St. Clement of Ohrid in Toronto extravagantly celebrated in co-service with priests from the Serbian and Antiochian Orthodox Church

Writes Fr. Aleksandar Todorovski

On December 8, 2023, the Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral Church of St. Clement in Toronto celebrated its patron saint with all honours and a Holy Liturgy. Priests from other Macedonian Orthodox churches in Toronto and retired priests co-officiated at the Holy Liturgy. The joy was further enhanced by the presence of brother priests from our sister Orthodox churches: Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Drago Knežević from the Serbian Orthodox Church “St. Sava” in Toronto and Father Georgij Mokbel from the Antiochian Orthodox Church “St. George” in Richmond Hill. During the Holy Liturgy, the faithful received the Holy Mysteries of Christ, and the first communicants were the children from the “Sunday School.”

On December 9, 2023, in the grand banquet hall adorned with festive decor and filled to capacity, the Canadian and Macedonian anthems were first played. Then, the presiding priests blessed the slava bread, wine, and wheat. At the podium, with fitting St. Clement’s messages, parish priests Reverend Sasho Celeski and Protopresbyter Aleksandar Todorovski, Church Board President Boris Stoikos, and the godfather Zoran Trifunovski addressed the audience.

The program was led by the young and patriotic duo, Vice President of the Church Board at “St. Clement of Ohrid” Christian Roštankovski and Hristina Veljanovska, former President of the Association of Macedonian Students at the University of Toronto.

Following that, certificates of appreciation and St. Clement’s icons were awarded to those who contributed significantly to the work of “St. Clement of Ohrid”, especially during the challenging years of the pandemic.

In the artistic part of the program, students from the “Sunday School,” led by teacher Snežana Tešović, presented a recital of appropriate festive poems, solo performances, and dramatic moments. For the first time, the students premiered a St. Clement’s song, followed by “Eternal God”, a Christmas song, and other suitable tunes. The folklore ensemble “Makedonka” showcased Macedonian songs and dances from different parts of Macedonia.

During the ceremony, Church President St. Clement Boris Stoikos received a floral motif from the Nobel Prize-nominated Macedonian painter Živko Cvetin, presented by the writer Vera Samarjanin.

In the entertainment segment that followed the rich lenten dinner, Sonja and Oliver Band and Steve Šturjevski performed Macedonian songs and dances from all regions of Macedonia.

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