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Monthly Archives

December 2015

Serbian Christmas Traditions Play by Youth of St. Sava – Wednesday, Jan. 6

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Sunday School children and young adults from St. Sava Church in Merrillville, Indiana will present a “Christmas Traditions” play in the St. Sava Pavilion taking place before the blessing of the badnjak Wednesday, Jan. 6.

The play features the traditions of Serbian ancestors which include bringing the badnjak in the home, how we greet each other on Christmas, and other elements relating to Serbian Christmas Heritage. Many still practices these traditions annually even today.

The play is part of a series of special events taking place Wednesday, Jan. 6 which begin with Vesper Services in the St. Sava Church at 6:00 p.m. as people of Orthodox Faith celebrate the Nativity. The Orthodox Church uses the old ‘Julian’ Calendar, which means each year Christmas Eve takes place January 6 and Christmas Day January 7.

Anyone of Orthodox Faith, and members of the general community wishing to experience a unique cultural and spiritual event, are welcome to attend and celebrate the Nativity with parishioners of St. Sava in Merrillville, Indiana.

Akathist at St. Sava Church: Our Lord Jesus Christ – Thursday, Dec. 31

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Join us this Thursday, Dec. 31 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Sava Church in Merrillville, Indiana for our weekly Akathist prayers (Click here to learn more about the Akathist prayer services at St. Sava Church).

This week we offer praises for Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated, according to Julian Calendar, December 25, and according to Gregorian January, 7.

Orthodox Christians are following the Julian calendar which was active during the Birth of Christ. This Akathist is dedicated to Jesus.

When fullness of time was come, God sent His only begotten son’ (Gal. 4:4) to save the human race. And when the ninth month had come after the archangel Gabriel appeared to the most holy Virgin in Nazareth, saying: “Hail, thou that art highly favored.. thou shalt conceive and bear a son”…

Joseph and Mary were invited by a decree of Caesar Augustus the Emperor of Rome to register at their home town of Bethlehem. When they arrived they could not find a lodging in any house, and found shelter in a cave. In this cave the most holy Virgin gave birth to the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The shepherds came in from a field after they had heard a multitude of angels singing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men” (Luke 2:14). They worshiped Him as Messiah and Savior.

At that time there also came wise men from the East, led by a wonderful star, bearing their gifts: gold, frenkincense and myrr, and worshiped Him as King of kings, offering Him their gifts (Mat. 2:11).

In the Akathist prayer we will glorify Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, asking Them for Their blessings and share with us Their Divine nature.

Come and joins us to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ!

What is Akathist?

Join us Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in the St. Sava Church for Akathist – a brief weekly celebration of the works of the Saints, Holy Days, and Holy Trinity.

The Akathist service lasts approximately 35 minutes and is an opportunity for a uniquely participatory service in which men and women may have the option to read passages from the Book of Akathists, exchanging phrasings with Clergy, and experiencing a unique mid-week spiritual connection with fellow parishioners. Click here to read more about Akathist…

Download Schedule of St. Sava Nativity Services – Special Message from Father Marko and Father Bogdan

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Orthodox Christmas Nativity Services are quickly approaching with Badnje Veče – Serbian Christmas Eve – taking place Wednesday, January 6.

Now is the time to view or download the schedule of services so you may plan ahead and join us for this special annual Nativity Celebration.

The Schedule of Services, in both English and Serbian Cyrillic languages, along with a special holiday message from Father Marko and Father Bogdan was sent in the mail to Church Membership and is now available for download.

DOWNLOAD THE SCHEDULE OF SERVICES AND HOLIDAY MESSSAGE

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES – РАСПОРЕД БОГОСЛУЖЕЊА

SUNDAY: January 3rd

  • SUNDAY 31st AFTER PENTECOST: Divine Liturgy at 10:00AM
  • НЕДЕЉА 31. ПО ДУХОВИМА: Света Литургија у 10:00 ујутру

WEDNESDAY: January 6th

  • CHRISTMAS EVE: Divine Liturgy at 9:00AM. Great Vespers at 6:00PM.
  • Children’s Christmas Play, blessing and burning of Badnjak.
  • БАДЊИ ДАН: Света Литургија у 9:00 ујутру. Празнично вечерње у 6:00
  • увече. Дечија Божићна Представа. Освећење и паљење Бадњака.

