Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunday of Orthodoxy

Today is the Sunday of Orthodoxy in our Church calendar, which is the First Sunday in Great Lent.

The story behind the Sunday of Orthodoxy is quite interesting. It takes us back to the Byzantine time.

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, together with the Patriarch Methodius, 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.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Vespers of Forgiveness 2013

On Cheesefare Sunday, 17th March 2013, we celebrated the so-called Vespers of Forgiveness.

The Parish Priest Fr. Anastasios officiated at the Vespers. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Tymbas had taken part in the last part of the Service.

Fr. Chrysostomos had earlier on given a talk at our Community Hall on the theme: “Forgiveness in the life of Christians”.

Right at the end of this Vespers during the chanting of a hymn the congregation gathers and kisses the right hand of the celebrant(s), who would say: “May God forgive you and me”!

Then all faithful embrace each other, in order to offer and receive forgiveness. Thus, Christians are ready to start the Great Lent fully cleansed.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A new Blog

It is with great pleasure that we start today a new Blog, dedicated to our Church of St. Panteleimon and St. Paraskevi in Harrow, NW London.

Our previous Blog, called “Landmark”, served us very well, especially during the construction of our newly built Church, but it had a limited space for uploads, especially for photos and videos. Thus, at some point it started asking for money in order to increase the space that was offered to us.

Therefore we had to stop uploading any posts and we had various thoughts as to how we could continue this service. The idea of starting a brand new Blog came to mind and then we had to think of a new name.

We wrote down a few possible names, but we thought that the best one should be “Ecclesia”! All people know very well the meaning of Ecclesia (Church) and acknowledge her history and importance.

So, here we are!!!

We trust that our Holy God will bless our Ecclesia and our blog and will offer us His enlightenment and guidance in order to overcome any difficulties and to offer successfully this service for the spiritual information and improvement of His people.