Sunday of Orthodoxy
The Reading is from John 1:43-51
At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."
For more than one hundred years the Church of Christ was troubled by the persecution of the Iconoclasts of evil belief, beginning in the reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741) and ending in the reign of Theophilus (829-842). After Theophilus's death, his widow the Empress Theodora (celebrated Feb. 11), together with the Patriarch Methodius (June 14), established Orthodoxy anew. This ever-memorable Queen venerated the icon of the Mother of God in the presence of the Patriarch Methodius and the other confessors and righteous men, and openly cried out these holy words: "If anyone does not offer relative worship to the holy icons, not adoring them as though they were gods, but venerating them out of love as images of the archetype, let him be anathema." Then with common prayer and fasting during the whole first week of the Forty-day Fast, she asked God's forgiveness for her husband. After this, on the first Sunday of the Fast, she and her son, Michael the Emperor, made a procession with all the clergy and people and restored the holy icons, and again adorned the Church of Christ with them. This is the holy deed that all we the Orthodox commemorate today, and we call this radiant and venerable day the Sunday of Orthodoxy, that is, the triumph of true doctrine over heresy.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the First Tone
The stone had been secured with a seal by the Judeans, and a guard of soldiers was watching Your immaculate body. You rose on the third day, O Lord and Savior, grant-ing life unto the world. For this reason were the powers of heaven crying out to You, O Life-giver: Glory to Your resurrection, O Christ; glory to Your eternal rule; glory to Your dispensation, only One who loves mankind.
Resurrectional Kontakion in the First Tone
You arose from the sepulcher in glory as God, and with yourself resurrected the world. And mortal nature extolled You as God, and death was obliterated, and Adam is dancing, O Master; and Eve, now redeemed from the bonds, rejoices crying out: O Christ, You are He who grants resurrection to all.
Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: "Hail, unwedded bride!"
Genuine "Easter", properly termed, Holy Pascha of the Lord Jesus Christ is on Sunday, April 27, 2008. The R.C. Date for Holy Pascha (March 23, 2008) is incorrect because it comes before the Jewish Passover (Evening, Saturday April 19, 2008), and does not follow the formula set forth by the Ecclesiastical Councils.
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