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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday of Orthodoxy

Today, the First Sunday of Great Lent, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

This Feast was instituted as a commemoration of the victory of the Orthodox over the Iconoclasts.

The troparion of the Feast states:

We worship Thine immaculate Icon, O Good One,
asking the forgiveness of our failings, O Christ God;
for of Thine Own will Thou wast well-pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh,
that thou mightest deliver from slavery to the enemy those whom thou hadst fashioned.
Wherefore, we cry to Thee thankfully:
Thou didst fill all things with joy, O our Saviour,
when Thou camest to save the world.

and the Kontakion states:

The Uncircumscribable Word of the Father was circumscribed when He took flesh of thee, O Theotokos;
and when he had restored the defiled image to its ancient state.
He suffused it with divine beauty.
As for us, confessing our salvation, we record it in deed and word.

A translation of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy, which is traditionally chanted on this day in Cathedrals and Monasteries, can be read here.

On a personal note, today's Feast was bittersweet due to the passing of Metropolitan Laurus. While I only met the Metropolitan on a few occasions his personal warmth and humility were readily apparent. He was a true Hierarch and Shepherd and led the Russian Church Abroad through a very turbulent period ending with the reestablishment of Unity within the Russian Church. In my opinion I do not think it is a coincidence that he reposed on this Feast.

This evening I attended the Pan-Orthodox Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers with Clergy and Laity from all the local Houston-area parishes participating. It was inspiring and heart warming to witness the brotherly love and unity exhibited during the service.

Most moving was the Trisagion service which was sung for the newly departed Metropolitan Laurus by the assembled Clergy and Laity from the Antiochian, Greek, OCA, Romanian, Russian and Serbian Churches.



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