Parelasi 30

A resplendent celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy in Sydney

Parelasi 30

The Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated in Sydney with due splendour, during which the Restoration of the Holy Icons and the triumph of the Orthodox faith over the iconoclasts are commemorated.

His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia liturgised at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady, and was joined by Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, as well as by the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, and by the Reverend Hieromonk Antipas, Elder of the Iviron Cell of St Anna in Karyes of Mount Athos. Present also for the Divine Liturgy were the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Greece Mr. Theodoros Livanios, the Ambassador of Greece to Australia His Excellency Mr. Stavros Venizelos, the Trade Commissioner Ms. Chrysoula Prokopaki, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia Mr. Antonios Sammoutis and the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Makarios addressed the large congregation by repeating the phrase “the Church of Christ shines brightly and glows”, from the Hymns of the Sunday of Orthodoxy. “Indeed, today our Church is celebrating a great victory”, he pointed out, “a victory which ensured the unity of the people”. On this occasion, he clarified that the impression that the Ecumenical Councils were convened exclusively for theological and doctrinal issues is wrong.

“Many heresies were recorded in church history,” His Eminence observed, “but an Ecumenical Council was convened only when a heresy broke the unity of the people.” “That is why I insist on speaking of unity,” he continued, “because unity when broken is the worst thing that can happen to the body of the people. This was something that the Church had realised very early on and showed great sensitivity towards this. The heresy, then, of iconoclasm was a great challenge for the Church, because it had divided the people into iconoclasts and iconophiles. And this victory that we are celebrating today is a victory of the people.”

Afterwards, the Archbishop cordially welcomed the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Greece, Mr. Livanios, noting that it is another reason for the local Church and the Greeks of Australia to rejoice. Describing his visit to the fifth continent as honourable and indicative of the motherland’s constant concern for Hellenism in the Antipodes, he wished for Mr. Livanios to have God’s richest blessings in his life and in his God-pleasing works, and asked him to convey the corresponding best wishes to the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and to the Greek Government.

This was followed by the procession of the Holy Icons inside the Cathedral and, before the Dismissal, excerpts from the Synod of the 7th Ecumenical Council were read.

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