What’s a better day to officially kick off this blog than the Sunday of Orthodoxy? :D
Each Sunday of Great Lent has a theme or message attached to it and on this first Sunday on Lent we have the Sunday of Orthodoxy (also known as the Triumph of Orthodoxy). The Sunday of Orthodoxy remembers all those who have given their lives to keep Orthodoxy alive, reminding us as we go into Lent of the struggles that we will face (even within the Orthodox church), but to always stay strong in the faith because with God we can overcome any struggle and be victorious.
This message is mainly represented by icons because of the many years of struggle that the church had in deciding whether icons should be used or abolished (this was the iconoclast controversy, which will be discussed at a later date). Near the conclusion of liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the faithful take an icon and go in a procession around the church.
This icon was chosen for today because tomorrow is the Annunciation, the date of Jesus’s conception. It depicts Archangel Gabriel coming to the Virgin Mary and telling her the great news that she is to be the mother of God, and the Virgin Mary accepting God’s will to be done unto her. (Her words of acceptance are echoed in many services of the Orthodox church.)
You can read more about the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the Annunciation at these links: