Diocesan News


Our Lady of Los AngelesOn the Saturday of Bright Week, April 18 2015, at the St. Steven’s Cathedral in Alhambra, Los Angeles, the Feast of Our Lady Queen of the Angels (Los Angeles) was celebrated for the first time, as we read from the Synaxarion: On this day, the Saturday of Bright Week, we celebrate the Synaxis of our All-holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, the Queen of all and Sovereign Lady of the Angels, protectress and unfailing intercessor of our holy diocese of Los Angeles. The special liturgical service (Akolouthia) for this Feast-day was composed on the Holy Mountain of Athos by Athanasios, Hieromonk of Simonopetra Monastery, Hymnographer of the Holy Great Church of Christ, at the request of His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America. The Service was translated from Greek language into English by Norman Russell.

The celebration of the Feast-day began on Friday evening with the Vesper service and continued the next morning with Matins, which incorporated the beautiful Paschal and Feast-day hymns sang for the first time in our Cathedral by Bishop Maxim and Fr. Nikola Ceko.

The Feast celebration continued with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy officiated by His Grace Bishop Maxim with the concelebrating priests of the local Western American Diocese and other Orthodox Jurisdictions of the West: Fr. John Constantine (Metropolis of San Francisco of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Fr. Christopher Horsley (Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church) and Fr. Norman Kosanovich, Fr. Blasko Paraklis, and Fr. Borislav Jegarski (Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church). In his sermon, His Grace Bishop Maxim thanked the clergy and the faithful for their prayerful visitation and expressed his hope that this Feast-day of all Orthodox Christians in Los Angeles will grow in the hearts of the faithful in the course of time.

Following the Divine Liturgy the faithful gathered for a luncheon, graciously prepared by Cathedral priests, Fr. Nikola and Fr. Norman, and an afternoon of fellowship.

Bright Tuesday at Sretenje Monastery in Escondido

2015 04 14 bright tuesday04Escondido, CA - On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at the small chapel located in the beautiful hills of the Sretenje Monastery in Escondido, His Grace Bishop Maxim and Clergy from the Southern California area celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Bright Tuesday, together with visiting seminarians from the St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, Illinois and the faithful from the nearby parishes.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy a festive picnic-style luncheon was held outside under cover of the magnificent monastery trees. Parishioners from the neighboring parishes prepared a delicious lamb meal and provided refreshements for all who joined in the Bright Tuesday celebration. 

As the children played and ran about the Monastery grounds, His Grace Bishop Maxim, the clergy, the seminarians, and the faithful enjoyed a beautiful relaxing afternoon of fellowship.  

Bright Monday St. Sava Cemetery Church

2015 04 13 bright monday 05Los Angeles, CA - On Monday, April 13th, Bright Monday, His Grace Bishop Maxim, V. Rev. Petar Jovanovic from St. Sava Church in San Gabriel, V. Rev. Nicholas Ceko from Saint Steven's Cathedral in Alhambra, our Diocesan Deacon Zoran Aleksic, and a visiting group of students from the St. Sava Theological School in Libertyville, Illinois celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Bright Monday at the St. Sava Cemetary Church in Los Angeles. 





Pascha Vespers & Festivities

2015 04 12 pascha vespers featureAlhambra, CA - On Sunday, April 12, 2015, at the Saint Steven's Cathedral, the Vespers of Agape (Love) was celebrated at noon with the Holy Gospel of the Resurrection read in several languages by His Grace Bishop Maxim, V.Rev. Nicholas Ceko, V. Rev. Ilija Dajkovic, Rev. Norman Kosanovich, and Deacon Zoran Aleksic, emphasizing the universality of Christ's teaching of love and peace.

The responses were sung by the Youth Chorale (ages 7 to 18) and the Cathedral Cantors, all led by Jonathan Braun. At the conclusion of the service, the Patriarch's message was read by the Cathedral Dean, V. Rev. Nicholas Ceko. At the dismissal the faithful received the Easter Greeting and Blessing from His Grace Bishop Maxim. The Pascha Troparion was sung followed by the singing of The Angel Cried. 

After the service, more than 1,000 people gathered in the Saint Steven's hall and pavillion, and on the pavillion patio for the afternoon festivities. Those who made reservations for the Banquet enjoyed a delicious lamb dinner, while those who chose to eat outside were treated to the traditional Chevap barbeque.  Following the luncheon the children eagerly raced out onto the lawn for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Everyone then enjoyed an afternoon of dancing and fellowship with music provided by Orchestra Srbija from Phoenix, Arizona. 

PASCHA - The Feast of Feasts at Saint Steven's Cathedral in Alhambra

2015 04 12 pascha featureAlhambra, CA - Just a little before midnight on Saturday, April 11, 2015, the Blessed Sabbath, His Grace Bishop Maxim, the clergy, and the Orthodox faithful gathered at the Saint Steven's Cathedral to participate in the Feast of Feasts, Great and Holy PASCHA, the Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

As the children of the Youth Chorale chanted the verse "Come Receive the Light", His Grace offered the Paschal Light of Christ to the faithful and after receiving the unwaning light the Easter procession around the Church began as the clergy and faithful sang, "The angels in heaven, O Christ our Saviour, sing of Thy resurrection. Make us on earth also worthy to hymn Thee with a pure heart". After returning to the closed doors at the front of the church, His Grace announced the Resurrection of Christ and the Easter Troparion was sung, "Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life". 

Great & Holy Saturday at Saint Steven's Cathedral

holy saturday 2015 featureAlhambra, CA - On the morning of Great & Holy Saturday, April 11th, 2015, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was held in commemoration of burial of Christ and His descent into Hades. His Grace Bishop Maxim concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with the Diocesan Deacon Zoran Aleksic and Rev. Norman Kosanovich. The choral responses were sung by the Cathedral Cantors led by V. Rev. Nicholas Ceko, the Cathedral Dean. The faithful who were present prayerfully participated in the Blessed Sabbath Service.

As it is explained in the Synaxarion of this day, “on Great and Holy Saturday do we celebrate the divine-bodily burial of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His descent into Hell, by which being called from corruption, our race passed to life eternal.” This is not only the eve of salvation. It is the very day of our salvation. “This is the blessed Sabbath, this is the day of rest, whereon the Only Begotten Son of God has rested from all His deeds.” This is the day of the Descent into Hell. And the Descent into Hell is already the Resurrection. 
May we all be tuned to the vibration of the earthquake that does away with hell and raises the dead!

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