Beginning with Badnji Dan (Christmas Eve Day), the community of St George Serbian Orthodox Church reveled in the joy of the newborn Savior Jesus Christ. Festivities began with the reading of the Royal Hours followed immediately by the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great.
Later in the evening, the community gathered in great numbers to celebrate the Nativity Vigil service (Badnje Vece/Christmas Eve). In a church building filled near-capacity, the parishioners gathered in prayer and festive song. The service concluded with the reading of our newly-enthroned Bishop Irinej’s Christmas message to the faithful of our diocese.
Immediately following the Vigil, the community gathered in their nearby Event Center for the blessing of the Badnjak. Children gathered around as Fr Aleksa Pavichevich and parish council president Nick Pribich went through the traditional greeting and Serbian customs of the evening. At the conclusion of the blessing, the children gathered candy from the Badnjak as the community enjoyed fellowship and posno snacks.
Thanks to the hard work of Robyn Karl and Mike Tobias, the church-school children were also blessed with a visit from St Nicholas.
The following morning, on the Feast of the Nativity, January 7th, the community gathered for to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior at Divine Liturgy. In his homily, Father Aleksa expounded upon one aspect of His Grace Bishop Irinej’s message – making a cave in our hearts to accept the new-born Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Although much that happens seeks to diminish the light of Christ, the true Sun of Righteousness, as we draw near to it and invite him in we find the peace of God, and warmth.
The St George parishioners enjoyed a special treat on January 8th, the Sunday after Nativity and the Synaxis of the Mother of God: one of youngest stewards, Emilija R. read in church for the first time. With a voice loud and clear, she proclaimed the message of St Paul appointed for that weekend.
Festivities concluded with the ministry of our parish’s Boza Yoksimovich Serbian Singing Society – they travelled from home to home, caroling for shut-ins and those in nursing homes to share the joy of the season and express the love of our community. During the day they joined the Kraguljac family for their Slava celebration (St Stephen the Archdeacon and Protomartyr) and finished the day visiting one of their members, Mira Mirkovich, who was unable to join this year due to a broken foot.
Thanks be to God for this wonderful Nativity season!