International Orthodox Christian News

On March 8, the first Sunday of Lent, by tradition the Holy Church celebrates Sunday of the Orthodoxy. This day the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church conducted the Divine Liturgy at the refectory church of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Concelebrating to His Beatitude were deputy abbot of the monastery Archbishop Pavel of Vyshgorod, Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary Archbishop Anthony of Boryspil, Bishop Hilary of Makariv, Secretary for the Primate of the UOC, Bishop Alexander of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi, Bishop Panteleimon of Vasylkiv and brethren clergy. Before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy the traditional prayer ceremony of the Feast of Orthodoxy was performed. It included reading of the Creed, proclaiming "memory eternal" to all the defenders of the Orthodoxy, proclaiming "many years" to all the primates of the canonical Orthodox Churches and raising prayers for the Church. In particular, on that day we honor all those who strengthened the Orthodox faith for ages and those who perform their ministry and their feats for the sake of expansion of the faith of Christ in the world today. Today's feast symbolizes final victory over the iconoclasm heresy. Its introduction is connected with the events of the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople held in the year 843 A.D., which had been convoked by the righteous Empress Theodora in order to restore veneration of the holy icons in Byzantium. To commemorate this event of importance for the whole Christian world and in memory of the Empress Theodora, every year on the first Sunday of Lent the Orthodox Church solemnly marks the restoration of the icon veneration, called the Feast of Orthodoxy. This rite is performed once a year exactly on the first Sunday of Lent. The rite was introduced in the 12th century, and during the following two centuries it was supplemented by the texts containing the orthodox dogmata. Addressing the flock at the Liturgy, the Primate told of the history and significance of the feast. Also in the course of the service the Archpastor ordained to the holy priesthood the fourth year student of the Kyiv Theological Academy deacon Mykola Hychko.


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