On 7 January 2023, on the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch kyr Porfirije presided over the Holy Liturgy in the Church of Saint Sava on Vračar.
Bishops Aleksej of Hvosno and Dositej of Lipljan; Archimandrites Nektarije, Danilo and Vasilije; Protopresbyters Zoran Ranković, Nenad Jovanović and Branko Mitrović; Presbyters Zoran Devrnja, Predrag Protić, Srboljub Ubiparipović and Srboljub Ostojić; Protodeacons Radomir Vrućinić and Dragan Radić; and deacon Nikolaj Vuković concelebrated with His Holiness. His Eminence Bishop of Remesiana kyr Stefan, Vicar of the Serbian Patriarch, prayerfully participated in the Liturgy.
The festive liturgical gathering was attended by the First Deputy Prime Minister in charge of foreign policy and security and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ivica Dačić, Director of the Administration for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities Dr. Vladimir Roganović, Member of the Parliament Sanja Lakić, Prince Filip and Princess Danica Karađorđević.
The chanting was performed by the Chanting Society of the Church of Saint Sava under the artistic conduction of Dr. Katarina Stanković, as well as the Rastko Children’s Choir under the artistic conduction of Milena Antović.
At the end of the Holy Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch kyr Porfirije offered a sermon:
– Christ is born! Brothers and sisters, the Feast makes us joyful. We rejoice at the birth of Christ, we rejoice together with heaven and earth, we rejoice with the whole creation and with every living being because the Lord has come among us. God the Father entrusted His Son to people. How great is God’s trust in mankind that, even though there is a boundary between heaven and earth, He found a way to us, to the entire human race!
– God came among us and revealed to us what is good. He revealed to us that God is good and also the way that leads to good. Let’s rejoice today! It is nice to rejoice in every way, but the essence, fullness and meaning of joy is the Holy Liturgy. Every joy should lead to the peak of joy, and that is joy of the Holy Liturgy where we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ. Let’s make an effort to celebrate the Nativity of Christ in a godly manner.
– I wish everyone peace, joy and love. I want to repeat this time that we should remember all our brothers and sisters who suffered death wherever they lived – all Orthodox Christians. We pray that God will bring His peace to all people, but especially to the people in Kosovo and Metohija. Today’s joy was clouded by tragedy. Someone shot at two young people, Miloš and Stefan from Štrpce. May the Lord, with His love and trust, grant that the evil that befell them does not disturb the joy of this night, the joy of the arrival of Christ among us! May He give strength to them and their relatives, but also to other brothers and sisters on Kosovo and Metohija! And may He give peace to all others who live with them – a peace which is the ultimate value. May the Feast be blessed! Peace of God – Christ is born!
The Nativity epistle of the Serbian Patriarch and all the Hierarchs from the homeland was read by His Eminence Bishop of Hvosno kyr Aleksej.