scholarship is to be awarded to a graduating high school student from St. George parish whose family is a regular steward. The second
one is Prof. Srbich annual ($1,000.00) scholarship awarded to graduating high school students of Serbian descent in the San Diego county area. The scholarship is awarded from the Prof. Srbich endowment established in his memory by his beloved family. Miro Copic continues to oversee this and other endowments of St George parish. Endowments are a great way to build a legacy for our parishioners and provide perpetual care for our parish. It is suggested that families consider their participation in establishing a legacy of their own by setting up an endowment with their family name. Book Review Group. The Book Review Group meets on Tuesday of each week. Everyone is welcome to join us for an evening of fellowship and informal conversation about one chapter per week from a book chosen for that particular month. So far we have read: • Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World • The Search for Truth on the Path of Reason • Our Thoughts Determine our Lives
The next book that we will read is: Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology. We serve an assortment of herbal teas (sometimes a glass of wine) with dessert. Father Bratso’s Diocesan & Central Church Activities • Frequently hosts regular San Diego Orthodox clergy meetings. • Director of the Education Department of our diocese. • Member of Liturgics, Sacred Music and Translation committee.
Stole Report 2013 • Baptisms 17 • Weddings 4 • Funerals 6 • Slavas 78 • Pastoral/hospital visitations 38 • Home blessing with TheophanyBogojavljenskom vodicom/holy water (some homes are blessed during a family’s slava celebrations) outside of slava celebration 32
Thanking God. It is always a privilege doing the work of God with all of you, my beloved parishioners, as together we strive to serve our Lord with our personal and corporate life, through humility, obedience, peace, patience, friendship, fellowship, and love for all. May the Lord bless our endeavors! I conclude by thanking God for blessing me with all of you. In our Lord Who has revealed Himself as the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
• Member of Pan-Orthodox and Interfaith Liaison of our diocese. • Member of National committees. • Editor of the Path of Orthodoxy. • Member of Communication Committee. • Member of Education Committee.
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Church Slava Feast of St. George, the Great Martyr Sunday, May 4, 2014
Red Eggs at Pascha (Easter) During Easter Day the egg stands as symbol of the resurrection of Christ, and is universally used as means of Christian greeting and present. The symbolical and church significance of the egg has its roots in the greatest antiquity. Long before Christianity, all the cultured nations of antiquity held the egg to be the symbol of life in all their beliefs and customs. According to heathen cosmogonies, the original world’s chaos was contained in an egg, which broke into two halves, the one forming the sky and the other the earth. Out of the lower part of the egg Came mother earth. Out of the upper part of the egg Arose the high vault of the sky.
From the fact that this idea is to be found amongst all nations, one has to conclude that it is a reflection of the primitive belief which constituted the religion of mankind in the remotest antiquity and then universally spread at the time of the dispersion of nations. With Christianity, the old belief receives new contents, and the egg receives a religious significance amongst the Christians. There exists a tradition which makes Mary Magdalene to be the originator of the custom of using red eggs on Easter day. After the Ascension of our Saviour, Mary Magdalene went to Rome to preach the Gospel and, appearing before the Emperor Tiberius, she offered him a red egg, saying: CHRIST IS RISEN. Thus was begun her preaching. Learning about this offering of Mary Magdalene, the early Christians imitated her, presenting each other with eggs. Hence, eggs began to be used by Christians in the earliest centuries as a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ and of the regeneration of Christians for a new and a better life along [with] it. The custom of presenting each other with red eggs was familiar to the Christians of the earliest Universal Church. The red color, which generally is used for Easter eggs, serves to remind us of the precious blood of God the Redeemer,
which was shed on the cross for the salvation of all men. The blessing of the eggs takes place after the morning Easter service. The breaking of the lenten fasting on Easter Sunday begins with eating the blessed eggs. Taken from “The Most Useful KNOWLEDGE for the Orthodox Russian-American Young People,” compiled by the Very Rev Peter G. Kohanik, 1932-1934.
After the Ascension, Mary Magdalene went to Rome to preach the Gospel and, appearing before the Emperor Tiberius, she offered him a red egg, saying: CHRIST IS RISEN! Themes of each Sunday of the Great Lent Each of the Sundays of Great Lent has its own special theme. In the course of Church history, almost each Lenten Sunday has obtained a second theme, a historical theme. Originally the Lenten fast was the time for catechumens to prepare for baptism and entry into the Church. The Sunday spiritual themes were part of the early Christian catechesis. Historical theme. The theme of the day is victory of the True Faith. "This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith" (1 John 5:4). Also, the icons of the saints bear witness that man, "created in the image and likeness of God" (Gen 1:26), becomes holy and godlike through the purification of himself as God's living image. The connection of the victory over iconoclasm with Lent is purely historical; the first Triumph of Orthodoxy took place on this particular Sunday. Spiritual theme. The first Sunday of Great Lent originally commemorated the Prophets such as Moses, Aaron, and Samuel. The Liturgy's alleluia verses and scripture readings appointed for the Sunday of Orthodoxy reflect this
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older usage. The Epistle reading is a completion of Hebrews 11:24-26, 3212:2. The yet-to-be-baptized catechumens of the early church heard the Epistle about the Old Testament men who lived by their faith in a promise whose fulfillment they did not see. After the righteous of the Old Testament are mentioned, the Epistle says: And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. The Gospel lesson is John 1:43-51, and it ends with a explanation of the something better of the Epistle: You will see greater things than these. And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. The catechumens of the early church, and the faithful preparing for Pascha today, are told that, with faith, they will see the inauguration of the new age, the fulfillment of all promises, and the manifestation of the Kingdom, through the Incarnation, in the Church.
2014 Great & Holy Week Services April 12
Lazarus Saturday 10:00 am Divine Liturgy 5:00 pm Vespers and Vrbica
PASCHA—EASTER CELEBRATION Sunday, April 20, 2014
Palm Sunday (ɐɜɟɬɢ) 9:30 am Matins 10:30 am Divine Liturgy 12:30 pm Lenten Luncheon
Resurrection Divine Liturgy: 10:00 am
Great & Holy Wednesday 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Presanctified Gifts 6:00 pm Confession 7:00 pm Holy Unction (ɋɜ. Ɍɚʁɧɚ ȳɟɥɟɨɫɜɟʄɟʃɚ)
Banquet: 12:30 pm Traditional Meal with all the trimmings. Music will be provided. Reservations are required—Deadline is April 13th Seating is Limited
Great and Holy Thursday 10:00 am Divine Liturgy 7:00 pm Matins & Passion Gospels
Adults: $25; Children 5-12: $10; Under 5: Free
Great and Holy Friday 10:00 am Decoration of Christ’s Tomb 7:00 pm Vespers/Burial Service with Lamentation Great and Holy Saturday 10:00 am Divine Liturgy 12:00 am (Midnight) Resurrection Matins Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ PASCHA—ȼɚɫɤɪɫ 10:00 am Divine Liturgy and Banquet
Resurrection Monday 10:00 am Divine Liturgy
Resurrection Tuesday 10:00 am Divine Liturgy at the Meeting of our Lord Monastery in Escondido
ɉȺɋɏȺ—ȼȺɋɄɊɋ ɇȿȾȿȴȺ, 20. ȺɉɊ 2014 10:00 ɱɚɫɨɜɚ ɋȼȿɌȺ ɅɂɌɍɊȽɂȳȺ ȼɚɫɤɪɲʃɢ Ȼɚɧɤɟɬ ɉɨɫɥɟ ɋɜɟɬɟ Ʌɢɬɭɪɝɢʁɟ ɉɟɱɟʃɟ ɫɚ ɞɨɞɚɬɧɢɦ ʁɟɥɢɦɚ ɉɨɬɪɟɛɧɟ Ɋɟɡɟɪɜɚɰɢʁɟ Ɉɞɪɚɫɥɢ: $25 Ɣ Ⱦɟɰɚ 5-12: $10 Ɣ Ⱦɟɰɚ ɢɫɩɨɞ 5: Ȼɟɡɩɥɚɬɧɨ
Welcome! Ⱦɨɛɪɨ Ⱦɨɲɥɢ!
