Kiril and Metodij were brothers and byzantine Christian theologians and missionaries. They have devised the Glagolitic (Glagolica) alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavinic, setting up the foundations for almost all Slavic languages.
Both brothers are venerated in the Easter Orthodox Church as saints with the title of “equal to apostles”. In 1880 Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. One century later, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia.
The Glagolitic (Glagolica) and Cyrillic (Kirilica) alphabets are the oldest known Slavic alphabets, and were created by the two brothers and their students, to translate the Gospels and liturgical books into the Slavic languages. After the adoption of Christianity in 865, religious ceremonies in Macedonia were conducted in Greek by clergy sent from the Byzantine Empire. The adoption of the Old Slavonic language was as a way to preserve the political independence and stability of the Slavic people.
Macedonian Orthodox Church of Sts. Kiril and Metodij is one of many Eastern Orthodox Churches that formed in the centuries after Christ’s death. The Church was first found in 1974 in Passaic, after the Macedonian Congregation took over a Church that has been used by another Orthodox Church. As more Macedonians came to the United States, and New Jersey, searching for a better life, there was an increasing call for a Church the community could call its own.
The quest to build what is now the Church’s Cedar Grove home started with tragedy when the Church of Sts. Kiril and Metodij in Passaic caught on fire and burned down to the ground. Sts. Kiril and Metodij Macedonian Orthodox Church bought the Meadowbrook Ballroom property in 1994. The Ballroom Hall had extensive exterior renovations but the inside was left essentially unchanged. The Church was built on the east side of the Hall. In the interim, between the destruction of the old Church and rebuilding one in Cedar Grove, parishioners have held religious services at the Monastery of St. Georgij in Randolph, NJ.
The Church in Cedar Grove was consecrated on May 23, 2004 in an all-day celebration with over 2000 attendees. In 1975 Fr. Jovan Bosevski was appointed as first parish priest, followed by Father. Krste Popovski. In 1992 Fr. Dusko Spirkoski was appointed as parish priest in the Church, followed by The Very Reverend Father Slobodan Petkovski, who was appointed on November 2, 2002. Father Slobodan retired from our Church after 19 years of service. His position was taken by Goce Postolovski.
The Church of Sts. Kiril and Metodij plays a very important role in the Macedonian Community of New Jersey as the guidance of spiritual life and ethnicity. As a part of the American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese it has contributed to the unity, spiritually educated, and organized to keep the culture and religion inherent in the community’s everyday lives.