On Sunday September 10, 2017, the All Serbian Saints Cathedral in Mississauga, west of Toronto, prayerfully observed their heavenly intercessors with a large presence of clergy and faithful.
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Holy Liturgy was served by Cathedral Dean presbyter Jovan Marjanac, priest of the firth Toronto parish, with protopresbyters-stavrofor Mihajlo Doder, retired priest in Toronto, Prvoslav Puric, priest of the third Toronto parish, Ljubomir Rajic, priest of the second Toronto parish, Milojko Dimitric, rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Hamilton, Viatcheslav Davidenko, priest at Most Holy Trinity parish in Toronto (Russian Church Abroad of the Moscow Patriarchate), presbyters Vladimir Vranic, priest of the St. Archangel Michael Church in Richmond Hill, Ivan Radovic, priest from the Diocese of Niksic, Milos Puric, rector of St. Sava Church in Toronto, and deacon Aleksandar Mitrovic, diocesan staff. The parish St. Sava Choir particularly festively sang responses, while the kliros and readings of the epistle were tastefully chanted by Dragana Stosic and Aleksandra Papic. Many of the present faithful, mostly children, partook of the Holy Mysteries.
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The Altar was served by several young men, some of them for the very first time, and it was all organised by subdeacon Djordje Kovacic. In the continuation of the Liturgy Fr. Milojko Dimitric blessed the Slava bread and broke it with Ivana and Dejan Dudarin, the kumovi of the slava. The honour of being kum for next year was granted to Predrag and Zeljka Terzic with their family.
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The majestic procession around the church, as is customary for a church slava, encircled the whole cathedral. All the children from St. Sava Oplenac folklore group carried icons, and thus participated in the liturgical walk.
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The prayerfull gathering was continued with a brief, but fitting, programme in which the young men and ladies of the parish folklore group St. Sava Oplenac perfomed ”Dances from Shopovi”, followed by a religious song contribution from St. Sava Choir. The Slava banquet was joined by protopresbyter-stavrofor Milovan Sredojevic, priest of St. Arsenije Sremac Church in Whitby, and protosyngelos Vasilije (Gavrilovic) of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Milton.
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The president of the parish council Jovo Miskin greeted everyone gathered expressing special gratitude to consul Vasilije Petkovic, of the Consulate of the Republic of Serbia in Toronto, as well as all the other representatives of patriotic and cultural organisations. Particular attention and affection was given to the representatives of our sister parishes who came to share the joy of this feast with us. In attendance were members from Whitby, Richmond Hill, Toronto – River, Hamilton – Nash, Hamilton – Barton, Niagara – St. George.
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Following the exquisite meal prepared by the hardworking sisters of the KSS, the kumovi of the slava, the Dudarin family, offered words of congratulations to everyone and gifted the Church with $2000. Also it is important to note that on every major feast of the Church, the Dudarin family donates flower arrangements for the decoration of our church, thus beautifying our services.
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In the end, the rector of the congregation, presbyter Jovan Marjanac, thanked everyone for their donations and efforts in bettering our church community, stating that with their sacrifice they are knitting themselves into the very thread of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and in front of God. Fr. Jovan called upon all to unify around the Holy Mysteries because that is the only place in life where we are all equal, and united with God and each other, regardless of what we see as differences.
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The familial gathering of faithful of the CSC of All Serbian Saints shows that God’s love is stronger than our differences. The fullness of our church community was gathered that day, and the presence of the Grace of God was palpable among all. The festive mood continued with kolo dancing and the melodious sounds of the Misko Lukic orhestra.
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May God grant that we greet many more slavas in this fashion, and even more worthily.
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