Monthly Archives: July 2010

Why does the Orthodox Cross have three bars?

The three-barred Cross is the most common shape used in the Orthodox Church – whether as simple simple adornments, crucifixes, or in Icons which show the Cross, the three bars are usually present. Continue reading

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Why are vigil lamps lit before icons?

Here is St. Nikolai of Ohrid’s answer to the question: “Why are vigil lamps lit before icons?” Continue reading

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The Annunciation

This icon marks the crowning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery before all ages. For the Son of God becomes the son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaims to Mary: “Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Continue reading

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Amid the bustle, Jesus used a face-cloth which miraculously bore the image of His face. This was given to King Abgar’s courtier and, with the letter, was returned to Edessa with the promise that Christ would send one of His disciples soon. Continue reading

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Our Relationship with Icons

What we see in a Holy Icon is not an accurate description of the Icon, but a painfully accurate reflection of who we are. We do not define Holy Images, they define us. Continue reading

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The Holiness of Icons

And so icons are called “holy”, to distinguish them from other images that portray earthly things, or else those images which portray fantastical, unreal things. Holy Icons, by contrast, depict eternity: something which is neither completely earthly, nor unreal. But in practical terms, what is it that sets an “Icon” apart from a mere “image”? Continue reading

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The Iconographer’s Prayer

“O Divine Lord of all that exists, You have illumined the Apostle and Evangelist Luke with Your Most Holy Spirit, thereby enabling him to represent the most Holy Mother, the one who held You in her arms and said: ‘the Grace of Him Who has been born of me is spread throughout the world.’ Continue reading

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Icons of the Mother of God

The tradition of the Orthodox Church maintains that the first iconographer was the evangelist Luke, and that the first icon he painted under divine inspiration was of the Mother of God holding the Christ-child. Just like the icon of Christ Pantokrator, icons of the Son of God with His Mother are powerful testimonies to the reality of God’s incarnation as a human. Continue reading

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Jesus Christ | The Icon of God

It is only fitting that the first icon explored here is of Jesus Christ – Who is Himself the image of the invisible God. Because God took on human flesh and became visible, we can depict Him; indeed, to portray Christ is to strongly affirm that God did really become a man, and that Jesus Christ is not mere allegory or myth. Continue reading

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