Great and Holy Week — Passion Week In the Orthodox Church the last week of Christ’s life is officially called Passion Week. In popular terminology it is called Holy Week. Each day is designated in the service books as “great and holy.” There are special services every day of the week, which are fulfilled in all churches. Earthly life ceases for the faithful as they “go up with the Lord to Jerusalem” (Matins of Great and Holy Monday). Each day of Holy Week has its own particular theme. • Monday is that of the sterile fig tree that yields no fruit and is condemned. • Tuesday the accent is on the vigilance of the wise virgins who, unlike their
foolish sisters, were ready when the Lord came to them. • Wednesday the focus is on the fallen woman who repents. Great emphasis is made in the liturgical services to compare the woman, a sinful harlot who is saved, to Judas, a chosen apostle who is lost. The one gives her wealth to Christ and kisses his feet; the other betrays Christ for money with a kiss.
On each of these three days the Gospel is read at the Hours, as well as at the Vespers when the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is served. The Old Testamental readings are from Exodus, Job, and the Prophets. The Gospel is also read at the Matins services, which are traditionally called the Bridegroom services because the general theme of each of these days is VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 11
the end of the world and the judgment of Christ. It is the common practice to serve the Bridegroom services at night. Behold, the bridegroom comes in the middle of the night and blessed is the servant whom he shall find watching, and unworthy the servant whom he shall find heedless. Take care then, O my soul, and be not weighed down by sleep that you will not be given over unto death and be excluded from the Kingdom. But rise up and call out: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou O God, by the Theotokos have mercy on us (Troparion of the First Three Days).
Continued on page 12
Continued from page 11. During the first three days of Holy Week, the Church prescribes that the entire Four Gospels be read at the Hours up to the point in each where the passion of Christ begins. Although this is not usually possible in parish churches, an attempt is sometimes made to read at least one complete Gospel, privately or in common, before Holy Thursday.
place, with minds lifted up, come, O ye faithful, let us eat with delight. (Ninth Ode of the Canon of Matins).
The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil is served on Holy Thursday in connection with Vespers. The long gospel of the Last Supper is read following the readings from Exodus, Job, Isaiah, and the first letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11). The following hymn
Thus, Christ the Son of God speaks to his apostles at the supper, and to all men who hear his words and believe in him and the Father who sent him:
Holy Thursday The vigil on the eve of Holy Thursday is dedicated exclusively to the Passover Supper, which Christ celebrated with his twelve apostles. The main theme of the day is the meal itself at which Christ commanded that the Passover of the New Covenant be eaten in remembrance of himself, of his body broken, and his blood shed for the remission of sins. In addition, Judas’ betrayal and Christ’s washing of his disciples feet is also central to the liturgical commemoration of the day.
Fear not, little flock, it is Your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Lk 12:32). You are those who have continued with me in my trials; as my Father appointed a Kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. (Lk 22:28-31).
In cathedral churches it is the custom for the bishop to re-enact the foot washing in a special ceremony following the Divine Liturgy. At the vigil of Holy Thursday, the Gospel of St Luke about the Lord’s Supper is read. At the Divine Liturgy the Gospel is a composite of all the evangelists’ accounts of the same event. The hymns and the readings of the day also all refer to the same central mystery. When Thy glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, then the impious Judas was darkened by the disease of avarice, and to the lawless judges he betrayed Thee, the Righteous Judge. Behold, O lover of money, this man because of avarice hanged himself. Flee from the insatiable desire which dared such things against the Master! O Lord who deals righteously with all, glory to Thee (Troparion of Holy Thursday). In the regions of the Master, at the Table of Immortality, in the high
tian Faith before his passion and death. On the contrary, the entire mission of Christ, and indeed the very purpose for the creation of the world in the first place, is so that God’s beloved creature, made in his own divine image and likeness, could be in the most intimate communion with him for eternity, sitting at table with him, eating and drinking in his unending kingdom.
replaces the Cherubic Hymn of the offertory of the liturgy, and serves as well as the Communion and Post-Communion Hymns. Of Thy mystical supper, O Son of God, accept me today a communicant, for I will not speak of Thy mystery to thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss, but like the thief will I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom.
The liturgical celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday is not merely the annual remembrance of the institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion. Indeed the very event of the Passover Meal itself was not merely the last-minute action by the Lord to “institute” the central sacrament of the ChrisVOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 12
In a real sense, therefore, it is true to say that the body broken and the blood spilled spoken of by Christ at his last supper with the disciples was not merely an anticipation and preview of what was yet to come; but that what was yet to come—the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven—came to pass precisely so that men could be blessed by God to be in holy communion with him forever, eating and drinking at the mystical table of his kingdom of which there will be no end. Thus the Mystical Supper of the Son of God that is continually celebrated in the Divine Liturgy of the Christian Church, is the very essence of what life in God’s Kingdom will be for eternity. Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God (Lk 14:15). Blessed are those who are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9).
Holy Friday Matins of Holy Friday are generally celebrated on Thursday night. The main feature of this service is the reading of twelve selections from the Gospels, all of which are accounts of the passion of Christ. The first of these twelve readings is Jn 13:31-18:1. It is Christ’s long discourse with his apostles that ends with the so-called high priestly prayer. The final gospel tells of the sealing of the tomb and the setting of the watch (Mt 27:62-66).
special icon which is painted on cloth (in Greek, epitaphios; in Slavonic, plaschanitsa) depicting the dead Saviour is placed on the altar table. In English this icon is often called the winding-sheet. Vespers begin as usual with hymns about the suffering and death of Christ. After the entrance with the Gospel Book and
The noble Joseph, when he had taken down Thy most pure body from the Tree, wrapped it in fine linen and anointed it with spices, and placed it in a new tomb (Troparion of Holy Saturday).
The twelve Gospel readings of Christ’s passion are placed between the various parts of the service. The hymnology is all related to the sufferings of the Saviour and borrows heavily from the Gospels and the prophetic scriptures and psalms. The Lord’s beatitudes are added to the service after the sixth gospel reading, and there is special emphasis given to the salvation of the thief who acknowledged Christ’s Kingdom. The Hours of Holy Friday repeat the Gospels of Christ’s passion with the addition at each Hour of readings from Old Testamental prophecies concerning men’s redemption, and from letters of Saint Paul relative to man’s salvation through the sufferings of Christ. The psalms used are also of a special prophetic character; e.g., Ps 2, 5, 22, 109, 139, et al. There is no Divine Liturgy on Good Friday for the same obvious reason that forbids the celebration of the Eucharist on the fasting days of Lent. Holy Saturday The first service belonging to Holy Saturday—called in the Church the Blessed Sabbath—is the Vespers of Good Friday. It is usually celebrated in the mid-afternoon to commemorate the burial of Jesus. Before the service begins, a “tomb” is erected in the middle of the church building and is decorated with flowers. Also a
After more hymns glorifying the death of Christ, while the choir sings the dismissal song of St Simeon, the priest vests fully in his dark-colored robes and incenses the winding-sheet which still lies upon the altar table. Then, after the Our Father, while the people sing the troparion of the day, the priest circles the altar table with the winding-sheet carried above his head and places it into the tomb for veneration by the faithful.