THURSDAY: January 7th

  • CHRISTMAS: Divine Liturgy at 10:00AM
  • БОЖИЋ: Света Литургија у 10:00 ујутру

FRIDAY :January 8th

  • ALL HOLY MOTHER OF GOD FEAST: Divine Liturgy at 9:00AM
  • САБОР ПРЕСВЕТЕ БОГОРОДИЦЕ: Света Литургија у 9:00 ујутру

SATURDAY: January 9th

  • ST. STEPHEN THE ARCHDEACON: Divine Liturgy 9:00AM
  • СВЕТИ АРХИЂАКОН СТЕФАН: Света Литургија у 9:00 ујутру

SUNDAY: January 10th

  • SUNDAY 32nd AFTER PENTECOST: Divine Liturgy at 10:00AM
  • НЕДЕЉА 32. ПО ДУХОВИМА: Света Литургија у 10:00 ујутру

THURSDAY: January 14th

  • ST. BASIL (SERBIAN NEW YEAR’S DAY): Divine Liturgy at 9:00AM
  • СВ. ВАСИЛИЈЕ (СРПСКА НОВА ГОДИНА): Св. Литургија у 9:00 ујутру

SUNDAY: January 17th

  • SUNDAY 33rd AFTER PENTECOST: Divine Liturgy at 10:00AM
  • НЕДЕЉА 33. ПО ДУХОВИМА: Света Литургија у 10:00 ујутру

TUESDAY: January 19th

  • HOLY THEOPHANY: Div. Liturgy and Great Blessing of Water at 9:00AM.
  • БОГОЈАВЉЕЊЕ: Св. Литургија и Велико освећење воде у 9:00 ујутру.

WEDNESDAY: January 20th

  • ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST: Divine Liturgy at 9:00AM
  • СВЕТИ ЈОВАН КРСТИТЕЉ: Света Литургија у 9:00 ујутру

SUNDAY: January 24th

  • SUNDAY 34th AFTER PENTECOST: Divine Liturgy at 10:00AM. Saint Sava
  • Celebration. Blessing and cutting of Slava Kolach; Dinner and Program.
  • НЕДЕЉА 34. ПО ДУХОВИМА: Света Литургија у 10:00 ујутру. Светосавска
  • Прослава. Сечење Славског колача, ручак и програм у продужетку.

WEDNESDAY: January 27th

  • ST. SAVA: Divine Liturgy at 9:00AM
  • СВЕТИ САВА: Света Литургија у 9:00 ујутру

SUNDAY: January 31st

  • SUNDAY 35th AFTER PENTECOST: Divine Liturgy at 10:00AM
  • НЕДЕЉА 35. ПО ДУХОВИМА: Света Литургија у 10:00 ујутру

Deadline approaches for lamb/pig pre-orders at St. Sava for Orthodox Christmas

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There is still time remaining to pre-order lamb and pig cooked on the spit, by the pound, for Orthodox Christmas prepared by St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana now through January 3, 2016.

Lamb will be $14 per pound and Pig will be $12 per pound. Orders may be picked up Thursday, January 7, 2016 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at St. Sava Church at the outdoor kitchen area at 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN.

There is a 2 pound minimum for all orders and prices are subject to change based upon market pricing.

Download the order form and and send it by fax to 219-736-7836 or call 219-406-7910. You may also e-mail the order form to karknezic@yahoo.com.

Announcement of Annual Membership Meeting – Save the Date – January 17

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Dear Members,

In accordance with the by-laws of the Church-School Parish, Part III, Article 16 (A, b, and c), we call the assembly of the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Parish membership to be held on Sunday January 17, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the South Wing Social Center of St. Sava located at 9191 Misssissippi Street in Merrillville, Indiana.

