A SOLEMN CELEBRATION OF THE SLAVA OF WINDSOR’S GRAČANICA
This year, the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God – our church’s Slava - was celebrated somewhat differently due to all the restrictions ever since the pandemic started, which are still in force. But, in spite of that, we are grateful to God that just before the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, the government authorities relaxed the measures and allowed access to churches in significant numbers. We received the news with joy and gratitude and liturgically celebrated the Feast with the participation of the Kumovi and the faithful people who had the opportunity to attend.
The Liturgy was served by protonamesnik Vladimir Vranić, with the concelebrating of the protopresbyter-stavrophor Drago Knezević, with the prayerful chanting of reader Brian Payne, who, since the restrictions began, accompanied every worship service in Gračanica, without exception. On this occasion, we would like to express our special gratitude to reader Brian Payne, but not least to his family for their great sacrifice and dedication. May the Lord reward them with His Blessings from above for the good they do.
At the same time, we are particularly grateful to this year's widely known and dear to all Kumovi of church’s Slava, Mr. Gruja (Lala) and Mrs. Jagoda Stevanov, for a wonderfully organized celebration, despite all the challenges surrounding the pandemic. It was especially touching to see present Kumovi of last year's Slava, Mr. Jovan and Mrs. Zorka Brujić, as they attend the moment when the Kumovi of this year's Slava hand over a part of the Slava Kolač to the Kumovi for next year, Mr. George and Mrs. Suzana Veličković. That moment will remain written as the most beautiful possible testimony of beauty and the blessing, but also of the importance and responsibility of the Slava Kumovi, and most certainly as a shining example to the younger generations.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, specially crafted Diplomas were handed to the students of the Church School who finished the final eighth grade, with the hope that they will always remember that they grew up and matured spiritually in the Serbian Orthodox Church, and that, having that in mind, they will never forget their roots and their community. For all that and much more, we thank Venture Labels Printing Company, as well as the Church School Principal Mrs. Mirjana Vujanović-Knežević, because they make many things possible in often impossible conditions.
Although our Church’s Slava was seemingly celebrated in a calmer fashion, we can by no means say that it was a more modest celebration of the Slava, because the Liturgical celebration is the most solemn possible celebration that we Orthodox Christians have. We celebrated our Slava liturgically. At every Liturgy, the Lord offers Himself, His Body and His Blood to unite us with Himself. Is there anything more valuable or solemn than to be united with God? At the Liturgy, even if only the priest partook of communion, again, at least one soul was united with the Lord that day. Is there anything more valuable and solemn than that? We are grateful to God for giving us to liturgically celebrate our church’s Slava in the most solemn way possible this year as well, and may God's blessing be on the Kumovi and all who in any way contribute to the good and unity of our colony here in Windsor, because it is at the same time for the good of the entire Serbian Orthodox Church, thus the Orthodox Church in general.A happy and blessed Church Slava and may our lives be transformed through the blessings of the Feast!
Protonamesnik Vladimir Vranić