The Matins of Holy Saturday are usually celebrated on Friday night. They begin in the normal way with the singing of God is the Lord, the troparion The Noble Joseph, and the following troparia: When Thou didst descend to death O Life Immortal, Thou didst slay hell with the splendor of Thy Godhead! And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: O Giver of Life! Christ our God! Glory to Thee!
the singing of Gladsome Light, selections from Exodus, Job, and Isaiah 52 are read. An epistle reading from First Corinthians (1:18-31) is added, and the Gospel is read once more with selections from each of the four accounts of Christ’s crucifixion and burial. The prokeimena and alleluia verses are psalm lines, heard often already in the Good Friday services, prophetic in their meaning: They divided my garments among them and for my raiment they cast lots (Psalm 22:18). My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me (Ps 22:1). Thou hast put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep (Ps 88:6).
The angel standing by the grave cried out to the women: Myrrh is proper for the dead, but Christ has shown himself a stranger to corruption.
In place of the regular psalm reading the entire Psalm 119 is read with a verse praising the dead Saviour chanted between each of its lines. This particular psalm is the verbal icon of Jesus, the righteous man whose life is in the hands of God and who, therefore, cannot remain dead. The Praises, as the verses are called, glorify God as “the Resurrection and the Life,” and marvel at his humble condescension into death. There is in the person of Jesus Christ the perfect unification of the perfect love of man toward God and the perfect love of God toward man. It is this divine human love which is contemplated and praised Continued on page page 14.
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Continued from page 13 over the tomb of the Savior. As the reading progresses the Praises become shorter, and gradually more concentrated on the final victory of the Lord, thus coming to their proper conclusion: I long for Thy salvation, O Lord, Thy law is my delight (Ps 119:174). The mind is affrighted at Thy dread and strange burial. Let me live, that I may praise Thee, and let Thy ordinances help me (119:175).
of his own creation and opening the graves: This is the most blessed Sabbath on which Christ sleeps, but to rise again on the third day (Kontakion and Oikos).
Again, the canon ends on the final note of the victory of Christ. Lament not for me, Mother, beholding me in the grave, the son whom you have born in seedless conception, for I will arise and be glorified, and will exalt with glory,
The women with spices came early at dawn to anoint Thee. I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek Thy servant, for I do not forget Thy commandments (119:176). By Thy resurrection grant peace to the Church and salvation to Thy people!
After the final glorification of the Trinity, the church building is lighted and the first announcement of the women coming to the tomb resounds through the congregation as the celebrant censes the entire church. Here for the first time comes the clear proclamation of the good news of salvation in Christ’s resurrection. The canon song of Matins continues to praise Christ’s victory over death by his own death, and uses each of the Old Testamental canticles as a prefigurative image of man’s final salvation through Jesus. Here for the first time there emerges the indication that this Sabbath this particular Saturday on which Christ lay dead—is truly the most blessed seventh day that ever existed. This is the day when Christ rests from his work of recreating the world. This is the day when the Word of God “through whom all things were made” (Jn 1:3) rests as a dead man in the grave, saving the world
unceasingly as God, all those who with faith and love glorify you (Ninth Ode of the Canon).
As more verses of praise are sung, the celebrant again vests fully in his somber vestments and, as the great doxology is chanted, he once more censes the tomb of the Savior. Then, while the congregation with lighted candles continually repeats the song of the Thrice Holy, the faithful—led by their pastor carrying the Gospel Book with the winding-sheet of Christ held over his head—go in procession around the outside of the church building. This procession bears witness to the total victory of Christ over the powers of darkness and death. The whole universe is cleansed, redeemed and re stored by the entrance of the Life of the World into death. As the procession returns to the church building, the troparia are sung once again, and the prophecy of Ezekiel about
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the “dry bones” of Israel is chanted with great solemnity: And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, O my people. And I will put my spirit within you and you shall live. ...(Ezek 37:114).
With the victorious lines of the psalms calling God to arise, to lift up his hands, to scatter his enemies and to let the righteous rejoice; and with the repeated singing of Alleluia, the letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians is read: “Christ our paschal lamb has been sacrificed” (1 Cor 5:6-8). The Gospel about the sealing of the tomb is read once more, and the service is ended with intercession and benediction. The Vespers and Matins of the Blessed Sabbath, together with the Divine Liturgy which follows, form a masterpiece of the Orthodox liturgical tradition. These services are not at all a dramatic reenactment of the historical death and burial of Christ. Neither are they a kind of ritual reproduction of scenes of the Gospel. They are, rather, the deepest spiritual and liturgical penetration into the eternal meaning of the saving events of Christ, viewed and praised already with the full knowledge of their divine significance and power. The Church does not pretend, as it were, that it does not know what will happen with the crucified Jesus. It does not sorrow and mourn over the Lord as if the Church itself were not the very creation which has been produced from his wounded sides and from the depths of his tomb. All through the services the victory of Christ is contemplated and the resurrection is proclaimed. For it is indeed only in the light of the victorious resurrection that the deepest divine and eternal meaning of the events of Christ’s passion and death can be genuinely grasped, adequately appreciated and properly glorified and praised.
On Holy Saturday itself, Vespers are served with the Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great. This service already belongs to the Passover Sunday. It begins in the normal way with the evening psalm, the litany, the hymns following the evening Psalm 141 and the entrance with the singing of the vesperal hymn, Gladsome Light. The celebrant stands at the tomb in which lies the winding-sheet with the image of the Savior in the sleep of death. Following the evening entrance which is made with the Book of the Gospels, fifteen readings from the Old Testament scriptures are read, all of which relate to God’s work of creation and salvation which has been summed up and fulfilled in the coming of the predicted Messiah. Besides the readings in Genesis about creation, and the passover-exodus of the Israelites in the days of Moses in Exodus, there are selections from the prophecies of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zephaniah, and Jonah as well as from Joshua and the Books of Kings, the Canticles of Moses, and of the Three Youths found in Daniel are chanted as well. After the Old Testament readings the celebrant intones the normal liturgical exclamation for the singing of the Thrice-Holy Hymn, but in its place the baptismal verse from Galatians is sung: As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia (Gal 3:27). As usual in the Divine Liturgy the epistle reading follows at this point. It is the normal baptismal selection of the Orthodox Church (Rom 6:3-11). If we have been united with him in a death like his we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom 6:5).
At this time the royal gates are closed, and the celebrants and altar servers change their robes from the dark vestments of the passion into the bright vestments of Christ’s victory over death. At this time all vestings of the church appointments are also changed into the color signifying Christ’s triumph over sin, the devil and death. This revesting takes place while the people sing the
verses of Psalm 82: Arise O Lord and judge the earth, for to Thee belong all the nations. After the solemn chanting of the psalm verses, to which are often added the hymn glorifying Christ as the New Passover, the Living Sacrifice who is slain, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; the celebrants emerge from the altar to announce over the tomb
Before him go the ranks of angels: all the principalities and powers, the many-eyed cherubim and the sixwinged seraphim, covering their faces, singing the hymn: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
In place of the Hymn to the Theotokos, the ninth ode of the matinal canon is sung once again: Lament not for me, Mother… for I will arise (see above). The communion hymn is the line of the psalm: The Lord awoke as one asleep, and arose saving us (Ps 78:65)
The Divine Liturgy is fulfilled in the communion with him who lies dead in his human body, and yet is enthroned eternally with God the Father; the one who, as the Creator and Life of the World, destroys death by his life creating death. His tomb—which still stands in the center of the church—is shown to be, as the Liturgy calls it: the fountain of our resurrection. Originally this Liturgy was the Easter baptismal liturgy of Christians. It remains today as the annual experience for every Christian of his own dying and rising with the Lord. of Christ the glad tidings of his victorious triumph over death and his command to the apostles: Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded. ... (Mt 28:1.20). This Gospel text is also the reading of the baptismal ceremony of the Orthodox Church.