The Executive Board proposes the following agenda:

  1. Opening of Assembly with prayer
  2. Establishment of the Quorum
  3. Election of the Assembly President
  4. Confirmation of the proposed agenda
  5. Acceptance of the minutes of the 2015 Annual Assembly
  6. Discussion and acceptance of the Executive Board reports:
    • Parish Priest
    • Financial Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Church School Report
    • Executive Board President
  7. Report of the Auditing Committee
  8. Report of the Audit BOard
  9. Questions and proposals for the good of the Parish
  10. Election of delegates for the Diocesan Church Peoples Assembly
  11. Dismissal of the old Board and election of the new Board
  12. Closing of the Assembly with prayer

Dues will be collected at this Annual Meeting.

Minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting, in two languages, will be attached to each member’s 2015 Report. In order to save time and spare our members of the need to have the 2015 minutes read in two languages, members will have ample time before the meeting to read the minutes in the language of his or her choice. This rule was unanimously passed at the 1989 General Assembly.

A copy of the above information is included in a downloadable document in both English and Serbian.

Download Serbian Christmas form letter for “Excused Absence” from Father Marko

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With Serbian Christmas quickly approaching January 7, 2016 and taking place during the work/school week on a Thursday, many people may work or have school obligations.

Whether it’s an Altar Boy participating in services on this holiday or students simply being with family during church services on this special day, a note from Father Marko may be required or requested by school officials relating to the absence.

Father Marko Matic has created a form letter that may be downloaded, printed and used as a request for an excused absence from school to participate in this Serbian Orthodox religious holiday.

This form letter is provided in the hope that it will enable more families to attend with their children on this special day.

We look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Eve celebrations Wednesday, January 6 and Christmas Day Thursday, January 7 at St. Sava Church in Merrillville, Indiana.

Monthly Membership Meeting – Sunday, Dec. 27

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The St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will host the monthly General Membership Meeting Sunday, Dec. 27 following the Divine Liturgy in the South Wing Social Center.

The monthly meeting provides the general membership of St. Sava Church the opportunity to learn about important updates relating to the overall church organization such as the status of the cemetery project, pavilion, and information about the various groups and their activities that make for a vibrant church community.

Everyone is encouraged to attend to join us to learn more and help make our church stronger.

Akathist at St. Sava Church: Our Lord Jesus Christ – Thursday, Dec. 24

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Join us this Thursday, Dec. 24 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Sava Church in Merrillville, Indiana for our weekly Akathist prayers (Click here to learn more about the Akathist prayer services at St. Sava Church).

This week we offer praises for Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated, according to Julian Calendar, December 25, and according to Gregorian January, 7.
Orthodox Christians are following the Julian calendar which was active during the Birth of Christ. This Akathist is dedicated to Jesus.

When fullness of time was come, God sent His only begotten son’ (Gal. 4:4) to save the human race. And when the ninth month had come after the archangel Gabriel appeared to the most holy Virgin in Nazareth, saying: “Hail, thou that art highly favored.. thou shalt conceive and bear a son”…

Joseph and Mary were invited by a decree of Caesar Augustus the Emperor of Rome to register at their home town of Bethlehem. When they arrived they could not find a lodging in any house, and found shelter in a cave. In this cave the most holy Virgin gave birth to the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The shepherds came in from a field after they had heard a multitude of angels singing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men” (Luke 2:14). They worshiped Him as Messiah and Savior.

At that time there also came wise men from the East, led by a wonderful star, bearing their gifts: gold, frenkincense and myrr, and worshiped Him as King of kings, offering Him their gifts (Mat. 2:11).

In the Akathist prayer we will glorify Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, asking Them for Their blessings and share with us Their Divine nature.

Come and joins us to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ!

What is Akathist?

Join us Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in the St. Sava Church for Akathist – a brief weekly celebration of the works of the Saints, Holy Days, and Holy Trinity.

