The Sunday of Orthodoxy at Bigorski

“This is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the Fathers, this is the faith of the Orthodox, this faith has established the universe.”

(Excerpt from the Synodikon of Orthodoxy)

Orthodoxy, or true faith, is essential for the life of a Christian, for without it, there is a great danger of falling into religious fanaticism, agnosticism, and sectarianism. The guarantor, the true interpreter, and guardian of the faith is the Church of Christ, which “the gates of hell shall not prevail against.” Today we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the first Sunday of the Great Lent, in which we celebrate the victory over all heresies that have scourged the Church for centuries, but always, with the help of God, emerged victorious. Many false teachings and ethos shake the Church even today, but all these for her are already seen and surpassed, as all these heresies originate from ancient errors that we were reminded of today through the reading of the so-called Synodikon of Orthodoxy, in which all heresies, sects, deluded philosophies, human reasonings are denounced, and the true faith and the correct unblemished church ethos are celebrated and praised through its bearers and champions. Indeed, today is the day when the triumph of the true faith is celebrated, the eternal flame of Divine truth that burns in the hearts of the faithful, illuminating the path to salvation and brightening souls with the invaluable light of Christ’s wisdom.

In our Holy Bigorski Monastery, after the vigil and Holy Liturgy, presided over by our beloved Elder and Abbot, Bishop of Antanis, Mr. Partenij, the traditional procession with the holy icons was also performed, as historically this feast was established after the return of the holy icons to the churches and homes, after the fierce period of Iconoclasm. After the sacred procession, the Elder with his solemn voice read the Synodikon of Orthodoxy, reminding us of the heroes of the faith and their immortal feats for the purity and truthfulness of the Christian faith.

And as he himself once said, “The Sunday of Orthodoxy is not only a commemoration of the victory over Iconoclasm but also a reminder of our task to live in a personal communion with God, in harmony with people and with all that is created. For, faith is not a static possession, but a dynamic movement towards holiness, a process of continuous conversion and transformation, where every step forward is a step closer to God. Our faith is measured by our ability to understand and share God’s love with the world around us, with our care for the weak, the lonely, the sad, and the neglected, with our dedication to protecting God’s creation. Orthodoxy is not merely a confessional affiliation; it is a way of life. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is a suitable moment to renew that pure and beautiful faith in our souls and hearts, and a time to remind ourselves of our calling to be beacons of goodness and love in this world, following the example of the blessed knights of our faith with our deeds and words.”