The Divine Liturgy then continues in the brilliance of Christ’s destruction of death. The following song replaces the Cherubic Hymn of the offertory: Let all mortal flesh keep silent and in fear and trembling stand, pondering nothing earthly-minded. For the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords comes to be slain, to give himself as food to the faithful.
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But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him (Rom 6:8-9). Christ lies dead, yet he is alive. He is in the tomb, but already he is “trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” There is nothing more to do now but to live through the evening of the Blessed Sabbath on which Christ sleeps, awaiting the midnight hour when the Day of our Lord will begin to dawn upon us, and the night full of light will come when we will proclaim with the angel: “He is risen, he is not here; see the tomb where they laid him” (Mk 16:6). Continued on page 16
Continued from page 15.
Easter Sunday: The Holy Pascha A little before midnight on the Blessed Sabbath the Nocturne service is chanted. The celebrant goes to the tomb and removes the windingsheet. He carries it through the royal doors and places it on the altar table where it remains for forty days until the day of Ascension.
This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
The people re-enter the church building and continue the service of Easter Matins. which is entirely sung.
Following the canon, the paschal verses are sung, and at the conclusion of the Easter Matins, the Easter Hours are also sung. In general, nothing is simply read in the Church services of Easter: everything is fully sung with the joyful melodies of the feast.
At midnight the Easter procession begins. The people leave the church building singing: The angels in heaven, O Christ our Savior, sing of Thy resurrection. Make us on earth also worthy to hymn Thee with a pure heart. The procession circles the church building and returns to the closed doors of the front of the church. This procession of the Christians on Easter night recalls the original baptismal procession from the darkness and death of this world to the night and the life of the Kingdom of God. It is the procession of the holy passover, from death unto life, from earth unto heaven, from this age to the age to come which will never end. Before the closed doors of the church building, the resurrection of Christ is announced. Sometimes the Gospel is read which tells of the empty tomb. The celebrant intones the blessing to the “holy, consubstantial, life-creating and undivided Trinity.” The Easter troparion is sung for the first time, together with the verses of Psalm 68 which will begin all of the Church services during the Easter season. Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee from before his face! Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. (Troparion)
It is the day of resurrection ! Let us be illumined for the feast! Pascha! The Pascha of the Lord! From death unto life, and from earth unto heaven has Christ our God led us! Singing the song of victory: Christ is risen from the dead! (First Ode of the Easter Canon)
The canon hymns of Christ’s resurrection. ascribed to St John of Damascus, are chanted with the troparion of the feast as the constantly recurring refrain. The building is decorated with flowers and lights. The vestments are the bright robes of the resurrection. The Easter icon stands in the center of the church showing Christ destroying the gates of hell and freeing Adam and Eve from the captivity of death. It is the image of the Victor “trampling down death by his own death.” There is the continual singing and censing of the icons and the people, with the constant proclamation of the celebrant: Christ is risen! The faithful continually respond: Indeed he is risen!
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At the end of the Hours, before the Divine Liturgy, the celebrant solemnly proclaims the famous Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom. This sermon is an invitation to all of the faithful to forget their sins and to join fully in the feast of the resurrection of Christ. Taken literally, the sermon is the formal invitation offered to all members of the Church to come and to receive Holy Communion, partaking of Christ, the Passover Lamb, whose table is now being set in the midst of the Church. In some parishes the sermon is literally obeyed, and all of the faithful receive the eucharistic gifts of the Passover Supper of Easter night. The Easter Divine Liturgy begins immediately with the singing once more of the festal troparion with the verses of Psalm 68. Special psalm verses also comprise the antiphons of the liturgy, through which the faithful praise and glorify the salvation of God: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Sing of his name, give glory to his praise. Let all the earth worship Thee and praise Thee! Let it praise Thy name, O most High!
That we may know Thy way upon the earth and Thy salvation among all nations. Let the people thank Thee, O God! Let all the people give thanks to Thee.
The troparion is repeated over and over again. The baptismal line from Galatians replaces the Thrice-Holy Hymn. The epistle reading is the first nine verses of the Book of Acts. The gospel reading is the first seventeen verses of the Gospel of St. John. The proclamation of the Word of God takes the faithful back again to the beginning, and announces God’s creation and re-creation of the world through the living Word of God, his Son Jesus Christ. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God… all things were made through him… In him was life and the life was the light of men. ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. .. we have beheld his glory, glory of the only-begotten Son of the Father, and from his fulness have we all received grace upon grace. ...(Jn 1:1-17).
The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom continues, crowned in holy communion with the Passover Lamb at his banquet table in God’s Kingdom. Again and again the troparion of the Resurrection is sung while the faithful partake of him “who was dead and is alive again” (Rev 2:8). In the Orthodox Church the feast of Easter is officially called Pascha, the word that means the Passover. It is the new Passover of the new and everlasting covenant foretold by the prophets of old. It is the eternal Passover from death to life and from earth to heaven. It is the Day of the Lord proclaimed by God’s holy
prophets, “the day which the Lord has made” for his judgment over all creation, the day of His final and everlasting victory. It is the Day of the Kingdom of God, tile day “which has no night” for “its light is the Lamb” (Rev 21:22-25). The celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church, therefore, is once again not merely an historical reenactment of the event of Christ’s Resurrection as narrated in the gospels. It is not a dramatic representation of the first Easter morning.” There is no “sunrise service” since the Easter Matins and the Divine Liturgy are celebrated together in the first dark hours of the first day of the week in order to give men the experience of the “new creation” of the world, and to allow them to enter mystically into the New Jerusalem that shines eternally with the glorious light of Christ, overcoming the perpetual night of evil and destroying the darkness of this mortal and sinful world: Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone upon you! Exult and be glad O Zion! Be radiant O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your son!
This is one of the main Easter hymns in the Orthodox Church. It is inspired by
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 17
Isaiah’s prophecy and the final chapters of the Book of Revelation, for it is exactly tile New Creation, the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City, the Kingdom of God, the Day of the Lord, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb with his Bride that is celebrated and realized and experienced in the Holy Spirit on the Holy Night of Easter in the Orthodox Church.
Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen! Join us on Easter Sunday April 20
CHURCH CALENDAR 2014 APRIL 6
Fifth Sunday of the Great Lent (Pan-Orthodox Vespers at St. George AOC )
Palm Sunday – Cveti
Great and Holy Friday
MORAVA Fund raiser — Bacon & Wine Tasting
Ascension of our Lord - Spasovdan
JUNE 8 13-15
Pentecost MORAVA Folkfest
Apostles Fast begins
Vidovdan Celebration and Honoring of Graduates
Diocesan Summer Camp; http://www.campstsava.org 7/13 Week One, 7/20 Week Two, 7/27 Week Three
Semi-Annual Stewardship meeting
Dormition Fast Begins
Dormition Feast Day
Diocesan Days Weekend at St. Sava Church in Jackson, CA - Church Closed
MORAVA Folklore Ensemble 2014/2015 Dance Season Begins
Sunday Church School begins
Talija Artistic Co. Belgrade Concert
St Stefan and Jelena (Stiljanovic)
Opolo Wine Harvest Festival
Nativity Fast Begins through Jan 6, 2015
St Nicholas - Serbian Children’s Day
Serbian Children’s Day
Serbian Mothers’ Day
New Year’s Eve (Gregorian Calendar)
For more information please call Fr. Bratso Krsic at 619-276-5827 or visit www.SaintGeorgeInSD.org
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 18
Church Family News Grandparents Julijana and Djordje Stojadinovic are happy to announce the birth of a grandson, Lucas Stojadinovic, born in October 2013, in Sacramento, to their son Petar and his wife Jasmina. Proud uncle and auntie are Dr. Alexander and Tanja Stojadinovic of Richmond, Virginia, and their son, Niko. Congratulations to the entire family, and much love to the new little Stojadinovic. St George Church is grateful for Julijana and Djordje’s generous contribution toward purchase of new chairs for the church hall when they served as kumovi for last year’s church slava.