The Akathist service lasts approximately 35 minutes and is an opportunity for a uniquely participatory service in which men and women may have the option to read passages from the Book of Akathists, exchanging phrasings with Clergy, and experiencing a unique mid-week spiritual connection with fellow parishioners. Click here to read more about Akathist…

Margot Sanetznik – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Margot Sanetznik. Memory eternal.

Margot Sanetznik (Simic) age 92 (September 25, 1923 – December 18, 2015), passed away on December 18, 2015 with Her loving family at her side.

Margot is survived by 2 Daughters: Eva Simic (Mike) Czarnecki and Danica (Dusan) Pejnovic. She lived a very full life, and was able to see Her 3 Grandchildren: Nikola (Jelena) Pejnovic, Vesna (Clint) Konopasek & Mirjana Pejnovic–reach adulthood, and attended 2 of Their Weddings. She also took much pleasure and enjoyed time with Her Great-Grandson Luka.

For many years, She was a member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church and retired employee of Lake Ridge Schools. In Her retirement years, She enjoyed Crocheting, reading non-fiction works and spending quality time with Her Grandchildren & Great-Grandson. Her 7 Brothers & Sisters who resided in Germany–all preceded Margot in death.

Funeral Services will be held Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, Directly at 10:00 a.m. at St. Sava Church, (9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville) with V. Rev. Marko Matic, officiating. Interment, Calumet Park Cemetery.

Visitation will be Sunday from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point, IN. A Pomen Service will be offered at 6:00 p.m., Sunday.

For further info: phone Savich & Semplinski Directors of Burns F.H. at 219-769-0044.

See more at: http://www.burnsfuneral.com/obituaries/Margot-Sanetznik/#!/Obituary

Serbian Children’s, Mother’s, & Father’s Days – Dec. 20, 27, & Jan. 3

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There are three special days coming up that fall on the three Sundays that precede Christmas each year:

  • Serbian Children’s Day (in Serbian known as “Detinjci”) – Sunday, December 20, 2015
  • Serbian Mother’s Day (in Serbian known as “Materice”) – Sunday, December 27, 2015
  • Serbian Father’s Day (in Serbian known as “Oci”– Sunday, January 3, 2015

About Serbian Children’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day

The following is from the book, “Divine Liturgy, Prayers, Catechism,” St. Sava Seminary Fund, 1979. To purchase a copy of this book, please call the St. Sava Church Office at 219-736-9191.

Among many national customs, the Serbs have a special one in which we REMEMBER and TIE as well as give gifts on Children’s, Mother’s, and Father’s Day.

The Church Books dedicate the two Sundays preceding Christmas to the Forefathers and Fathers, the Righteous Ones and the Prophets of the Old Testament, who awaited the coming of the Saviour, symbolically depicted Him and prophesied His Advent, but did not live to see Him.

Why did the Church choose to institute this commemoration of the Old Testament Fathers just before Christmas, the day we celebrate the Birth of the Creator of the New Testament? The Church felt it obligatory to portray to its adherents the connection between the old and the new, to teach us to see the history of mankind as a whole, and to show us that God’s plan is a continuous one.

The Serbian people willingly adopted this tradition from the Apostolic Church, and through the years have faithfully kept its teaching. However, being of a very practical intellect, the Serbian people have applied this ancient custom to enhance their lives in the way most beneficial to them.

They divided this commemoration of the Fathers so that one Sunday was dedicated to Children, one to Mothers and one to Fathers. Why? Because Serbs put a strong emphasis on the importance of unity and sharing in family life.

Enlightened by Orthodox Christianity, and realizing that family observances are a priceless tool in preserving family unity, the Serbs guard and nurture their family observances with unparalleled zeal.

Knowing that the Birth of Christ is a fulfillment of the past, a reality of the present and promise of the future, the Serbs, in their preparation for the solemn celebration of the Christmas Holiday want the entire family to participate in demonstratively incorporating itself for the most important and climactic day – the Christmas Feast.

