CELEBRATION OF SLAVA
As we have seen, the celebration of the slava is the way we manifest our thanks-giving to God for all the good he has endowed us with, and it is our prayer to Him (and to our saint, to be a mediator between our prayers and the Lord) to deliver us from evil and point us in the right direction in life.
That is why the slava must be celebrated with that holy cause in mind, and not because of the feasting, food and drink! On that day he celebrant and his family should in particular remember the life and work of the saint they venerate and compare their life and work with it, paying attention to the differences, and they should amend their life after the saint’s example, for it would be the best and most glorious way to celebrate him, the protector of their home and their representative in front of the Lord.
In front of the sliced slava cake which has been poured over with red wine the celebrant is supposed to commemorate the great sacrifice that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for us when he was crucified, and to ask himself whether their life and work are worthy of the sacrifice! Did one act upon the word of Christ? Did one help the poor and troubled fellow humans, as one is supposed to do? Did he feed the hungry, put the clothes on the back of the naked, put the shoes on the feet of the barefoot; did he quench the thirst of the thirsty? Did he remember those who are in misery and trouble, did he ease their life, did he eliminate the misery and relieve the suffering?
If he did not do this, may he make a strong decision to do it in the future, when God fulfilled their his needs, because there is no use in faith if he does not do good deeds.
‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this’ – says James, Apostle of Christ – ‘to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world’. ‘What good is it, my brothers, if a man claism to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?’ ‘As the body without the spirit (the soul) is dead, so faith without deeds is dead’- tells us James (Epistle of James 1: 27, 2: 14, 2: 26) showing us the way to go through life.
So, let the flame of the slava candle, a wax-candle, light up our mind, warm our souls, so we know the true purpose of our lives and show to be true children of God as long as we live.
Only that sort of celebration of the slava will be appropriate for us as Christians, and lead to our prayers be fulfilled.