Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

December 20, 2004


His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy yesterday, on the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, and consecrated the church of St. Nicholas in the village of Jelenak in Martinici, which today celebrated its patronal feast. “We Christians, alone of all peoples on earth who worship a single God, celebrate eternal youth and kneel before God the Eternal, a little child. Kneeling before Christ as God and Our Lord, we kneel before Him who was born for our sakes before many centuries to God the Father, the Most Holy Virgin and the Holy Spirit,” said Metropolitan Amfilohije in his sermon. “The mystery of eternal youth is itself eternal. He who receives within himself the fire of heaven, receives within himself eternal youth. The Church of God is the carrier of eternal and intransient youth,” said the Metropolitan. He wished all a happy holiday of Detinci and added that today we celebrate St. Nicholas, who became young with eternal youth and who makes all of us younger. “When people begin to kneel before the body and blood, that which is transient, then humanity inevitably is transformed into a morgue. The most horrible symbol for Montenegro is that now there are more of those who are dying than those who are being born,” emphasized Metropolitan Amfilohije.


His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral with the concelebration of Bishops Grigorije of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, Joanikije of Budimlje and Niksic and Jovan of Dioclea and his clergy and faithful on Saturday, December 18, 2004 performed the consecration of the newly built church of the Holy New Martyr Stanko in Ostrog Monastery. On this occasion the relics of St. Stanko the New Martyr and the mortal remains of 27 members of the Main Headquarters of the Royal Army in the Homeland for Montenegro, Boka, Herzegovina and Stari Ras, who perished by the hand of their brothers on October 18, 1943 were transferred to the church. “He who was rejected, scorned and crucified has shown Himself to be the cornerstone of the Universe. This cliff on which the church we are consecrating today has been built was forgotten, like the Holy New Martyr Stanko, but today it has regained its purpose recorded in it by Divine Destiny,” said Metropolitan Amfilohije. “This church today has grown into a beautiful shrine dedicated to the Holy New Martyr Stanko of Ostrog. Today his little hands have been given a body. His hands today caress, bless and bear witness from this rock and from this church how glorious it is to be a witness to the Living God. In addition to this great gift of God today we have yet another great gift and blessing. Here today are the 27 members of the Main Headquarters of the Royal Army in the Homeland for Montenegro, Boka, Herzegovina and Stari Ras who perished on October 18, 1943, humiliated, trodden into desecrated graves with their desecrated name. For as long as this sacred shrine exists next to the New Martyr Stanko, those who confronted and clashed with the two great evils of the 20th century will also be remembered. Everything that is true and honorable is based on sacrifice,” said Metropolitan Amfilohije. “That sacrifice is joined by those whom we lay to rest here today, that the sacrifice of our Holy Father Basil, the Holy New Martyr Stanko and those whom we lay to rest here today serve as an example of sacrifice for the Homeland,” said Metropolitan Amfilohije during Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the newly consecrated church of the Holy New Martyr Stanko in Ostrog. After the transfer of the mortal remains and a short memorial service to the Ostrog victims, speakers included academician Matija Beckovic, and Miodrag-Misko Stanisic, who expressed thanks for the transfer of the Ostrog victims on behalf of the Council.


On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the death of the famous Serbian composer Stevan Stojanovic-Mokranjac, the choir bearing his name from the church of St. Sava in Vancouver organized a concert dedicated to the great name in Serbian spiritual and secular music on Friday, December 10, 2004.

This marvelous concert was enhanced and prepared with the performance of six choirs. Each individual performance was impressive in its own way. Performing first was the host, the Stevan Mokranjac Choir with “Otce nas...” (The Lord’s Prayer) followed by compositions for Holy Liturgy by Stevan Mokranjac conducted by Mr. Nenad Ivanovic, who was also the master of ceremonies. At the beginning of the concert, Mr. Ivanovic addressed the audience with a few words reflecting on the life and works of Mokranjac, who was born in Negotin in 1856 and died in Skoplje in 1914. All those who attended will remember the choir from the Russian church of the Holy Resurrection of Our Lord under the direction of Mr. Kiril Bolshakov, especially the brilliant solo by young Pauline Bolshakov, his daughter, who thrilled the audience with her voice.

The members of the choir of the Orthodox Church of America’s church of St. German of Alaska under the direction of Mrs. Andrea Folfter also left a good impression. A Byzantine choir comprised of members of the Srpska Zajednica was also introduced with solo performances by Nevena Ratkovic and Aleksandra Smudja. The choir of Srpska Zajednica under the guidance of Mrs. Jovana Ivanovic was a true refreshment for the audience thanks to the youth and musical talent of its members. Their performance, which included “Rukoveti” by Stevan Mokranjac, was characterized by their thorough preparation and harmony. The most numerous choir with its 34 members, which performed at the end of the program, was the Romanian choir Crescendo under the direction of Mr. Katalin Ursu.

This cultural event for the heart and soul, worthy of the name of the great composer, brought together more than 80 performers and hopefully will result in similar events being held more frequently and even becoming traditional in order to bring different Orthodox peoples together.

For more information on the church of St. Sava in Vancouver (in Serbian only):


This year’s brotherly assembly of the religious servants of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral began on December 17, 2004 in the church of St. George in Podgorica with Holy Hierarchal Liturgy. Speaking about the saints which Christ’s Church celebrates today, the Holy Great Martyr Barbara and St. John of Damascus, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral emphasized that they are not only great martyrs who perished for their faith but wonderful witnesses of Christ. The Metropolitan reminded of the tradition regarding the healing of the hand of St. John of Damascus after praying before the icon of the Theotokos, who since then has been called the Three-Handed Theotokos because St. John in gratitude had another hand wrought and placed on it. This is the icon of the Theotokos that is now kept in Chilandar and which keeps Chilandar and the entire Serbian Orthodox people.

Hypodeacon Dragan Pesikan was elevated to the office of deacon during Holy Hierarchal Liturgy. The Metropolitan informed all that the church municipality of Podgorica would in the future be administratively divided into 16 parishes instead of the present four, and introduced the new parish priest of Momisici, Presbyter Jovica Cetkovic.

After Holy Hierarchal Liturgy a brotherly assembly of the religious servants of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral was held where all aspects of church life in the Metropolitanate were discussed, past work analyzed and future work planned. Among other issues, the assembly discussed the issues of religious instruction in the church municipalities in the Metropolitanate, and church property.

The issue of church property in Montenegro is a burning issue in this republic. Several speakers emphasized that what is happening in Montenegro is a continuation of the pilfering of church property begun with the Communist regime after World War II. It represents a unique case of injustice in modern and civilized Europe. The clergy unanimously concluded that it is necessary for the Church to establish its own property registration office at the republic level in order to attempt to resist increasingly aggressive attacks by the regime on its property which have recently been especially apparent in Podgorica.

At the conclusion of the assembly, the Metropolitanate clergy together with Metropolitan Amfilohije visited the church of Christ’s Resurrection.


[Serbian Translation Services]

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