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Wonders of the Small Church

The small church has incredible importance and value, although it may not carry the pomp of churches in Europe and elsewhere. I have one particular small church in mind: ours.

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The Triumph of Orthodoxy was celebrated, well, triumphantly at Holy Trinity Church, Willimantic, Connecticut, on Sunday, February 25th 2018.

The Seventh Ecumenical Council decreed that icons were to be returned to churches in 843, after they have been removed from church during the period of time known as Iconoclasm.

Holy Trinity's children each carried icons during the Little and longer Great Entrances. Near the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, the entire parish body processed around the inside of the church as the Troparion for the day was sung.

Troparion (Sunday of Orthodoxy) – Tone 2
We venerate Thy most pure image, O Good One; and ask forgiveness of our transgressions, O Christ our God. Of Thy good will Thou wast pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh and deliver Thy creatures from bondage to the Enemy. Therefore with thankfulness we cry aloud to Thee: “Thou hast filled all with joy, O our Savior,// for Thou alone hast come to save the world.”

"The Triumph of Orthodoxy does not stand as a victory over others; it stands, instead, front and center, as a Triumph of Truth," Holy Trinity pastor, V. Rev. Marc A. Vranes, pointed out. "The Council rejected, and correctly so, that icons be placed on the same level of sacred vessels. Icons, Holy Scripture, Divine Services serve as the backbone of the church's Holy Tradition, and thus, serve as a way of establishing and maintaining communion with God who is the Creator.

"The Word of God can be powerful and often delivered with great emphasis. The Divine Services, when sung correctly, are angelic. The icon, on the other hand conveys the Tradition of Silence. The three - Scripture, Divine Services, and Icons - are equally as forceful, and convey the identical amount of church doctrine.

The Synodikon of Orthodoxy was the recited by each parishioner as they held their icon, and exclaimed:

As the Prophets beheld,
As the Apostles taught,
As the Church received,
As the Teachers dogmatized,
As the Universe agreed,
As Grace illumined,
As the Truth revealed,
As falsehood passed away,
As Wisdom presented,
As Christ awarded,
Thus we declare,
Thus we assert,
Thus we proclaim Christ our true God and honor His saints,
In words,
In writings,
In thoughts,
In sacrifices,
In churches,
In holy icons.
On the one hand, worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord.
And on the other hand, honoring and venerating His Saints as true servants of the same Lord.
This is the Faith of the Apostles.
This is the Faith of the Fathers.
This is the Faith of the Orthodox.
This is the Faith which has established the Universe.

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