Rade Plavsic autobiography published in Belgrade, Serbia What many of us only dream of doing, writing our life’s story and publishing it in a book, Rade Plavsic accomplished last year while on an extended stay in Serbia. Unfortunately, for those of us who cannot read Serbian, we will have to wait for the book’s translation into English to read it. Dug Put od Golubića do Kalifornije (Long Road from Golubić to California) describes the many different “chapters” of Rade’s life—born in a small town in Croatia in the midst of a terrible war, then spending his youth during the years of communist domination, and finally leaving Yugoslavia for a new life in California with his young family. Rade and his wife Jelena and their two children, Breda and Milan, came to San Diego in the 1980s through help from his aunt Milica Vasic and her son, the late Gojko Vasic. From there, Rade built his own engineering business, saw his son Milan become successful in the software business, now being a Vice President at Qualcomm with more than 600 people in his division, and daughter Breda becoming a successful psychiatrist for Kaiser Foundation. Both are married and have two children. Congratulations, Rade, for your wonderful story! Can’t wait to read it in English. Voice Editor
Sweet 16 Birthday Party for Vesna Vasic In memory of our beloved Ruja Vasic, who went to meet the Lord last year, a group of women from St George put on a wonderful 16th birthday party for Ruja’s young daughter, Vesna. Initiated by Melanie Milicevic, who said: We honor Vesna's Mother, Ruja, by coming together and becoming this “Village of Mothers” who support the Vasic Family at this difficult time in their lives. Vera Rakic is to thank for this wonderful idea and for bringing us together to give to a family who has always given back.
Attention Graduates! Send your bios & graduation photos to Father Bratso so you can be a part of our annual tribute in the Summer Voice to those completing high school, college, and graduate degrees
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 19
News from your Kolo Sestara We are proud to announce the election results of our annual Kolo meeting: • Co-presidents—Snezana Pantovic and Bojana Rajkovic • First Vice president— Ljubinka Plavsic • Second Vice president— Dusanka Amanovic • Treasurer—Christina Zuber • Secretary—Mira Jovanovic • Historian—Protinica Bozana Draskovich • Sunshine committee—Mira Jovanovic.
We also have asked Miro Copic to be our Auditor and Vesna Jovanovic to assist. As you can see, we have a few new officers on the Board. They are young women who we hope will strengthen and invigorate our efforts with fresh goals and ideas. Welcome Bojana, Christina, and Vesna. We would also like to thank the outgoing board members, in particular Protinica Lisa Krsic, for the love and dedication with which they performed their duties. The sisters voted on a night out at a local restaurant for February 27. The place of choice was Christopher’s on Congress in Old Town, which is owned and run by Christopher Tatalovich and his brother Paul. Despite the short notice, 12 ladies came on that Thursday night and enjoyed socializing and the small plate artisan food. (See photo on the next page.) We intend to repeat the excursion to some local restaurant after lent. The Sisters would also like to take trips to LA to the Getty /Norton Simon/ Huntington Gardens/Walt Disney Concert Hall/or to St . Paisius Monastery in Arizona. Actually our wish list may seem long, but we’re very open to other suggestions. Just let one of the board members know your idea. We would like to also thank all the ladies (and gentlemen) who have made our Sunday lunches so wonderful and varied. We have had an amazing variety of cui-
sines—Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Serbian, as well as American. We would invite others with knowledge and skill of other cuisines to sign up for cooking one Sunday. Who doesn’t love Mexican, Filipino, Romanian or Middle Eastern food? So sign up. We’re looking forward to other exciting new dining experiences. So thank you once again to those of you who have cooked the rich lunches you have provided, and thank you in advance to those of you who may sign up to cook in the future.The sign up list is on the serving window. We appreciate you all. Just an added note: we will reimburse you for the grocery expenses for the food prepared. You may want to know also that you can change the date of your luncheon by exchanging with someone else or in some cases donations may be given so that someone else would take your place that Sunday. The Sisters hosted a very successful Badnje Vece as usual. Thank you ever so much for your participation and donations. By the time you read this we will have helped the Church host the Sunday of Orthodoxy for all the Orthodox Parishes of San Diego by organizing the fellowship buffet following Vespers. Again, many thanks to all of you who continually give so selflessly. In reviewing our activities since the beginning of the year we would like to mention that we have given 5,000 dollars to the church for new doors for the church. We are also planning on making a donation toward the completion of the bar area. And for Easter, we have a special gift for the parish—new banquet chairs for the hall. There has been talk of getting new chairs for quite a few years. When Vera Giles was our Kolo president we earmarked a sum of money for the chairs and put that amount in an SNF account that earns much more interest than that which is available here. In addition we have received a sizable donations to the chair fund from the Stojadinovic family. Despite this, we will not be able buy all 400 chairs that we need. We will be asking for contributions for the remaining number of chairs. See if you
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 20
like the chairs at the Easter banquet, and perhaps you would then decide to donate for the purchase of a chair or for one for each member of your family! It is our wish to sincerely thank Stevo Basic for his patience and work on our new kitchen cabinets. He is donating all his labor and has waited for us to complete our plans on this project. We hope to have a new and more efficient look in our kitchen soon. Here are some more activities coming up for Kolo: A cookbook (Yes!) with all recipes followed by an acknowledgement of the cook/baker; home visits to parishioners who are unable to come to church; and participation in preparing and cooking on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at God’s Extended Hands (GEH). WE ARE ON FACEBOOK NOW— KoloSestara SanDiego, and we have email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So won’t you please send your recipes, let us know if you would like a visit from a couple of your sisters or know of someone who would benefit from a visit, or perhaps let us know that you would give a couple hours cooking or serving dinner at GEH. Finally, thank you to those who show up and simply say, “I want to join” or “How can I help?” Among those we will mention for now are Jadranka Bozinovska and Bojana Rajkovic. Thank you.We could also include Mico Lukich because he always pops into the kitchen to see if anyone needs a hand or advice. Hvala vam svima ! We the Kolo would like to continue having a vital presence in our church and to be all that our Lord asks us to be, and with your help we can do it- together ! Mira Jovanovic, Kolo Secretary
Easter Blessings to Everyone from Kolo Sestara St George Choir Members of St. George Choir performed with the other Orthodox choirs at the Sunday of Orthodoxy evening service held this year at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church. This panOrthodox choir was under the direction of Nazo Zakkak. Our Choir started rehearsals for the special songs we sing on the Good Friday and Resurrection services. This includes the fifteen-minute-long Tebe Odjejucagosja composed by Stevan St. Mokranjac in 1892 for the Good Friday service. Our Choir is probably the only choir in America that sings this beautiful but difficult song. We have been singing it since 1974 when our late member Bogdan Kusulja (Milanka Vlasovich's uncle) provided us with the music sheets and encouraged us to learn it. I think of him every time we sing this song.
Two new members recently joined our Choir: Christina Dukovich and Sammy Pantovic. We welcome them and wish that others will join us too. Please see our Choir Director Kate Thickstun or any member of our Choir if you are interested in joining our Choir. Velimir Jovanovic, Choir President
Our Vice President Rankin Fisher recently lost his brother David and our Choir sends its condolences and prays for David's soul.
