On Sunday, March 24, 2013, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, celebrated Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great at the Metropolia Center’s St. Andrew Memorial Church in South Bound Brook, NJ.
His Eminence was joined by the pastor of St. Andrew’s parish community – Very Rev. Fr. Yuriy Siwko as well as the priests-seminarians Rev. Fr. Vasyl Dmytryshyn, Rev. Fr. Vasyl Dovgan and Deacon Vasyl Pasakas.
Faithful from parishes of NY/NJ region attended the service, marking the restoration of icons to their proper use in the Church’s liturgy in AD 842. Despite the teaching about icons defined at the Seventh Ecumenical Council of AD 787, the iconoclasts - those who denounced the use and veneration of icons as “idolatry”—renewed their attacks. Following the death of Emperor Theophilus, the last of the iconoclast Byzantine emperors, his son Michael III, regent-mother Theodora, and Patriarch Methodius convened the Synod of Constantinople in AD 842 to restore peace to the Church. On February 19 - the first Sunday of Great Lent that year - Synod participants made a triumphal procession with icons from Constantinople’s Church of Blachernae to the Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom [“Hagia Sophia”], which brought to a conclusion the iconoclast controversy. The Synod decreed that a permanent feast should be observed annually on the anniversary of that day; hence the term “Sunday of Orthodoxy.