Phoenix, AZ - On Satuday, January 2, 2010, the feastday of the Holy Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-bearer, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, Arizona, assisted by Fr. Janko Trbovic and Fr. Stanislav Duric. Many faithful were in attendance who came to celebrate the feastday and wish their parish priest, Fr. Stanislav, a Srecna Slava. A small choir of young girls sang the responses at the chanter's stand.
In his homily, Bishop Maxim reminded the faithful of the podvig of martyrdom in the Church of Christ as the greatest criterion for one's devotion to Christ. He also noted the significance of St. Ignatius, whom St. Bishop Nikolaj of Zicha often quoted in his Prologue. In one place he says: the Orthodox Church, teaching the people of perfect love, teaches them at the same time perfect obedience, which produces order and good form among the faithful. Bishops owe their obedience to the Lord, priests to the bishops, the faithful to one another. St. Ignatius writes about this: “You are obliged to comply without any hypocrisy; he who would mislead his visible bishop, would laugh at the Unseen.... I beseech you, strive to accomplish all things in one spirit of God under the presidency of the bishop, who takes the place of God, and the priests, who make up the assembly of the apostles...not considering anything you do alone to be lawful.”
The next hierarchical litturgy is scheduled for January 17 when the new iconostasis will be blessed in the presence and assembly of both parishes: St. Sava and St. Nicholas.