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE â€˘ SPRING 2014 21
Our Thanks to the Choir The St. George choir continues to lead us in singing and beautifying our services. What would we do without them? Our sincere appreciation and prayers to all the members and especially our choir directors: Kate Thickstun, Pam Naughton, Dobrila Undheim, & Rankin Fisher.
MORAVA! Dear Friends and Supporters,
held, and we will give it another try next year January 2015. Although there were not a lot of people, those who were there had fun trying their hand at tablic and eating delicious fried smelts prepared by Miodrag, Vecki, and Stephan Miljkovic. Tournament players narrowed down to the last two with Serby Zivku winning the tournament and donating back half her winnings to Morava!
Morava has been busy, and the activities never seem to stop! As ambassadors of Our 50/50 fundraiser had an overwhelmSt George, Morava wrapped up February ing response, and tickets will be Sold with performing at St. Sava's Kolofest in Out. Only 200 tickets were printed. To San Gabriel and at two shows for the Opolo Vineyards and all of you who purNations of San Diego International chased tickets, we thank you. The money will help defray costs for our new Bosna Dance Festival. I am proud to say that costumes and our upcoming trip to CanMorava's most recent accomplishment ada. The drawing will be held at our was that it was adjudicated and included Bacon and Wine Tasting on May 17, in The PGK Dance Project Dance On 2014. The Bacon and Wine Tasting is a The Edge at the SD Artwalk in Little casual eveItaly. Morava will be the ning of only folklore group among BACON AND WINE TASTING tasting and contemporary and ballet May 17, 2014 socializdancers performing on the 7:00pm ing in a professional and pre-prorelaxed fessional stage at 11:15am $25 Food and Wine Tasting on Sunday, April 27. Go atmo$15 without wine tasting sphere. If Morava! you have 12 and under FREE never The Tablic Tournament and been, you Przene Girice (fried smelts) should come out and give it a try. This is fund raiser held on Friday, January 31, a great event to bring your non-Serb 2014, was an evening of fun and fellowfriends and co-workers. Morava also ship. It was the first time this event was
27th Annual FOLKFEST June 14, 2014 Garfield Theater Jewish Community Center 4126 Executive Dr. La Jolla 92037 Doors Open at 3:00pm Concert 4:00pm After-Party at St. George Music by Mladost Chicago! performs a couple of dances and songs in a casual and intimate format. Hope to see you there! Folkfest 2014 is fast-approaching, June 14, and plans are in full swing for another fantastic season closer. Due to the positive feedback received last year, the venue for the concert will once again be the Garfield Theater in the Jewish Community Center in La Jolla. Doors open at 3pm, and the concert begins promptly at 4pm. The after-party at St George will be rockin' to the tunes of Mladost Chicago led by our very own Dusko Trajkovic. Plans are falling into place. Tina Zivkovic will be the Church Hall Chair, along with Snezana Pantovic providing tasty food during the weekend. For the concert, Tanya Jovanovic will lend her experience as Stage Manager
Happy Easter! Christ is risen!
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE â€˘ SPRING 2014 22
and Vecki Miljkovic will once again act as video tech. If anyone is interested in helping out for folkfest, please let me know. As Morava travels and performs at other folkfests, we are always impressed with the attendance. Venues are sold out and packed to the brim. We hope that you will make the effort and encourage your friends and families to come out for this concert! Let's show our guest folklore groups and their families that the San Diego Serbian Community is vibrant and supportive.
he returns to his university studies and performing with Talija Artistic Co. in Belgrade. Mark your calendars! Laki will be returning with Talija during their next U.S. Tour in October. The San Diego concert will be held on Sun-
On June 27, 33 Morava dancers and their families will travel to Niagara Falls, Montreal, and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for performances at the Serbian Days Picnic in Niagara Falls, and, then with our hosts from Sv. Nikola, Serbian Folk Ensemble Kolo, at their church’s annual concert in Hamilton, and then at their picnic the next day. Friendships between Morava and SFE Kolo were cemented in Boston last fall at Gracanica’s Serbian Festival.
Concert 7:00pm ($20)
Coordinating a trip for 33 people takes a lot of effort and money. An active and dynamic group such as Morava cannot be run without the dedicated support of Morava parents. My thanks go out to trip coordinators Vecki Miljkovic, Tina Zivkovic, and Simona Trifunovic. Morava has an unsung hero who is always behind the scenes in her own quiet way. You all see the efforts of her work without even knowing it. Every time you see a Morava dancer in costume, her hand will have somehow been involved. Either the extra embroidery on a sleeve or skirt, or the whitest of whites shirts or skirts. She just comes up to me or a dancer and hands over a piece of costume mended or upgraded. This is our very own Morava Baba, Dobrinka Jojic, Nikolija Jojic’s grandmother. Thank you Baba Dobrinka! Morava has had a changing of the guards. We bid dance instructor Lazar (Laki) Ruzicic farewell at a Coming Back Farewell party hosted at Vecki and Miodrag Miljkovic's home at the end of February. Laki became a part of the Morava family, and we wish him well as
TALIJA ARTISTIC CO. FROM BELGRADE October 12, 2014 St. George Social Hall Dinner 5:00pm (a la carte $12) DON'T MISS THIS EXTRAORDINARY EVENT! Bring your non Serb friends to show them the art of Serbian folklore!
