On Sunday, June 25th, St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church of Philadelphia was blessed with an Archpastoral visit by their beloved hierarch, His Grace Bishop Irinej, as well as the new Director of Christian Education for the Eastern Diocese, Deacon Jovan Anicic. This year marked the first of what will become an annual celebration for the commemoration of Vidovdan. This event was particularly special as is marked the graduation day for the 2016-2017 church school students.
The day began with the children of the parish greeting His Grace Bishop Irinej as he entered the church. Our canters, led by Radovan Micic, sang responses during the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy. The beautiful young voices of our children's choir, under the guidance of Miljan Markovic, sang Oce Nas and as welll as Slavite Gospoda during Holy Communion.
Following Divine Liturgy, a Parasatos was held for all who gave their lives for the faith and heritage of the Serbian people from the time of Knez Lazar until present. The children's choir performed the vocal part of their program immediately following the parastos, singing O Srbio and the newest song in their repertoire Nebeska Srbia. A delicious Lenten meal followed, along with the presentation of pesma (poems) in honor of Vidovdan by the church school children. A presenation on Granica Monestary in Kosovo was prepared by Tara Milenkovich and a senior class student, Dimitri Randjelovic, offered a powerpoint resentetipn on the history of Vidovdan and Knez Lazar. Ilija Saula gave a presentation on the importance of Vidovdan to the Serbian people. The male choir joined by Father Milorad did a superb performance singing Kneza Lazina.
This beautiful day concluded with His Grace giving the children their certificates of completion. Father Milorad then presented His Grace with a copy of a historic photo of Saint Nikolai blessing the grounds of the old parish property on Hancock St in downtown Philadelphia in 1952 when the St. Nicholas parish was founded. The children presented their beloved Hierarch with a gift commemorating his last visit to St. Nicholas, a photo of His Grace together with the church school children on their St. Sava's Day program 2017. May this celebration grow by God's grace with each year.