Just as the blood relationship between parents and children is indissoluble, the religious tie between true Christians and Christmas is inseparable. This is the reason why our calendar proposes three holidays before Christmas: Children’s, Mother’s, and Father’s Day. In doing so, we remember the holy children, the holy mothers, and the holy fathers: we link children with parents and parents with children. All three of these observances have one and the same purpose: REMEMBERANCE and TYING.

In celebrating CHILDREN’S DAY we remember all the holy children of God, those innocent creatures of God who Christ Cites as the prime example to those of us who want to enter the kingdom of heaven. For He said: “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18, 3).

Then he continued: “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for such is the Kingdom of Heaven “ (Matthew 19, 4). And He concluded: “Whoseever offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a milestone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18,6).

When we cease to be children physically, we lose the receptiveness, naturalness, and candor characteristic of children, which, if properly nurtured, may inspire divine feelings of happiness, esctasy, and charity. Through proper education the children learn to respect their parents, and concomitantly, earn the reputation of being good children and good Christians.

In our celebration of MOTHER’S DAY we dearly remember all the holy mothers from the past history of the Christian Church plus those from our own Serbian Orthodox Church. If there were no holy mothers, many of the Saints would not have been pious, virtuous people, nor would they be commemorated in our calendar today. “Mother” is a holy Name.  She suffers much for children both spiritually and physically. Like Christ, her love is inexhaustible. Why did Christ give Himself to be crucified for the sinners? Because He saw in every sinner some good under the shadow of evil. In like manner, only the mother can see something good in her most corrupt son or immoral daughter. And it is very hard to understand Christ’s Love for mankind if we do not properly understand the love of a mother for her children.

In celebrating FATHER’S DAY we remember with esteem all the holy fathers from both the old and new Church. We also remember all the Serbian fathers who gave their lives for “the Holy Cross and golden freedom.”

Psychology and Religion agree that a child receives its first idea about God from its parents. And the role of the father is vital in developing that idea. Traditionally, one of the first things we teach our children is to cross themselves and pray, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Consequently, the word “Father” is tied to God from the very beginning. Also, the first prayer we teach our children is the Lord’s Prayer which begins with “Our Father…”  Again, here is a tremendous responsibility imposed upon the father since the word “Father” is tied directly to God. With this concept we are telling our children that God is like our Father. And this puts a heavy load on the father for he must be an example of everything good, moral, and charitable. Perhaps we should mention here also that children can get a totally opposite conception of God if their earthly father is a drunkard, or without love, understanding or forgiveness  – or if he doesn’t care for his children. But in such cases, the mother comes to the rescue. By showing her devotion and inexhaustible love for her offspring, she overshadows the father’s weakness and molds a beautiful picture of God on their children.

In addition to REMEMBERING, TYING is a representative factor in celebrating these holy days. On Children’s Day parents tie their children, on Mother’s Day children tie their mothers, and on Father’s Day children tie their fathers. The loosing is done with an exchange of gifts. And giving gifts represent devotion and love.

The custom of tying symbolically connects the past with the present: we link them with mutual respect. The two generations are tied with mutual symbolize the love for God. So we see the Serbian people following the Lord’s words, “The wise father brings out of his household the old and the new.” This entire action of tying children with their parents vividly expresses a mutual bond of love between the generations.

A clear picture is exposed of one people, how should they go through their history and living a life of wholeness, combining the priceless treasures of the past with the new adornments of the present and the future.

This moral practice is greatly needed today when there is less and less attention given to the family and unity. Atheistic and other dark powers of this world are increasingly cutting the trunk of the family tree from its roots and creating animosity and divisiveness between the generations. Therefore, we should preserve and perpetuate this important Serbian tradition, one of our many beautiful customs, in celebrating Children’s, Mother’s, and Father’s day. it is imperative because the family observances complement the church and its effort to preserve family unity. Proper observance of these three holidays prior to Christmas, augmented with our diligent preparation for the Holy Day, will inspire a more meaningful and solemn Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.