day, October 12, 2014, at 7pm at St George. Dinner will be served at 5pm. Those of you who saw their last concert had an unexpected and unforgettable experience. More details will be coming soon! Without skipping a beat, Morava is excited to announce that dance instructor Sinisa Ristic has taken over leading Morava into their next chapter. Sinisa comes to Morava with lots of experience and is a former member of Abrasevic Kolo Ensemble in Belgrade. On a side note, when Sinisa first came to the US, he actually started out with Morava, so this is a sort of coming home. His technical expertise and musicality were evident at his first rehearsal with Morava. He was well-received, and the group is looking forward to broadening their wings under a new instructor. Welcome Sinisa! Morava membership is on the rise! Yeah! We still need more young men, age 16 and up, who have the coordination to learn how to dance kolo. Male kolo dancers, where are you? I know you are out there! There is a bevy of beautiful young female kolo VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 23
dancers who are limited to what kolos can be danced due to the lack of male dance partners. Also, we need an accordionist, a goc (drum) player and frula player. Guitar and violin musicians would be an added benefit! Imagine if Morava could one day dance to live music. That is the next natural evolutionary phase for the group. Morava has the leadership, talent, and drive to expand and present a positive Serbian impression to the non-Serb community. Sadly, what Morava does not have is the budget to achieve this worthy goal. While it is always fun to present the art of Serbian folklore to the Serbian community, my vision is to bring the beautiful tapestry of Serbian folklore to the community at large. I believe that the arts transcend politics and the presentation of Serbian folklore is one way to leave a good impression and, perhaps, cause people to rethink their views about Serbs. There are grants available for cultural arts which would help Morava achieve its goals. With that in mind, if anyone knows of any grant writers, please refer them to me. Tople pozdrave, Dobrila Undheim, Director Morava Folklore Ensemble, If you are interested in joining, contact me at Dobrila@cox.net for an application
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• Jovanovic, Slavko and Tanja
• Pantovic, Snezana and Dole
Stewardship List—Adults, as of March 5, 2014
• Jovanovic, Slavica
• Papac, Wayne and Sandie
• Jovanovic, Toma and Vesna
• Perisic, Milan
• Alemany, Lazar, Linda and Family
• Jovanovic, Velimir and Mira
• Petakovich, Deyan and Natasa
• Amanovic, Diana
• Jovanovic, Verica
• Aud, Matthew, Laurie and Family
• Kasic, Rade and Radmila
• Petakovich, Proto Velimir and Protinica Ljubinka
• Basic, Stevo and Stana
• Kezic, Vladimir and Ivana
• Begovich, Michael and Samantha
• Kinach, Alex and Seka
• Belcevich, Milos
• Klacar, Neven
• Borojevich, Mildred and Wally
• Kostic, Tordis
• Bradic, Aleksandar and Jelena
• Kovacevic, Biljana
• Brucker, Mitch and Lidija
• Krsic, Proto Bratso and Protinica Lisa
• Caric, Brigitte and Family
• Kukich, Branislav
• Connor, Evelyn
• Kunac, Maria and Dusan
• Copic, Miro, Laura and Family
• Lazovic, Alexander and Carole
• Cronemeyer, Jamie and Zorica
• Lukic, James-Ljuban and Petka
• Denton, Natalie
• Lukic, Milos
• Dimich, Marlene
• Masic, Milenko
• Ducich, Nick and Tia
• Markley, Scott and Nada
• Drakulich, Persida
• Marin, Mike, Tina and Family
• Draskovic, Proto Bozidar and Protinica Bozana
• McCarthy, Svetlana
• Elez, Sladjana
• Medigovich, Samuel
• Freeman, Lillian
• Melnick, Stanley and Pauline
• Fulton, Jeff and Radmila
• Mihailovic, Gordon
• Galashty, Natalia
• Mikler, Zora
• Gavrilov, Gleb
• Miladinovic, Radmila
• Germain, Deacon Paul, Natalija and Family
• Milanovich, Jennifer
• Gleb, Gabrilov • Glusac, Milena • Gregovich, Ljubica • Grijakovic, Vladimir • Hjembo, Karl and Alyssa • Ilic, Boris • Ilic, Petar and Rosa • Irick, Olga • Ivanovic, Mirko and Sylvia • Janich, Thomas and Marcia • Jaich, Dennis, Rhonda and Family • Jojic, Dobrinka • Jojic, Julijana and Vesko • Jorling, Joe and Nina • Jovanovic, Marko and Dijana • Jovanovic, Misha and Marsha • Jovanovic, Ratko and Koka
• McKienzie, Sally-Ann
• Milasinovich, Zeljko and Marija • Milicevic, James and Melanie • Milicevic, Nikola and Nada • Miljkovic, Milan and Diane • Miljkovic, Vecki and Miodrag and family • Milovancev, Miroslav, Mira and Family • Mitrovich, Desanka • Mitrovich, Jelena • Mitrovich, Predrag and Family • Mitrovich, Risto and Linda • Mrja, Millie • Naughton, Pamela • Nedel, Naden • Nedic, Sava and Spomenka • Nikolic, Dragan and Gordana • Orlich, Petar • Pantich, Tom and Helen • Pantovic, Nada
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 24
• Petric, Alex, Shari and Aci • Petric, Milovan and Jelena • Petrovic, Djordje and Marija • Plavsic, Milan and Ljubica • Plavsic, Mara-Seja • Plavsic, D. Dee • Popa, Cornelia • Popovic, Darko and Family • Popovich, Dolly • Popovich, Vojkan and Nada • Potkonjak, Michael, Sheila and Joseph • Pugh, Zachary and Milica • Purlia, Sam and Gloria • Raicevic, Vladimir, Silvana and Family • Rakich, Danielle • Rakic, Marko, Vera and Family • Radojevic, Slobodan and Dr. Vesna • Radojevic, Protinica Nadezda • Radomirovic, Vladimir • Radovanovic, Dragoslav and Ljiljana • Raicevic, Vladimir and Silvana and Family • Rhoads, Howard and Lydia • Ruzic, Stevan and Marija • Saathoff, Stephanie • Sacchetti, Cynthia • Savchuk, Nikolaj and Olga and Family • Sedy-Miletic, John and Ana and Family • Selezan, Dusan • Selezan, Nemanja • Serdar, Sophie • Skaljac, George and Bernadette • Smith, Justin, Zorana and Family • Smolan, Tom • Srbich, Eva and Jeanette • Starr, Tatyana • Stojadinovic, Djordje and Julijana • Stojanovic, Robert and Sandra • Stoyanoff, Jordan and Beatriz • Suliman, George and Dorina
• Thickstun, Kathryn
• Vasich, Branko and Family
• Topalovic, Vojkan, Maja and Family
• Vasic, Milica
• Trifunovic, Alexandra
• Vlasovich, Milanka
• Trifunovic, Dr. Robert, Simona and Family
• Vladic, Milan
• Krsic, Anastasija
• Vucelic, Inge
• Krsic, Luka
• Vukotich, Dorothy
• Krsic, Nikolaj
• Vukotich, May and Stefan
• Leff, Dylan
• Vukotich, John and Jean
If we have overlooked or misspelled anyone’s name, please, inform our church office (619-276-5827), and we will immediately make the necessary corrections. Thank you!
• Trifunovic, Vladan and Milica and Family • Tully, George • Undheim, Robert and Dobrila • Urosevic, Branislav and Elaine • Valliu, Becky • Vasiliu, Laurentiu and Daniela
Stewardship as Christian Concept Stewardship is a Christian (and biblical) concept. In his second letter to the Corinthians ((8:1-9:8), St. Paul writes a remarkable essay on what it means to follow Christ as a steward. Anyone claiming to live a Christian life must reflect on his words. And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (8:1-7)
Christian stewards give “themselves first to the Lord”. True stewardship begins with the realization that Christ does not expect “something” from us – He expects everything. He told the rich young man to sell “everything”, give it to the poor, and follow Him. We begin a stewardly life by giving ourselves to the Lord.
• Vuksanovic, Dusan • Yancey, Peter • Zivkovic, Miodrag and Sarah
• Zivkovic, Tina and Jovan
But it is important to note that Paul exalts the Macedonians for their “rich generosity”. He also marvels in the fact that they, on their own, “pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service”. Generous giving of ourselves to the “service of the saints” (i.e., the life and work of the Church) is not something that is to be taken grudgingly, or as something to be minimized or avoided, but rather a privilege that should be embraced. In holding up the Macedonians as an example, Paul then turns his attention to the Corinthians. They are excellent in many ways: “in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earestness”, even in love. But if tehy are excellent in those things, they must also be excellent in the grace of giving. Paul implies that they would be lacking as Christians if they ignored this aspect of their lives. As would we be lacking if we excel in a number of Christian virtues but are weak in giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
Sacrificial giving and giving in proportion to what we have received from God leads us toward the concept of tithing. In the minds of the most, this means offering a certain percent of our gross revenue to the glory of God. Parishes and individuals Orthodox Christians who commit to begin this journey need not focus heavily on the word “tithing” or on the whatever VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 25
Stewardship Chair Toma Jovanovic with wife, Vesna and children, kumovi for Savindan 2014
percent of giving right from the start. While it is clear to many that this is what the Bible and the Church tradition teaches, thinking in terms of a percentage and giving 1% or 2% or 5% as a first step will mark an important break from the patterns of giving so common in many parishes. The first step in this process, however, must be to recognize that faith-based giving is the desired goal. The patterns of giving followed by so many for years and years, while well-intentioned and based on faithful devotion, need to be changed if our churches are to grow and progress to their full potential. May God be with you on your journey and may God bless you for your love, care and generosity of our Church ministries!
Treasurerâ€™s Report 2013 Dear St. George faithful and friends, 2013 was quite a year for St. George Church because once again we were able to have a balanced budget. A balanced budget is especially great during this time of economic struggles our country is faced with each and every day. Without your generosity this would not have been possible.
