Sunday of Orthodoxy

Today is the First Sunday of Great Lent also known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy. On this day we celebrate the restoration of the veneration of the Holy Icons after the Iconoclastic period of Church history. For the Orthodox Icons are not simply wood and paint but a window that helps us to pray and meditate on what the image is. Tradition holds that at the end of the Liturgy today a procession of people bearing Icons will take place around the Church. We are commemorating a procession that took place after the restoration. The Emperor Michael and his mother and others processed around caring the Holy Images and returned them to the churches. In the end what the day is about is the triumph of true doctrine over that of heresy.
At the end of the procession the priest and people will say:

As the prophets beheld, as the apostles have taught, as the Church has received as the teachers have declared, as the world has agreed, as grace has shown forth, as truth has been revealed, as falsehood has been dispelled, as wisdom has become manifest, as Christ awarded; thus we declare; thus we affirm; thus we proclaim Christ our true God, and honor His saints in words, writings, thoughts, sacrifices, churches, and holy icons – on the one hand, worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord, and on the other, honoring the saints as true servants of the same Lord of all, and offering them proper veneration. This is the faith of the fathers. This is the faith of the Orthodox. This is the faith on which the world is established. Therefore, with fraternal and filial love we praise the heralds of the faith, those who with glory and honor have struggled for the faith, and we say: to the champions of Orthodoxy, faithful emperors, most-holy patriarchs, hierarchs, teachers, martyrs, and confessors: May your memory be eternal.

As has been our custom here for many years, 11 of the 12 churches in the Worcester area will be closed today so we all can celebrate together in one Liturgy.

Blessed Fast!

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