Faith on Friday: Icons

I recently had a conversation with someone who has been Orthodox for many years. In our conversation, he confessed that he still struggles with the veneration of icons. He is not the first convert to this ancient faith who has had a hard time getting used to some of the traditions of the Church. The place of the Mother of God in our worship. The sacrament of confession. The other-worldly sound of Byzantine chanting. The incense. Bowing and making prostrations. Kissing the priest’s hand. And yes the icons.

 

Here’s a wonderful video about the icons at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt.

 

Saint John the Evangelist

And an article I wrote about five years ago (published in First Things): “Icons Will Save the World.

 

And finally, a post I did not too long ago about weeping icons. (A weeping icon plays a significant part in the novel I am finishing right now.)

 

Icons are the Gospel of Christ, written in color. They are windows to Heaven. They are more than decorations. More than art. They are considered essential to our worship in the

Saint Basil the Great and Mary of Egypt

Orthodox Church.

 

I am thankful to have studied iconography and practiced this liturgical art for many years, although I am not doing so at the present time. (Here’s an essay from when I was painting icons and experienced writer’s block: “Blocked.”) Sometimes icons help me find my way back to God when I stray. Yes. They are that powerful. Thank God for this physical reminder of His Incarnation. I need them to help me find my way through the darkness.

 

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