The Splendour of Icons

Beaded droplets of Holy Water grace a newly blessed icon of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Note the ancient lettering style inscriptions. Icons are venerated and not worshipped. They are beautiful, spiritual, windows into heaven.

– I venerate the Creator… who came down to his creation without being lowered or weakened, that He might glorify my nature and bring about communion with the divine nature. …Therefore I am emboldened to depict the invisible God, not as invisible, but as He became visible for our sake, by participation in flesh and blood. I do not depict the invisible divinity, but I depict God made visible in the Flesh. ~ St. John Damascene

The Church, through the temple and Divine service, acts upon the entire man, educates him wholly; acts upon his sight, hearing, smelling, feeling, taste, imagination, mind, and will, by the splendour of icons and of the whole temple, by the ringing of bells, by the singing of the choir, by the fragrance of the incense, the kissing of the Gospel, of the cross and the holy icons, by the prosphoras, the singing, and sweet sound of the readings of Scripture. ~ St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ)

Icons in churches and houses are necessary because they remind us of the immortality of the saints; that they live unto Him, that in God they see, hear, and help us. ~ St. John of Kronstadt

Church services, that is, all the daily services, together with the entire arrangement of the church’s icons, candles, censing, singing, chanting, movements of the clergy, as well as the services for various needs (e.g., Molebens, Pannikhidas, etc.); then services in the home, also using ecclesiastical objects such as sanctified icons, holy oil, candles, holy water, the Cross, and incense – all of these holy things together acting upon all the senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste – are the cloths that wipe clean the senses of a deadened soul. They are the strongest and only reliable way to do it… The entire structure of our Church services, with their tone, meaning, power of faith, and especially the grace concealed within them, have an invincible power to drive away the spirit of the world. ~ St. Theophan the Recluse (The Path to Salvation)

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