Yesterday was St Sava's Day and we went to Vespers and Litiya at St Thomas's Church in Sunninghill Park.
It was different from last year, when we had taken about 80 children from St Athanasius Orthodox School in Tembisa to the service. Since then, the principal of the school has been in jail, and has not been willing to see us since she came out.
But there were some other interesting things. In the back of the church was Fr Chrysostom Frank, former Orthodox priest, and parish priest of St Nicholas of Japan Orthodox Church in Brixton, Johannesburg. Ten years ago he joined the Orthodox Church and joined the Roman Catholic Church, and soon afterwards returned to the USA.
One of his reasons for leaving was that he found the emphasis on ethnicity and nationalism too much. But if anything the Vespers itself was even more multicultural than last year. There were three choirs, Serbian, Greek and English. Apart from the two Serbian and one South African monks in the parish, there were a South African priest and deacon, a Kenyan priest, a Romanian priest and a Greek priest.
The Romanian priest gave a brief address aftrerwards, saying that the milticultural nature of the service shows that Orthodoxy transcends ethnic, national and cultural boundaries. And the link to St Sava shows that St Sava himself experienced much the same thing.