In a pastoral letter for the First Sunday of Great Lent, also called the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the Holy Synod members of the Romanian Orthodox Church said that the feast is a call to victory.
“On the Sunday of Orthodoxy or the Triumph of the True Faith we are also called to be triumphant, with the help of God’s grace, over the passions of greed and pride inside us, which always lurk, and put in their place the virtues of humility and merciful love for the people around us, to rediscover in them the image of the humble Christ.”
The Romanian hierarchs present the historical context in which the Sunday of Orthodoxy was established, recalling the first and second iconoclastic periods.
They also explained what the veneration of holy icons means and how to confess our faith.
The bishops recall that year 2021, proclaimed a Solemn Year of the pastoral care of Romanians outside Romania and a Commemorative Year of those asleep in the Lord; the liturgical and cultural value of the cemeteries, offers “the opportunity to manifest more intensely the love and longing for the Romanian brothers and sisters outside the country’s borders, but also the opportunity to show care for those who passed away from this life.”
At the same time, the Holy Synod notes that “to cultivate gratitude and love for those who reposed in the Lord, it is the moral duty of every Orthodox Christian to remember in their private prayers, at the Divine Liturgy and other divine services those who are no longer among us, to honour their memory and to remind of their good deeds, as well as to take care of and beautify their graves, but also the monuments of the Romanian heroes.”
“Generosity, the generous openness to those in need, is a luminous image of the Christian life, of a person, of a community and of an entire nation,” the Romanian Holy Synod adds.
“Throughout history, Romanian Orthodox Christians have learned that only by giving will they gain, which has determined them to give from their little amount to the needy so that they too can be helped in times of hardship.”
“Thus, the kindness and generosity that our ancestors and parents have always shown has become for the people a blessed opportunity to increase spiritually in faith and good deeds, to maintain a strong fellowship with Romanians among foreigners, but also to keep the name of good Christians, showing that love for God is beautifully intertwined with love for fellow human beings.”
The Holy Synod members wished all Romanian Orthodox believers “a blessed Lent, with much spiritual progress and benefit.”