Our largest income source is from church worship income. Second is our congregation income and half of that income is thanks to our Stewardship donations. Our third source of income is generated from social events. In 2013 we brought back our Serbian Festival and it was very successful thanks to the help of our wonderful members who donated their time, efforts and talent to make it a success, and we are committed to continue planning to have yet another fun filled Festival in October 2014.
We are also eagerly looking forward to the completion of our bar remodel, and we plan to have a few fundraising events in order to raise the much needed funds to accomplish this. We would like to thank each and everyone of you for providing financial support, gifts and talents to our church. The benefits you will receive are astounding. Most sincerely, Linda Alemany, St George Church Treasurer
Your generous donations support our parish ministries
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE â€˘ SPRING 2014 26
Director Srđan Golubović and Krugovi in San Diego at Sundance Cultural Program The Serbian film, Krugovi (Circles), directed by Srđan Golubović of Belgrade, was part of “Film Forward,” a US government and Sundance Institute program to introduce socially relevant foreign films and their directors to the local community for discussion and cultural enhancement. The Voice Editor and Misha Jovanović attended one of the several showings of Krugovi in the San Diego area, Saturday, March 8, and participated in the discussion. Director Golubović and Misha were the only Serbs present at this showing. The film was inspired by the story of Srđan Aleksić, a soldier in the Army of Republika Srpska, on leave in his hometown of Trebinje in 1993, where he was beaten to death by four of his fellow soldiers, while trying to stop their assault on Alen Glavović, a Muslim civilian. Glavović escaped with his life, after which the four beat Aleksić to death for interfering. Out of the four killers, only one expressed regret in court. Ironically, he was the only one who died on the front line of the war where the four were sent after the incident.
The film begins with the Trebinje incident, then shows 12 years later how it affected the lives of several people involved with the murdered soldier: his father, his fiancee, the man he saved, the son of one of the killers, his best friend who stood by and did nothing, and the ring leader of the four killers. The overall message of the film is that just like a rock thrown in a pool of water makes circles (krugovi) that grow and spread, the murder of this righteous man created circles of compassion that went through space and time and affected the lives of these people, helping them find inner courage to stand up to injustice and to find compassion enough to restrain themselves from taking revenge on others. Beautifully written, masterfully photographed, superbly acted, and brilliantly directed—the film slowly but surely enables the viewer to see the circles of compassion, forgiveness, courage, and inner purification. Director Golubović was a young film student in Belgrade during the Yugoslav wars, and as such, has seen the effects of war first hand. Through his film, he wants viewers to remember that the story of Circles is universal and that, through it, all of us can connect with the film’s characters and their destinies. In an earlier interview, he said: “If the
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • SPRING 2014 27
catharsis of the main characters in the film becomes a little private catharsis of every individual who watches Circles, it would be my greatest success.” Krugovi has won numerous awards and was the Serbian entry to the Best Foreign Films category for the 2014 Oscars. “Film Forward” is a partnership of movie actor/director Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and four US federal cultural agencies1. It offers film screenings, workshops, and discussions to foster dialogue and cross-cultural understanding and to inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, religion, ethnicity, and borders. San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts, in collaboration with “Film Forward,” hosted the screenings in San Diego and Tijuana. Marsha Jovanović, Voice Editor
1.The four federal agencies are the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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St. Sava's Day (Savindan) is the Slava of ALL Serbs, especially the Serbian children, and to him children recite poems (deklamacije) to honor the Archbishopsâ€™ teachings. It was St. Sava who first introduced the Slava canonically to the Serbs. â€œSt. Savaâ€? is the most popular church name. At right, Father Bratso, kumovi Toma and Vesna Jovanovic & sons, and other children of the church turn the slavski kolach three times before Father cuts it, pours wine into the cuts, blesses it and breaks it for everyone to have a little piece. Slava is a day not only of feasting, but also a day of spiritual revival through which the Serbian national soul is energized. VOICE OF ST. GEORGE â€˘ SPRING 2014 28
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New Voice Advertiser Real-estate Professional Stanley Krimerman The Voice invites you to get acquainted with Stanley “Stan Diego” Krimerman, a licensed premiere real estate agent in San Diego since 2005, and a new Voice of St George sponsor. Stan and his wife Natalija Radosavljevich-Krimerman are kumovi with Petar Jovanovic, son of Veljo and Mira. Stan looks forward to discussing any of your real estate needs. He says of his business practices: “I have a solution for my clients whether they are looking to buy, sell, or if they just want to know their options.” As we are all aware, buying and selling a home is one of the most critical decisions most of us ever make. And that is why, it is essential to work with a knowledgeable and aggressive real estate professional such as Stan.
MO R AVA
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A 5-Star Top Agent awarded by San Diego Magazine in 2012, 2013, and 2014, he provides award-winning, VIP service to all of his clients, from firsttime home-buyers and sellers, to savvy real estate investors. His tried-and-true real estate practices will ensure you make the best decision regarding your purchase or sale. Some of you may already recognize Stan—he danced with Morava Folklore Ensemble for four years a few years back (1996-2000). In fact, he met Natalija at MORAVA Folkfest 2000 when she came out with her sister and their Cleveland Dance group. Stan and Natalija have two young sons, Maksim, 3 years, and Lazar, 16 months. Maksim is already taking after his tata; he is a Morava Peewee dancer (see page 2). Stan is of Russian descent, and has been a San Diego resident for most of his life.(See photo at left.)
E N SE M B LE
FIND US ON FAC JUNE 14, 2014
27TH MORAVA FOLKFEST
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In the Green: St George Recycling
In an effort to gain much needed revenue and to help the environment, we are actively recycling at St. George. Did you know that every time you throw a water bottle, aluminum can, or glass beer bottle into the garbage instead of recycling it, you are throwing money away? Each can or bottle that is not recycled equals five cents gone forever. While five cents may not seem like much, every can and bottle quickly adds up. Please remember to put all plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans into the blue recycling containers that are located both inside the hall as well as outside. In 2012, over 17.2 billion containers were recycled in California, saving natural resources, conserving energy, extending the life of our landfills, and helping to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases. Let us be good stewards of the beautiful Earth we have been given!
Fr. Bratso encourages you to:
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â€˘ Send your email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be placed on a church information email list so that you get updated announcements of important changes or events during the month between monthly and quarterly mailings.
All stewards receive one free ad when placing in four consecutive issues. Send your copy or information to the Voice Editor at email@example.com or contact Father Bratso.
Voice of St George Summer Issue Please submit all articles & reports, events, news, photos, announcements, ads, etc., ON or BEFORE June 8
â€˘ Let him know when people are sick so that he can call or visit them if they want him to do so, and add their names to the weekly prayer list. â€˘ Call him at any time; with questions, with concerns, with suggestions. If itâ€™s important to you, itâ€™s important to him!
Our Bookstore has many items on sale! Donâ€™t forget to shop in our church bookstore. We have many items: gold crosses, gold chains, prayer books, books on various topics, tapes, video tapes, DVDs, icons, prayer ropes, etc. Stewardship Pledges Did you forget to submit your stewardship card or perhaps misplaced it somewhere, or do you simply need some more offering envelopes? Call our church office 619-276-5827 and we will immediately send you a stewardship cards and envelopes.
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE â€˘ SPRING 2014 30
The ladies of Paracin invite you to taste what you left behind in Serbia...
Manasija Monastery in the Heart of Serbia
Misha Tours / Firstworld Travel
619-588-5811 / 619-588-4644 firstname.lastname@example.org
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE â€˘ SPRING 2014 31
Easter Blessings to everyone!
Published on Mar 26, 2014