One hundred and five years ago, on July 28th, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson summoned the American people to prayer for Serbia and the Serbian people. His proclamation was read in churches throughout the country and published in virtually all major newspapers. Church Bells throughout America rang out at 12 noon that day, also in honor of the sacrifices of the Serbs. The Serbian flag was raised in the nation's capital over the White House.
On July 25th, 2018, as the inaugural event for the Commemoration of the Centennial of “The Day the Serbian Flag flew at the White House”, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America, was invited by then Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), co-chairman of the Serbian Congressional Caucus, as Guest Chaplain, to read the Opening Prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, District of Columbia –
“Lord God Almighty, God of Justice, we offer You our sincere thanksgiving and heartfelt prayer for and with those whom You have graciously vested in governance of these United States of America.
Enable the Members of the House of Representatives, elected by the people and for the people, to present equitably the diverse interests of our citizens and those from the expanse of the world who reside, labor and study here.
Guide those who deliberate and legislate on our collective behalf in the spirit of unity, openness and understanding. Allow their hearts ever to be open to the resounding cry of those who earnestly pledge indivisible liberty and justice for all.
May they be enlightened by Your precepts and motivated in their altruistic service to our Nation and its people. Bless and preserve them and us, Lord. This we pray in Christ Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The above Prayer, which Bishop Irinej composed and read for the occasion, is believed for the first time in the history of the United States, a Serbian Bishop, honoring this presidential summons of old, prayed for members of Congress and for the good estate of all.