Our Serbian people like to gather for community prayers on Saint’s Feast Days (Slava). During the difficult and often painful history, the celebration of the patron saint was the only thread that connected the souls of our ancestors with God. We particularly love Saint’s Feast Day when a church celebrates its heavenly patron (Church Slava).
This year, as in previous seventy years, pious people of Vancouver and the other neighbouring cities gathered for prayers at our church. This year's patronal feast was even more solemn, because for the first time our church was visited by the newly elected Bishop of Canada, His Grace Mitrofan.
The evening service was served on Friday, November 18 at our church, the same as on Saturday November 19. Thereafter, we moved the to the Church Hall, where His Grace Bishop Mitrofan in the presence of priests V. Rev. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Miroslav Dejanov, V. Rev. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Drago Knezevic, myself V. Rev. Protopresbyter Malisa Milovanovic, Rev. Presbyter Marko Radmanovic, a priest of the Greek Church Timoleon Pratas, members of our choir and the pious parishioners and guests, blessed the Slava kolach and wheat. Godparents of this year Slava, were Srpko and Vida Rakita with their family, who made sure to cover all costs associated with the Slava Festivities. First, the guests were greeted by the parish priest V. Rev. Protopresbyter Malisa Milovanovic, who welcomed the participants starting from Bishop, Godparents, members of the CSO and other parishioners, who, with their hard work and dedication continue to help our Church. Thereafter, the attendees were greeted by His Grace Canadian Bishop Mitrofan, who thanked God and Archangel Michael for help and protection they provide to us.
Festive dinner was served and food blessed afterwards, and after all the guests had dined, Slava Academy program began. The program was beautifully prepared and performed. After the President of our CSO Ljubomir Kotur greeted atendees, program followed with performances of children from our school, then children of our folklore group, Russian singing band “Ne Zhdali”, youth folklore group, poet Darinka Zastavnikovic read her poems and the program was closed by our church choir "Obilic" performance.
On Sunday evening, a festive evening service with five-bread was served, and on Monday, the St. Arhangel Michael feast day, Holy Archbishop’s Liturgy was served as the crown of Slava festivities. Divine Liturgy was served by the His Grace Bishop of Canada Mitrofan, with the concelebration of V. Rev. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Miroslav Dejanov, V. Rev. Protopresbyter Malisa Milovanovic and Rev. Presbyter Marko Radmanovic. Again, the Bishop fatherly addressed the faithful teaching us about heavenly archangels. Divine Liturgy was completed by blessing of the Slava kolach, and procession around the temple. The Church was full of the faithful even though it was a working day.
Afterward, the festive assembly of continues at the Slava lunch, after which we accompanied our Bishop to the airport. Next year’s Slava godfather will be Mr. Vojislav Nikolic. We are grateful to the Lord for solemn and festive celebration of our patron St archangel Michael.
Rev. Protopresbyter Malisa Milovanovic