Iconography Project

 

Iconostasis

It is with great  joy that we present to you our renditions for the beautification of our beloved church. Phase one will begin this fall, with the installation of new Byzantine Style Icons for the Iconostasis, to include Gold Leaf icons of Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, St. John the Baptist, St. Demetrios the Great Martyr, St. George the Great Martyr, St. Barbara the Great Martyr, and The Holy Archangles, Gabriel and Michael. Additional, the Beautiful Gate will display the Icon of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. 

Behind the Iconostasis, the beautiful icon known by its Greek name of “Platytera Ton Ouranon”; Translated from the Greek: "[She who is] "More Spacious than the Heavens", or simply, Πλατυτέρα will be installed. It is the icon found in most Orthodox churches in the very prominent position - high in the front apse over the Altar table just above the mercy seat of old, and is often of such scale that it overwhelms and overshadows all other icons in the Church. Our liturgical texts proclaim the following: "He whom not even the universe could contain was contained within the womb of a virgin, making her more spacious than the Heavens,” and “Who for us men, and our salvation, came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.”  Mary, the Theotokos and Mother of our God, becomes the unique person through whom God takes flesh and becomes Man thereby permitting mankind the promise of divinity and eternal life. The metaphors that are used throughout the Holy Bible to refer to her central role in God's Divine Economy are many: 

The Theotokos is often called an Ark, for the Glory of God settled on her, just as the Glory of God descended on the Mercy Seat of the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant (Ex. 25:10-22).

Just as Aaron's Rod sprouted miraculously in the Old Testament, so too, the Theotokos has budded forth the Flower of Immortality, Christ our God (Num. 17:1-11).

On Mt. Sinai, Moses saw the Bush that was burning, but was not consumed. So too, the Theotokos bore the fire of Divinity, but was not consumed (Ex. 3:1-6).

 The Iconostasis

Annunciation

The Annunciation

Jesus Christ

The Theotokos

The Holy Great Martyr Demetrios

St. John the Babtist and Forerunner

The Holy Great Martyr Barbara

The Holy Great Martyr George the Trophy Bearer

The Holy Archangle Michael

Holy archangle Gabriel

The Platytera and Hierarchs Πλατυτέρα των Ουρανών “More Spacious than the Heavens”

Description: The Platytera with Christ Child flanked by two reverant angels

Angels at the mercy seat of Christ, glorifying Him. Seraphim: Prophet Elias had reported that the Seraphim above Christ, sing praises to God and unite the Divine Liturgy on earth with the Divine Liturgy of Heaven.  Infant Christ, depicts Him as a naked baby on the Holy Altar and symbolizes the transubstantiation of the consecrated bread into Body and of the wine into Blood.  It's the moment of the partition of the Consecrated Bread. 

Six Hierarchs of the 1st Ecumenical Council

L-R

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, St. Athanasias, St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Spyridon

St. Maximos the Confessor:

The Church is the image of the immaterial and of the sensory worlds– of the spiritual and the physical man. The Sanctuary is the symbol of the first, the nave– the symbol of the second. At the same time both these parts constitute an indivisible whole, in which the first enlightens and feeds the second, so that the latter becomes a sensory expression of the former.  This correlation re-establishes the order of the universe violated by the transgression (of man).  The Church is the earthly heaven where God, Who is above heaven dwells and abides, and it is more glorious than the tabernacle of witness. It is foreshadowed in the patriarchs, is based on the Apostles… it is foretold by the prophets, adorned by the hierarch, sanctified by the martyrs, and its high Altar stands firmly founded on their remains.

        St. Symeon of Thesalonika : 

It represents what is on earth, what is in heaven and what is above the heavens.  The narthex corresponds to earth, the church to heaven and the Holy Sanctuary to what is above heaven. All the icons are arranged in accordance with this symbolism.  It is a definite system corresponding to the part of the building where a particular image is placed.

The iconostasis has a symbolic meaning as well. The Holy Fathers liken it to the boundary between two worlds: the divine and human, the permanent and the transitory. The Columns represent the firmament, the, dividing the spiritual from the sensory. The horizontal beam, denotes the union through love between the heavenly and earthly. The Iconostasis, also unites the two worlds, the divine and human.