On Sunday, March 5th, the faithful of St. George’s Serbian Orthodox Church gathered to celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy with a special service following the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil. It began with a procession of Banners and the Altar servers, followed by the Clergy, the Choir and Faithful as they processed around the Church grounds while singing the troparion for the Sunday of Orthodoxy which extols the restoration of Icons to the Orthodox Church. When the faithful came to the West doors of the Church, they recited the Synndicon for the festival together with Nicene Creed. They reentered the Holy Church for the conclusion of the Liturgy.
Later that day at 5PM hundreds of faithful clergy and faithful gathered at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, in Tarpon Springs Florida. There was a total of twenty one Priests and monastics present for the Vespers service. This year we had the joy of having Metropolitan Nikitas, a native of Tarpon Springs, who was visiting with family. During the Vesper service a procession left the Cathedral and processed along the city streets that surrounds the Cathedral. Once the procession came to the fount doors, all of the clergy, and the faithful proclaimed, with one voice the Synodicon which was followed by the singing of the prokimenion: Who is so great a God, as our God…, in several languages. The Nicean creed was recited by hundreds gathered their. The proecesson then returned to the Cathedral proper for the completion of the Vesper service.
Following the vespers service a Lenten meal was shared in the Church Hall. The fellowship and friendship felt there was very inspiring. Several people said they felt that this year’s celebrations was truly an experience of the unity and cooperation that needs to be expressed among all the Orthodox, the world over. We all look forward to the Lenten vespers that have been set of each of the Sundays of the Great Fast. May our Lord God grant to one and all a joyous and spiritually uplifting Lenten season.
Article by Fr. Peter Tutko