From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
GOAA - ORTHODOX EASTER TO BE OBSERVED APRIL 27 2003
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thu, 27 Feb 2003 19:02:37 -0800
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
8-10 East 79th St. New York, NY 10021 Tel: (212) 570-3530 Fax: (212)
Web: http://www.goarch.org Email: email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2003
Contact: Nikki Stephanopoulos
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS BEGIN GREAT LENT MARCH 10
SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY CELEBRATED WORLDWIDE MARCH 16
ORTHODOX EASTER TO BE OBSERVED APRIL 27
New York, NY - Over 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, including
some six million in North America, will enter the season of Great and Holy
Lent on Monday, March 10. This solemn day will mark the beginning of the
period of prayer and fasting that precedes the celebration of Easter
(Pascha), the most sacred and holy day of the Orthodox Church.
In his Archpastoral Reflections on the upcoming Lenten Season, Archbishop
Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, states, "As
members of the Body of Christ we are called to grow in our love for Christ
and for His brothers and sisters all over the world. This calling comes at
a particularly crucial juncture in human history, in an age where the
capacity of human beings to love one another as children of God is tested
increasingly, and where threats to peace and justice grow insidiously. In
the face of war, terror, poverty, disease, environmental degradation, and
other threats to the peace of God, we are called to exercise especially
heightened vigilance dictated by love. The Lenten season teaches us,
through the superb example of our Lord marching toward His crucifixion, not
to despair in the presence of distress or suffering, but, rather, to offer
the same love and care which God Himself offers to the world."
The Orthodox Christian Lent always begins on "Clean Monday", the "day of
cleansing or purification". On that day Orthodox faithful begin a spiritual
and moral purification through fasting, prayer, meditation, repentance,
attending Lenten religious services and partaking of the Sacraments of
Confession and Communion.
Religious services during the Lenten period are particularly spiritual and
especially beloved by Orthodox faithful. They include Compline, the Liturgy
of the Presanctified Gifts, the Salutations to the Virgin Mary including
the poetic verses of the Akathist Hymn sung during the first five Friday
evenings of Lent, and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, which is
celebrated every Sunday during Lent.
Sunday of Orthodoxy
The historical significance of the Sunday of Orthodoxy dates to 787 A.D.
when the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council of Nicaea decreed the
restoration of the icons as a means for the spiritual growth and formation
of the Christian ethos and character in the likeness and image of God and
His Saints. In 843 A.D. when the veneration of icons was solemnly
proclaimed at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople, clergy and monks
came in procession and restored icons to their rightful places within the
church. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is traditionally celebrated in Orthodox
Churches worldwide on the first Sunday of Great Lent. Following the Divine
Liturgy, the clergy lead the faithful in the Procession of Icons and a
recitation of the Declaration of Faith.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of the Standing Conference of
Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) will co-celebrate with
fellow SCOBA Hierarchs on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 16, at the Greek
Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City (319
East 74th St.) beginning at 9:30 a.m. His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of
Amissos, of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the U.S.A. will preach
the homily, seminarians from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
will chant the Matins and the Cathedral Choir, directed by Dr. Dino
Anagnost, will sing the hymns and responses of the Liturgy.
GREAT LENT AND EASTER IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 2003
Great Lent Begins - March 10
Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday) - April 20 through April 26
Easter (Pascha) Sunday - April 27
Ascension Day - June 5
Pentecost - June 15
For more information on the Orthodox Christian observance of Great Lent and
For information on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church:
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