On Sunday, March 19, Saint George Serbian Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hosted a Lenten vesper service and dinner. The vesper service began at 6PM, and was attended by many faithful members of the church, in addition to local clergy from Orthodox churches in Cincinnati and Fr. Isak Kisin, parish priest at Saint Stevan of Dechani Serbian Orthodox Church in Columbus. Fr. Isak served in the altar, while parish priest Fr. Petar Petrovic, along with Protinitza Gordana and local clergy sang responses with the choir. After the vesper service, Fr. Petar graciously thanked Fr. Isak and invited everyone in attendance downstairs in the church hall for fellowship and a Lenten meal prepared by the kolo sisters.
After the dinner, Fr. Isak gave an important lecture on the Holy Cross. He reminded everyone about the significance and relevance of the cross for Christians. He made note of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, specifically mentioning the tree in the garden as a symbol of human weakness. Fr. Isak then talked about how in ancient times the cross was a figure associated with the punishment and the execution of the worst criminals. Fr. Isak eloquently explained how Jesus accepted His crucifixion to save sinners, and consequently the cross was transformed into a symbol of forgiveness, hope, and life after death in paradise. Fr. Isak explained the relationship between the Tree in Eden and the wooden cross Jesus was crucified on; both made of wood, one alive and one dead, but through His great suffering, Jesus became the “new Adam”, and specifically Fr. Isak referenced, “O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?”, explaining how through his death Jesus conquered sin and made salvation possible. It was a sincere and thought provoking lecture.
Our guest at Vesper Service was Father Steven Kostoff, Priest of Christ the Savior/Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, Norwood, OH. Fr. Steven is a professor at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH (Teaches: The Eastern Orthodox Church; Christian Mysticism; New Testament, Church History, Dogmatic Theology, Liturgical Theology. At the end of Fr.Isak's Lecture, he was graded by Fr. Steven with an "A(10)".
This was a great evening of prayer and contemplation for everyone who attended.
Article by Joshua Savage