Thedore’s Saturday and Sunday of Orthodoxy

Tomorrow on Theodore’s Saturday, February 24th 2018, The Divine Liturgy with the blessing of the wheat will be celebrated at 10 AM. Vespers at 6 PM followed by Confession.

On Sunday of Orthodoxy, February 25th 2018, The Divine Liturgy will be served at 10 AM.

In the evening of the same day at 6 PM, a traditional Pan-Orthodox Vespers will be served, this year in Windsor, Ontario.

Beggining of The Great Lent


On the Monday following the Sunday of Cheesefare, we formally begin the 40-day Great Lent and, of course, one of its features is its rigorous fasting. In addition, there are some special features of the liturgical Services. The usual Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is not served on the weekdays of Great Lent (with the exception of the Feast of the Annunciation), but is replaced by the special Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, at which the faithful commune of the Holy Gifts which were presanctified at the previous Sunday’s Liturgy. In addition, the penitential Service of Great Compline is sung, at which, on the first four days of this first week (as well as on Thursday of the Fifth Week) the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete is read. This Canon is a long penitential composition of 250 verses expressing the longings of a guilty and penitent soul.

This week we are also introduced to the moving Lenten prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, setting forth the essence of spiritual life. This prayer is said at each of the liturgical Services throughout the weekdays of Great Lent and the first half of Passion Week.

The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian.

O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, despair? lust of power and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant,

Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my Brother; for Blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

All of the Sundays of Great Lent (with the exception of Palm Sunday) the usual Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is replaced by the longer Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. This Liturgy is especially characterized by its longer and very moving prayers.



The Village of Prebilovci



“Be it bad or unpleasant, the truth is healing”

Dragan Lakićević, writer 
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The village of Prebilovci (more rarely referred to as Pribilovci) is situated on the left bank of the Bregava River, in the immediate vicinity of its confluence with the Neretva. The name of the settlement has come down from Middle Ages. The literature on the Middle Ages mentions the Duke of the Hume Lands, Pribilović, whom the ban of Dalmatia approached in 1378 to military support his campaign in the region of Ston. Based on the datum that Prebilovci is located in the hinterland of Ston, from where the military support could reach it relatively quickly, experts in medieval history are inclined to claim that the duke was the one who held court in the region of today’s Prebilovci, the village in the Hume part of Herzegovina (Hume Lands), and that the name of the settlement can be associated with the Duke Pribilović.

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The folklore about the origin of Pribilovci also mentions the duke, but some other versions as well. To this part of the Hum Land, in the Middle Ages, when there was a lot of snow in Serbia, nomad-cattle breeders would come from the surroundings of Lazarevac to drive their herds to pasture and spend the winter there. This is where their residence (prebivalište) was during the winter. From there came the first inhabitants of Prebilovac. Since in the vicinity of Lazarevac there are Dragi ć evićs, as there are in Prebilovci, whose Patron Saint’s Day is St. Nicolas, the version of nomad-cattle breeders and their residence here is probable and nearer to the truth. As the village nestles up to two hills, Grabak and Bijela Vlaka, the folklore has took that fact as the basis of the origin of the village’s name, Pribilovci, which is rarely used. In any way, in the southern part of the local Orthodox cemetery there is also a medieval cemetery. On one of the tombstones there is a fine coat of arms carved into a shield with a sword. On the shield there are four rosettes with engraved tiny crosses. Carved into another tombstone is a heart-shaped shield with a sword. Prebilovci has been a Serbian settlement since time immemorial. The Orthodox Dragićevićs were found here by the Turks during their conquering of Herzegovina. The name of Prebilovci is impressed deeply in the mind of every nationally conscious Serb. This Herzegovina village is a token of suffering and martyrdom. The fate Prebilovci experienced in the WWII is shared only with the Bohemian village of Ladice. During that war 52 families and 36 homes in Prebilovci were completely destroyed. Out of around one thousand inhabitants only 172 members of the households have survived the war horrors. In the civil war raging through Bosnia and Herzegovina during the ‘20s of the last century, the people of Previlovci did not suffer, but the village was robbed, the church destroyed and leveled to the ground. The main settlement and two hamlets, Kuline and Grlić, were burnt down and their 163 inhabitants expelled. The largest number of the inhabitants of Prebilovci are even today refugees. Until today from various donations, mainly American’s, only twenty houses have been restored whereas three houses have been restored from private resources. Electricity has been reinstalled in the village and it has got a possibility to raise from the ashes. The community of Čapljina, where Prebilovci is located, has financially supported the repairment of the asphalt road from the local cemetery to Prebilovci, and thanks to the humanitarian organization of UMKOR the village has again got drinking water from a hole in the center of the settlement. Today Prebilovci has but 58 inhabitants and all possibilities to bring the village back to life.