Tenth Liturgical Festival in the Municipality of Čukarica

The Jubilee of 10th Liturgical Festival was held and organized on May 19, 2018 in the port of the church of the Holy Ascension in Žarkovo by the Department of the Teachers of Religious Education of the Municipalities of Cukarica and Rakovica. As the name tells itself, the Festival began with the Liturgy at 8 o’clock. In this way, children were introduced to the liturgical way of life. About 350 elementary school pupils, mostly from the territory of Čukarica, attended the liturgy; most of them took the Holy Communion. Liturgy was served by the brotherhood of the church, with the former teacher colleagues who became priests.
Oliver Subotić, a priest, gave the sermon, in which, throughout the dialogue with the children invited them, and then got their acceptance that they would respect and obey their parents, teachers and friends. After the liturgy, juices were served to all, and then a cultural-artistic program started.
During the breaks between beautiful songs, some of them were performed on instruments, along with the excellent guidance of the program of the pupils from the elementary school “Josif Pančić“, the history of the Festival was presented to the children. The priest Nikola Soldatović spoke to the children confirming the story from his own personal experience. He was a Religious Education teacher at that time and took part in the founding of this wonderful event. In his welcome note he could not hide the enthusiasm that the Festival continues to take place, that every year it is becoming more and more frequently visited, and that the children who were on the first festivals are now in high schools or colleges. Father Nikola and following speakers, wished us that in the nearby future some of the first visitors to the Festival return to it but now in the role of teachers, Religious Education teachers or as parents.
The program was attended by pupils from the primary schools ‘’Miroslav Antić’’, ‘’Miloš Crnjanski’’ and ‘’Josif Pančić’’, and we heard the following songs: “Do not let your luck go out” (this was also the topic of this year’s Festival, and the song with this title was sung by the authors, pupils of primary school “Josif Pančić”), “We are children of the sky”, “Let` Get in Love, Let`s Get in Love”, “Simonida”, “Oj Coko, Coko”, “Autumn Rains” and “Rain fall”.
The Municipality of Čukarica from the festivals early days continues to take care about it. During the program, we shared our joy with the President of the Municipality of Čukarica, Srđan Kolarić, who arrived during the program, for the first time in the history of the Festival, and greeted the participants, praised the teachers and promised that the Municipality of Čukarica would continue to support such actions, because our Department of Religious teachers beside the Festival also participates in the Exhibition of Easter Eggs every year before Easter in the building of the Municipality of Čukarica. The program ended in a wonderful national dance called the King’s Dance. Then the children were invited to take sandwiches, which, as every year, were provided by the Faith Stewardship Charity, and soon after that the children got the caps with the logo of our Festival; the financial support for procurement and printing was provided by the Committee for Religious Education of the Archbishopric of the Belgrade- Karlovac with the blessing of Patriarch of Serbia Mr. Irinej.
The festival was supported by many benefactors and sponsors: The Academy of the Serbian Orthodox Church for Art and Conservation, the company “Fruvita“, the company “Your Five Minutes“, the “Tortini Cake Factory“, “Balloon Marketing“, Miss Nada Antunovic and many others that we are very grateful of.
The unforgettable workshops: knitting rosaries, working with polymer clay, mosaic, calligraphy, iconography, as well as the sport and entertainment part of the Festival: racing in jacks, speed games, racing with wooden raisins, rope overlay, limbo dance, and long jump … this kind of event are essential and much needed for children for developing and promoting communion and creativity. It was simply impossible to separate children from workshops where artists from Academy of Serbian Orthodox Church for conservation of icons and frescoes unselfishly revealed the techniques of painting, calligraphy and mosaic. Cake Shop, Balloon Marketing, Miss Nada Antunovic and many others to whom we are immensely grateful.
In the end, let’s emphasize that this Festival from the very beginning also has a charitable character and emphasis is placed on helping a child who needs certain financial support. This year the students helped a little friend Jovan for whom they collected a large sum of money. When the Liturgy Festival ended and when the teachers with all the previous coordinators summed up the impressions, they symbolically cut the birthday cake with number 10 with singing “Many, Many Years“! We hope that this Festival will have many more jubilees, all in the glory of the Resurrected and Ascended Christ. Amin.

Hadži Milovan Parezanović,
Teacher and Coordinator of Department of Religious Education of Čukarica and Rakovica