1020 Regent St
Madison, WI 53715
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October 16, 2022
18th Sunday after Pentecost (4th Luke);
Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council
Seventh Ecumenical Council
(OrthodoxWiki) The Seventh Ecumenical Council took place in Nicea in 787 AD, and is also known as the Second Council of Nicaea. The last of the seven Ecumenical Councils dealt with the icons.
Disputes concerning the Person of Christ did not end with the sixth Council in AD 681, but continued through the eighth and ninth centuries. This time, the controversy focused on icons—pictures of Christ, the Theotokos, the saints, and holy events—and lasted for 120 years, starting in AD 726. Icons were kept and venerated in both churches and private homes. The two groups in the controversy were:
- also called "icon-smashers," they were suspicious of any art depicting God or humans; they demanded the destruction of icons because they saw icons as idolatry.
- also called "venerators of icons," they defended the place of icons in the Church.
The controversy, however, was more than a struggle over different views of Christian art. Deeper issues were involved, and it is these the Council addressed:
- The character of Christ's human nature
- The Christian attitude toward matter
- The true meaning of Christian redemption and the salvation of the entire material universe
The controversy falls into two periods:
- From AD 726 when Leo III began his attack on icons until AD 780 when Empress Irene ended the attacks
- Again from AD 815 through AD 843 when Empress Theodora stamped out the attacks permanently
The iconoclasts had support from both inside and outside the Church. Outside the Church, there may have been influence from Jewish and Muslim ideas, and it is important to note that just prior to the iconoclast outbreak Muslim Caliph Yezid ordered the removal of all icons with his territory. Inside the Church there had always existed a "puritan" outlook which saw all images as latent idolatry.
Largely through the work of St. John of Damascus (c. 676-749), who, ironically, was housed in Muslim-controlled lands and therefore outside the reach of the Empire, the iconodules' position won out. He addressed the charges of the iconoclasts thus:
- Concerning the charge of idolatry: Icons are not idols but symbols, therefore when an Orthodox venerates an icon, he is not guilty of idolatry. He is not worshipping the symbol, but merely venerating it. Such veneration is not directed toward wood, or paint or stone, but towards the person depicted. Therefore relative honor is shown to material objects, but worship is due to God alone.
- We do not make obeisance to the nature of wood, but we revere and do obeisance to Him who was crucified on the Cross... When the two beams of the Cross are joined together I adore the figure because of Christ who was crucified on the Cross, but if the beams are separated, I throw them away and burn them. —St. John of Damascus
The Decision of the Council
Restoration of the Icons
- Concerning the teaching of icons
- Venerating icons, having them in churches and homes, is what the Church teaches. They are "open books to remind us of God." Those who lack the time or learning to study theology need only to enter a church to see the mysteries of the Christian religion unfolded before them.
- Concerning the doctrinal significance of icons
- Icons are necessary and essential because they protect the full and proper doctrine of the Incarnation. While God cannot be represented in His eternal nature ("...no man has seen God", John 1:18), He can be depicted simply because He "became human and took flesh." Of Him who took a material body, material images can be made. In so taking a material body, God proved that matter can be redeemed. He deified matter, making it spirit-bearing, and so if flesh can be a medium for the Spirit, so can wood or paint, although in a different fashion.
- I do not worship matter, but the Creator of matter, who for my sake became material and deigned to dwell in matter, who through matter effected my salvation... —St. John of Damascus
The seventh and last Ecumenical Council upheld the iconodules' postion in AD 787. They proclaimed: Icons... are to be kept in churches and honored with the same relative veneration as is shown to other material symbols, such as the 'precious and life-giving Cross' and the Book of the Gospels. The 'doctrine of icons' is tied to the Orthodox teaching that all of God's creation is to be redeemed and glorified, both spiritual and material.
The Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council are commemorated in October, on the Sunday of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council.
This Week at Ss Cyril & Methodius
Tuesday, October 11-Saturday, October 14
- Fr Gregory out of town (Sobor, South Bound Brook, NJ)
Wednesday, October 12
- 11:00 AM-3:00 PM: Office Hours [canceled]
Thursday, October 13
- 1:00-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions [canceled]
Saturday, October 8
- 4:00 PM: Confessions
- 5:00 PM: Vespers
- 6:00 PM: Confessions
Sunday, October 9
- 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
- 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy
Tuesday, Ocotober 17
Wednesday, October 18 (Apostle Luke)
- 7:00 AM Divine Liturgy
- 11:00 AM-3:00 PM: Office Hours
Thursday, October 19
- 12:00-1:30 PM: University Religious Workers Meeting
- 1:00-3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
Saturday, October 22
- 4:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]
- 5:00 PM: Vespers [canceled]
- 6:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]
Sunday, October 23
- 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
- 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy
Glory to Jesus Christ!
I'll be at the diocesan Sobor in New Jersey from Tuesday through Friday of the week (10/11-10/14). If the need arises, please contact call Fr Christopher (FrChristopherTyler@gmail.com or
Hymns After the Small Entrance
Tone 1 Troparion (Resurrection)
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews,
while the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure body,
Thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior,
granting life to the world.
The powers of heaven therefore cried to Thee, O Giver of Life:
“Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ!
Glory to Thy Kingdom!//
Glory to Thy dispensation, O Thou Who lovest mankind!”
Tone 8 Troparion (Fathers)
Thou art most glorious, O Christ our God,
Who hast established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth.
Through them Thou hast guided us to the True Faith.//
O greatly compassionate One, glory to Thee!
Tone 1 Kontakion (Resurrection)
As God, Thou didst rise from the tomb in glory,
raising the world with Thyself.
Human nature praises Thee as God, for death has vanished.
Adam exults, O Master!
Eve rejoices, for she is freed from bondage and cries to Thee://
“Thou art the Giver of Resurrection to all, O Christ!”
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Tone 6 Kontakion (Fathers)
The Son Who shone forth from the Father
was ineffably born, two-fold in nature, of a woman.
Having beheld Him, we do not deny the image of His form,
but depict it piously and revere it faithfully.
Thus, keeping the True Faith,//
the Church venerates the icon of Christ Incarnate.
now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Tone 6 Theotokion
O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the Creator most constant, O despise not the suppliant voices of those who have sinned; but be thou quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession, and speed thou to make supplication, thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11/Hebrews 13:7-16
Brethren, this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Gospel: Luke 8:5-15/John 17:1-13
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”
And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that
‘Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest!
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous; praise befits the just!
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
By the age of 25, about 60% of those baptized as infants will no longer consider themselves members of the Orthodox Church. A parish on a university campus is an important witness not only to the surrounding community but also to high school age and younger parishioner. Establishing a parish on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison helps remind young people that graduating high school doesn't mean "graduating" from the Church. Please consider joining those who have committed their time, treasure and talent in establishing an Orthodox community on the Isthmus. Help us reach your children and grandchildren with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.