September 14, 2017

Commemoration of the Sixth Ecumenical Synod

Sixth Ecumenical Synod (Feast Day - September 14)


The one hypostasis of the God-man,
Is known by the two-fold wills and natures.

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To revere the two wills of the God-man,
Is taught by the multitude of pious-minded at the Sixth.

The Sixth Ecumenical Synod was convened by the emperor Constantine IV Pogonatos (668-685) at the imperial palace of Constantinople, in the domed hall called the Trullo, in the years 680-681 to combat the heresies of Monothelitism and Monoenergism. At it 170 Holy Fathers were present, who affirmed the doctrine of two wills in our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, the divine and the human. And justified were the struggles of Saint Sophronios the Patriarch of Jerusalem and Saint Maximus the Confessor against the Monothelites.

The pious Emperor ratified with his own signet that which was written for the security of future generations. This Synod taught that we should openly profess our faith that in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, our true God, there are two natural wills or volitions and two natural operations or energies; and condemned by a just sentence those who adulterated the true doctrine and taught the people that in the one Lord Jesus Christ there is but one will and one operation; to wit, Bishop Theodore of Pharan, Patriarch Cyrus of Alexandria, Pope Honorius I of Rome, the Patriarchs of Constantinople Sergius I, Pyrrhus, Paul II and Peter, Patriarch Makarios of Antioch and Stephen, who was his disciple, and the monk Polychronios, were deprived from the communion of the body of Christ our God.

This Synod was followed by another Synod in the year 691, called the Synod of Trullo (also known as the Quinisext or Penthekti Synod) under Emperor Justinian II (668-711). This Synod addressed certain practical matters, and 102 canons were promulgated.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
At the sacred gathering of the Sixth Synod, the divinely-wise one hundred and seventy Fathers, dispelled the fog of heresy, with the bright dogma of piety; for this reason their holy memory, we honor crying out: Glory to Him Who gave you strength, glory to Him Who crowned you, glory to Him Who gave you surety, of the Orthodox faith.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Having shined with the light of virtue, and proclaimed at the Sixth Synod, the two natures of Christ, and energies and wills, let us honor the divinely-minded Fathers, as pious initiates and receivers of revelation, who intercede to Christ on our behalf.

At the revered Sixth Synod, in Byzantium, there gathered, piously, sacred Fathers, with one voice let us honor them, as inspired intercessors, on our behalf to the Lord.