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To submit news, send e-mail to the contact team. In the Byzantine tradition, today is the commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the second held in the city of Nicaea, at which the Iconoclast heresy was condemned, and the sacred images restored to their rightful places for the veneration of the Christian faithful.
At the seventh session of Second Nicaea, the definitive decree on the veneration of images was promulgated, on October 13, ; the commemoration is fixed according to various traditions to a Sunday close to that date. Some years ago, I heard a sermon at a Byzantine liturgy on this day which recalled an important truth about Second Nicaea, namely, that it did not decree that sacred images are merely good and useful, but that they are necessary! The rejection of the sacred images, particularly those of Christ, is ultimately Bars 136-278 - Nikolai Korndorf - A New Heaven: Hymn II • Hymn III denial of the Incarnation.
The Empress Irene, who as regent of her young son Constantine VI, arranged for a council to condemn iconoclasm, had tried to hold it in the imperial capital, but it was broken up by soldiers friendly to the iconoclast heresy. It was therefore moved to Nicaea, where the first ecumenical council had gathered years earlier to condemn the Arian heresy that denied the true divinity of Christ.
To put this in chronological perspective, this is a greater distance in time than that between Trent and Vatican II. None of this is accidental. The famous icon of Christ the Pantocrator from the Mona Mona - Curt Haagers - Curt Haagers -88 of St. Catherine on Mt Sinai, 6th century.
The collection of icon at St. The liturgical texts proper to this commemoration make the point in a very interesting way. At Second Nicaea, the Patriarchs of Constantinople who had supported the iconoclast heresy were all condemned by name. However, they are not referred to in the liturgy, nor are the iconoclast emperors Leo the Isaurian, the real inventor and motivator of the heresy, and his two successors, Constantine V and Leo IV. It occurs repeatedly in the Bars 136-278 - Nikolai Korndorf - A New Heaven: Hymn II • Hymn III Martyrology, in reference to the many Saints killed or otherwise persecuted by him for the sake of the sacred images.
It would be easy, but unjust, to see in this omission nothing more than an unwillingness to offend the offices of the Emperor and Patriarch. The greater truth taught by the Council, and by the Byzantine liturgy, is that the refusal of sacred images is a refusal of the Incarnation.
To this point, therefore, the earlier Christological heretics are named repeatedly in the liturgy of the day, as in these texts from Vespers bold texts are my emphases.
Let us praise today the mystical trumpets of the Spirit, the God-bearing Fathers, who sang a harmonious melody of theology in the midst of the Church, to the one Trinity, unchanging Essence and Godhead; the overthrowers of Ariusthe champions of the Orthodox, who intercede with the Lord that He may Cold Passion - New Age Architects mercy on our souls.
Holy Fathers, you have become sure guardians of the Apostolic traditions; for by teaching the orthodox doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity, you overthrew in council the blasphemy of Arius. We implore you: beg that we who have been delivered from their error may preserve our life spotless in the faith.
The following text, sung between the first and second parts of the Doxology at the Aposticha, is particularly noteworthy.
One might easily assume it was a part of the commemoration of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council on the Sunday after the Ascension, rather than that of today, again underlining the intrinsic connection between iconoclasm and Arianism, and between veneration of the images and the Incarnation. A friend of mine who is a great scholar of the Byzantine liturgy tells me that this hymn may very well have been for the commemoration of the Fathers of First Nicaea, and later added to this feast.
Let us with faith celebrate today the yearly commemoration of the God-bearing Fathers, who were assembled from the whole world in the radiant city of Nicaea, as Bars 136-278 - Nikolai Korndorf - A New Heaven: Hymn II • Hymn III reverence the gatherings of the orthodox; for they, their minds attuned to true religion, overthrew the godless teaching of Arius, and in council banished him from the Catholic Church; and in the symbol of faith, which Bars 136-278 - Nikolai Korndorf - A New Heaven: Hymn II • Hymn III precisely and devoutly laid down, they taught all to confess clearly the Son of God as consubstantial and co-eternal, and existing before the ages.
And so we too, following their divine teachings and firm in our belief, worship the Son and the all-holy Spirit with the Father, in one Godhead, a consubstantial Trinity.
The Byzantine liturgy contains several such commemorations: of the fathers at First Nicaea, at Ephesus, at Second Nicaea, at the Seven Councils collectively. Although Iconoclasm was definitively condemned at Second Nicaea, it was revived in the early 9th century for almost thirty years under the emperors Leo VMichael II and Theophilus Highest Low - Walleye - Familiar, Forgotten is venerated as a saint in the Byzantine Rite.
Theodora, Empress of Byzantium, in a 19th-century Greek icon. The first one says, On those who accept with their reason the incarnate economy of God the Word, but will not allow that this can be beheld through images, and therefore affect to receive our salvation in words, but deny it in reality: Anathema! Posted Sunday, October 15, Writers William Mahrt.
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