UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSITORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
“Triumph of Orthodoxy” Celebration in Philadelphia
Every year, the first Sunday of the Great Lenten Fast is called "Orthodoxy Sunday." This year it was observed on March 4th, 2012. It is dedicated to the Restoration of Icons on the first Sunday of the Great Lent in the year 843. It is always celebrated as a "Triumph of Orthodoxy," a triumph over those who sought to defeat and undermine the Orthodox Faith of the Apostles and the Church Fathers by prohibiting the use and veneration of icons. Thousands of devout Orthodox Christians were martyred for their Faith during the approximately 125 years that the Holy Orthodox Church endured the imposition of iconoclasm.
In the United States, because of the presence of various different ethnic expressions of the one Orthodox Faith, it has become traditional in many cities on Orthodoxy Sunday, especially in large metropolitan areas, for Orthodox Christians of all ethnic traditions and jurisdictions to come together and witness to, and proclaim the unity of the Faith of the apostles, the Faith that has been maintained in the Orthodox Church for 2,000 years.
St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, PA was the host parish of this year’s celebration. At the morning’s Divine Liturgy the children of the parish processed around the Cathedral with icons and proclaimed the Passage from the Synodikon. At evening’s Triumph of Orthodoxy Vespers the Cathedral was filled with orthodox faithful of different ethnicities. Some 20 priests, from the Philadelphia area, of many ethnic jurisdictions served together, expressing Orthodoxy's unity- within-diversity. The joyous liturgical music filled the air performed by the Pan-Orthodox choir of Philadelphia. Beautiful Lenten Reception followed Vespers where everyone enjoyed some social time.