Holy Hierarchical Liturgy and Ordination to Priesthood in Clearwater

 Holy Hierarchical Liturgy and Ordination to Priesthood in Clearwater
 Holy Hierarchical Liturgy and Ordination to Priesthood in Clearwater
 Holy Hierarchical Liturgy and Ordination to Priesthood in Clearwater
 Holy Hierarchical Liturgy and Ordination to Priesthood in Clearwater

On the feast-day of the Dormition of St. Anne, Mother of the Most Holy Mother of God, on Saturday, August 7, 2021, His Grace, Bishop Irinej of Eastern America served the Holy Hierarchical Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Great-Martyr George in Clearwater, Florida.

Concelebrating with His Grace were: protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic, parish priest in Paterson, NJ, protopresbyter Milorad Orlic, parish priest in Philadelphia, PA, protopresbyter Ljubisa Brnjos, parish priest in Orlando, FL, protopresbyter Miladin Blagojevic, parish priest in Atlanta, GA, presbyter Aleksandar Djurdjevic, parish priest in North Port, FL, presbyter Stanislav Kravljaca, parish priest in Jacksonville, FL, presbyter Dragan Zaric, parish priest in St. Petersburg, FL, presbyter Christopher Rocknage, parish priest in Steelton, PA, presbyter Branislav Golic, parish priest in Aliquippa, PA, deacon Bojan Gligorevic, deacon Milan Damljanovic, deacon Daniel August, as well as protodeacon Milosh Zdralic. Liturgical responses were rendered by the choir of the Church of the Holy Great-Martyr George, assisted by the guest cantors from other parishes. The Epistle was read by Mr. Srdjan Maksimovic, a doctoral student at Fordham University in New York. Mr. John Bufalini from Washington, DC, served in the altar.

During the Holy Liturgy, which was attended by many guests from the entire Diocese of Eastern America, Bishop Irinej ordained his deacon, Protodeacon Milosh Zdralic, to the rank of presbyter.

After the Gospel reading, His Grace interpreted the mystery of the feast-day of the Dormition of St. Anne. The Holy Forbearers of God Joachim and Anna and the Most Holy Mother of God are the best indicator that our Lord Jesus Christ completely received human nature, the human body, in order to save humanity.

After the Cherubic Hymn and the Great Entrance, Protodeacon Milosh was brought before the Bishop by his brethren, and when asked: Why are you approaching and what do you seek from Our hands? He responded in the following:

Your Grace, Most Holy Archpastor and Father!

In this holy and sacred moment, bowing to the will of God and following meekly yours hierarchical blessing, I approach your sacred Right Hand, humbly imploring for the ordination to the rank of presbyter, for the completion of my long, fruitful and wonderful diaconate!

For twelve years, I have found great comfort and inspiration in serving others, and realized that the words of the Lord - whoever wants to be first among you, let him serve you all - represent a perfect beginning and end, a circle of virtue in which the first serves the most and the humblest servant becomes first.

In this holy and sacred moment, it is this blessing of even greater service that I calmly seek and accept, with great hope and firm faith that the priesthood will bring me great joy, fulfillment with virtue and consolation, and finally - communion in the glory of the Great Hierarch, our Lord Jesus Christ!

I now approach Him as a ready sacrifice, bowing to Him and to you, not only the neck of the soul and the body, but, as the Apostle Peter says: "The hands, the feet, and the head!" Especially in my mind and heart I carry the words that you, Your Grace, often repeat, the words of the psalmist David: "As for me, my home and I, we will worship the Lord!" My home and I, Your Grace, will worship the Lord unwaveringly and persistently, as we have done so far, and we will serve these good people in Clearwater following the word of the Lord: "When you have done to one of these least brothers, you have done to me!"

Your Grace, my heart is ready to hope in the Lord! I approach you like that prodigal son, aware of my weaknesses, but with the hope that you, as a merciful father, will receive me in glory!

Bishop Irinej replied:

These touching words are not just your words or just an expression of your heart. These are the words that God sent you in this moment, in the moment when you are surrounded by the love of your family, as well as the love of your brethren, your friends, who gathered to give support to you, but also to this wonderful parish!

Blessed be this day in which you step into the rank of presbyter! I advise you to serve every Liturgy as it is your first and last! By doing so, you will show your love for the triune God. From today, you are the father of your parish, your spiritual children. Today, in addition to your physical family, you get another family, the one in spirit. Neither can be placed in front of the other, you will love both. Serve with love, because whoever serves with love, truly loves his children.

Now, your service of a deacon, which you have performed in great detail, is coming to an end. On this day in which we celebrate the Assumption of St. Anne, we pray to her - may she, who gave birth to the Most Holy Mother of God, a mother full of love, always pray for you and for this parish. May she pray to her daughter, the Mother of God, and she to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Enter into the joy of your master!

After the three-fold procession around the Holy Table and the reading of the sacred prayers of the ordination to the rank of presbyter, the faithful exclaimed: AXIOS! and WORTHY! confirming the entry of Father Milosh into the holy priesthood.

At the invitation: With the fear of God, faith reverence and love draw near!, the faithful approached the Holy Chalice, partaking of the divine mysteries and praising God in His saints. After the prayer behind the Ambo, a memorial service was held for our tragically killed sister, nun Varvara from the New Marcha Monastery.

At the end of the memorial service, His Grace called the newly ordained presbyter Milosh in front of him, saying the following: Since you have served very faithfully for twelve years as a protodeacon of our Holy Church, it is a custom that, on the day of your ordination to the holy priesthood, you receive elevation to the next rank, elevating him in the rank of protonamesnik - economos.

After the Holy Liturgy, a festive luncheon followed in the Church Hall. During this joyful meal, Father Milosh, on behalf of the parish and the church-school congregation in Clearwater, and also on his own behalf thanked those present.

On behalf of the present clergy, but also those who could not attend for justified reasons, protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic congratulated the newly ordained and elevated protonamesnik, his family and parish, handing him a valuable common gift from his brethren - a set of vestments, adding also a gift from Mrs. Ljubinka Pavlovic from Paterson.

His Grace, Bishop Irinej, greeted all those present once again and gave his final blessing after the meal.

Source: Eastern American Diocese