Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday of Orthodoxy

Today we celebrate 1) the first Sunday of Great Lent, and 2) the Sunday of Orthodoxy - when the Church celebrates the triumph of the use of icons.


Wikipedia has this to say,
"The Feast of Orthodoxy (also knowns as the Sunday of Orthodoxy or the Triumph of
Orthodoxy) is celebrated on the first Sunday of Great Lent (six Sundays before Pascha) in the liturgical calendar of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church (Eastern Catholics of Byzantine rite). The Feast is kept in memory of the final defeat of Iconoclasm and the restoration of the icons to the churches." Wikipedia


This feast is usually celebrated by having the parishioners process around the parish whilst holding icons (usually of their patron saint). The reason that I am posting this so late in the day is because I wanted to add pictures from my parishes first procession at our new building.


During a time in the history of the Church (before the Great Schism) there was a movement known as iconoclasm - image smashers - where people went and removed icons from the churches. This was in direct opposition to the 7th Ecumenical Council which had decreed that icons were good to be used. After the last iconoclastic emperor had died his son and wife, with the current Patriarch, held a Synod in Constantinople where it was once again decreed that icons were to be used. There was then a procession from the Church of Blachernae to the Hagia Sophia to restore the icons. The Church then said that there should be a feast every year to commemorate the goings on. This celebration took place on the first Sunday of Lent and has been celebrated since AD 843.
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