St Petersburg, FL - On Sunday, January 31, 2016, the faithful of the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, FL, celebrated the patronal feast of their parish church, St. Sava, the First Archbishop of the Serbs, Enlightener and equal to the Apostles. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the V. Rev. Stavrophor Stephen Zaremba, parish priest, and the V. Rev. Stavrophor Jovan Todorovic, retired, attached to the St. George parish in Clearwater, FL. The V. Rev. Stavrophor Miloje Rajicevic, retired priest of the St. Sava parish, who was unable to serve due to ill health, preached an inspiring sermon about St. Sava to the faithful gathered for the celebration, who filled the St. Sava Church to capacity.
Just before the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy the clergy, kumovi of this years celebration, Stanko and Sonja Nedic with their sons Darko, Daniel and Andre, as well as other members of the Nedic family, our St. Sava Choir and all of the faithful proceeded in a Litija (procession) around the church, stopping four times to mark the sign of the Cross about the church, reading the proscribed Gospel readings, after which the church, people and city were blessed with holy water. At the last stop of the Litija everyone prayed for the repose of the souls of the priests, founders, donors, benefactors and all who have ever served or come together in this holy place to offer their prayers and themselves to God.
After the Divine Liturgy, everyone was gathered in the parish hall where the above-mentioned priests, who were now joined by the V. Rev. Dragan Zaric, parish priest of the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Clearwater, FL, cut the Slava Bread and blessed the wheat, praying for the kumovi of this year’s celebration, all those present, and for all Serbs throughout the world. After the Slava Bread was cut Miladin and Janet Modrakovic won the honor of being kumovi at next year’s celebration. One of the benefits of being Kumovi is that you get to take home the St. Sava icon from the Slava to your home, where it is hung in honor for the year. Many of our former kumovi have been blessed by this icon!
After the tradititonal Slava dinner, the children of our St. Sava parish presented a customary program by reciting their deklamacije and singing hyms of praise to and about St. Sava. Our Srpski Biser folklore also danced to the enjoyment of all.
At the end of the day our kumovi, the Nedic and Modrakovic families were thanked for their generosity. We can never forget the beautiful singing of our St. Sava Choir nor the hard work, hospitality and abundant food and deserts which the ladies of our Kolo of Serbian Sisters, St. Petka, always provide. We ask that God, through the prayers of our holy father Sava, bless and keep you all.