Serbian Orthodox Slava Service and Explanation

Priest: Blessed is our Lord, always, now and forever, and unto ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us (Thrice).

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O All-Holy Trinity have mercy on us; O Lord, wash away our sins; O Master, pardon our transgressions; O Holy One visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name's sake.

Lord have mercy (Thrice).

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Then the Troparion and Kontakion i.e., the hymns praising the Saint who is being commemorated are chanted *

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord have mercy.

Priest: O Lord, Thou hast created everything by Thy word, and Thou hast ordered the earth to produce various fruits for our enjoyment and nourishment; Thou hast so arranged that the three young men and Daniel who fed on the seeds in Babylon had more radiant faces than those who were brought up in luxury; bless Thou Thyself, O Most Gracious King, this wheat to which various fruits have been added, and sanctify the faithful ones who will taste of it, for Thy servants have offered this for Thy glory and in honor of the holy (here the name of the Saint being honored is mentioned)(here the name of the Saint being honored) whose memory we are honoring now, and of all the saints.

For Thou art the One Who blesseth and sanctifieth all and everything, O our Lord, and we offer praise to Thee, the God Who hath no beginning, together with Thine Only-Begotten Son and Thine All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

The priest censes the bread (kolach) and all present. Then he picks up the bread (kolach), and blesses it and the vessel containing wine three times, saying:

Priest: O Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, bless this bread and this wine by Thy Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.(Thrice)

Reader: Amen. (each time)

The priest lifting up the bread, prays:

Priest: We offer this, O our Lord and God, for the glory and honor of Thy Saint the sake of his (the name of the Saint being honored is mentioned) and for the sake of his (her or their) intercession, accept, O All-Merciful, this offering unto Thy Supercelestial Altar.

The priest inverts the bread (kolach), cuts it crosswise, and pours wine over it saying: In the Name of the Father (Amen) , and of the Son (Amen), and of the Holy Spirit (Amen) , now and ever, and unto ages of ages (Amen). Then the priest turns the bread (kolach) face up, and he and the host hold the bread and rotate it while the following hymns are chanted:

R or Priest: O holy martyrs, who courageously suffered and received honor and crowns, beseech the Lord to have mercy on our souls.

Glory to Thee, O Christ God, the Apostles' praise, the Martyrs' joy; the subject of their preaching is the consubstantial Trinity.

Rejoice, O Isaiah, a Virgin is with a Child, and She gave birth to a Son, Emmanuel, Who is both God and Man; and Orient is His name and by honoring Him we bless Thee, O Virgin.

* After that, the priest and the host break the bread (kolach) in half. Holding the two halves together, the priest and the host kiss the bread (kolach) three times, alternating the two halves, and each time the priest says: *

Priest: Christ is in our midst !

* And the host and his household respond: *

Houshold: He is and He shall be ! (each time)

R or Priest: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Through the intercession of the holy (here the name of the Saint being honored is mentioned), O Merciful One, cleanse the multitude of our sins.

Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Through the intercession of the Theotokos, O Merciful One, cleanse the multitude of our sins.

Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great kindness, and, because of the magnitude of Thy goodness, cleanse our sins.

Today the grace of God brought us together and, having taken Thy Cross let us say: "Blessed is the One Who cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest !

Priest: Have mercy upon us in accordance with Thy great mercy, we beseech Thee, harken and have mercy.

Reader: Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

Priest: Furthermore we pray for our Most Holy Patriarch (the name) and our Most Reverend Bishop N. and for our brethren in Christ.

Reader: Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

Priest: Furthermore we pray for this home and all its residents (Names) who maintain this custom for the glory and honor of Thy Saint (the name of the Saint).

Reader: Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

Priest: For Thou art a merciful God and lovest mankind and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Priest: Wisdom! O All Theotokos, save us!

Reader: More honorable than the Cherubim and beyond comparison more glorious than the Seraphim, who without the corruption gave birth to the God-Word, Thou art truly the Theotokos, we magnify Thee.

Priest: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to Thee.

Reader: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lord have mercy. (Thrice)

Father, bless!

The priest prays the Dismissal Prayer, then says the Many Years:

Priest: To this home and all its residents, grant, O Lord, peace, health, love and Thy blessings for many years.

Reader: God, grant them many years. (Thrice)


What is Krsna Slava?

In reality Serbian Slava is Serbian family birthday and family name day in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our Holy Orthodox Christian faith. For this reason, the words, "Krsno Ime" brings the meaning even closer. Slava is the name of the Patron Saint. Among the Serbian people, Slava is old as Christianity itself. No Christian nation has this type of celebration but the Orthodox Serbs. In its importance to a Serbian family, Slava stands next to Nativity and Pascha.

Orthodox Christian missionaries among the Serbs, when converting them to the Holy Orthodox Faith, Christianized their customs too. In becoming Orthodox Christians, Serbs accepted the Saint /Saints of the day they were baptized. The living example of the Patron Saint gave the celebrant assurance, persistence and the feeling of protection, support and encouragement of doing good in ones life. To make it even more spiritually binding, the Holy Orthodox Church, because it is the communion of the Saints and the Body of Christ in which Christ abides through the Patron Saint, makes the family become part of that communion in a more direct and tangible way.

As far as the Orthodox Serbian culture is concerned, Slava becomes a unique element uninterrupted throughout the entire history of the Orthodox Serbian people. Being situated in the geographic region between the East and the West, between cultures alien to them ( Islam and Roman Catholicism), and being subjugated for centuries by slavery, the Slava for Serbs became a spiritual holiday identified with their Orthodox name and existence. In the history of the Orthodox Serbian people, Slava withstood with success Roman Catholic religious proselytism with persecution from the West, and Islamic religious slavery and brutality for centuries.

Observance of the Slava is performed also by cultural and social organizations, cities and even military units. In addition to relatives, kumovi and friends are assembled that day, the home is open to ALL who come. Emotions of the celebrants are charged with the noblest motives. They have a readiness and desire to welcome and offer the best in friendship, food, drink , and all is ready and prepared in prayer. The host does not sit that day. His duty is to welcome and serve, "Da sluzi Krsno Ime." There are many beautiful zdravica's" (toasts) pronounced and heard on that day by the host and the guests invoking blessings of God and the Orthodox Saints and exchanging the best wishes for each other. This is a day for great spiritual rejoicing.

In the home you find a candle, "slavski kolach" (bread) and "koljivo" (wheat) on the table with the icon of the Patron Saint on the east wall of one of the rooms with a votive light "kandilo". This is the family altar. The Slava candle "sveca" is lit and burns in honor and memory of the Patron Saint. The candle is never blown out, but extinguished with wine. The same wine glass is then handed around the family circle and each member takes a sip of it and thereby the continuity of the Slava is symbolized. The "kolac" (bread) symbolizes Christ and His presence (the Bread of Life), while the "koljivo" (wheat) is served in memory of the deceased members of the family who are mentioned during the service of cutting of the "slavski kolach" (bread). Thus the present generation is together with the preceding generation and those to come. The scent of incense fills the house, bringing to our senses the feeling of this festive and unique occasion. All present become one and the personality of everyone present , body, soul, and spirit is participating in full.

Sender: Orthodox Christianity
Poster: Miroljub Ruzic
Date sent: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 11:00:21 -0500
Subject: Serbian Slava Service - English Text





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