The Feast of St. Paraskeva was celebrated joyfully at Saint Sava in St. Petersburg, FL. The celebration began with lighted vigil lamps and wise girls just as the Gospel reading suggests. For the members of the Circle of Serbian Sisters, their constant concern is to faithfully follow the example of the saints and seek unity in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Liturgy was served on the day of Saint Petka on October 14/27, with singing by our Russian brothers and sisters, and man faithful parishioners and their children received Holy Communion. The festal atmosphere was extended over the next two days as the Sisters diligently decorated the hall and prepared for the larger community celebration, and gathering around the Slavski kolac.
On Sunday, October 29, a multitude of faithful participated in the Liturgical gathering and the program that followed. The beautifully decorated hall, flowers, and many other decorations were provided by the host Mrs. Gope Stanisic and her family. Throughout the celebration, the choir, under the direction of Mr. Emil Esapovich, sang magnificently.
After the blessing of Slavski kolac and Zito, parish priest Dragan Zaric congratulated the president of Circle of Serbian Sisters, Milena Svic, and Slava host Gopa Stanisic. He extended his congratulations to all the sisters that faithfully support the parish, and to all the gathered faithful that came to support them.
After reading prayers, Mrs. Rada Kisin humbly accepted to be next year’s Slava host. Presbyter Dragan pointed out the meaning of the holiness of Christian life, which in the Church and through the Church we realize. Referring to the Gospel reading about the wise and foolish virgins, the presbyter emphasized that we are called and obligated before God, but also before our neighbors, to ensure that our lamps remain lit and to follow the example of Saint Petka to ensure that we are included in the number of wise servants of the Holy Church.
As a final reflection to the community, Fr. Dragan offered the following words: “Saint Paraskeva, as a gentle and caring mother, has gathered us in this sacred temple as her children. Saint Paraskeva is rejoicing for her faithful children who, with firm faith and hope, approach her calmly praying for her mediation before God - the source of love and mercy. We follow the example of Saint Paraskeva who is a model of virtuous life continually acting in the Christian faith, and doing good deeds.”