The First Sunday Of Lent: The Sunday Of Orthodoxy

Lent was in origin the time of final preparation for candidates for baptism at the Easter Vigil, and this is reflected in the readings at the Liturgy, today and on all the Sundays of Lent. But that basic theme came to be subordinated to later themes, which dominated the hymnography of each Sunday. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, that Sunday been commemorated as the "triumph of Orthodoxy."

Lent begins today in Eastern Orthodox tradition

Lent began today for members of the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith, who will now embark on seven weeks of fasting and purification in preparation for Easter. At the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in San Gabriel on Sunday, about 50 parishioners congregated to pray, take Holy Communion.

Italy returns Orthodox church to Russia

Italy on Sunday returned ownership to Russia of an Orthodox church named after St. Nicholas in a goodwill gesture toward Moscow and the Orthodox faithful. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev traveled to the southern Italian city of Bari for the hand-over, which was aimed at boosting ties between the two countries and improving often-tense Roman Catholic-Russian Orthodox relations.

Pope Meets Head of Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church

Pope Benedict met his Beatitude Christophoros, Metropolitan of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Head of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper told us more about this young and vibrant church.

Pastor finds a home in Orthodox Christianity

The Rev. Daniel Hackney, a self-professed "ecumenical mutt," has found a home in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church.Father Daniel, 45, grew up in a Baptist family, was active in the evangelical Jesus movement, attended Assembly of God and Roman Catholic universities, and served as a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for 10 years.

His Grace Bishop Savas of Troas named as Director of the Office of Church and Society

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America has named His Grace Bishop Savas of Troas as Director of the Office of Church and Society, with a charge to develop programs and ministries that promote a creative Orthodox Christian engagement with contemporary societal and cultural realities.

Georgian patriarch prompts population boom

Georgia has stemmed a long-term population decline thanks to an unpredecented offer by the head of its Orthodox Church to be godfather to thousands of children, the civil registry agency said Friday. The agency linked a sharp increase in births and marriages to improved living standards and the offer by the patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church to become godfather to every third child born to aGeorgia family.