ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN PARISH OF ST AETHELHEARD, LOUTH ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN ARCHDIOCESE OF THE BRITISH ISLES AND IRELAND Patriarch: His Beatitude John X Archbishop: His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan Priest: Fr Alban email: father.alban11@gmail. com
Copyright of the Orthodox Christian Parish of St Aethelheard, Louth, Lincolnshire. Registered Charity No 1102841
SAINTS AND ICONSplay a very big part in Orthodox Christian worship and belief. Icons are not simply decorative objects; they give us what is often called a window into Heaven. When we worship we are part of the Church which includes the living and the departed, especially all those Saints, the chosen ones, with the Lord in Heaven. So we worship surrounded by all the hosts of heaven.
Every time we venerate an icon and place a candle before it, we are expressing the belief that the one depicted will hear our prayers and intercede for us. This is particularly true of the Theotokos, Mary, the Mother of God, who holds a unique position in Orthodoxy. She carried the son of God in her womb and from her, He took His humanity. Her response to the messenger, the Angel Gabriel, was to say Let it be according to your word. All generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:38 and 48) So we honour her as the model of holiness and loving obedience for our lives.
No man is able to see God upon whom the orders of angels dare not gaze: yet through thee, O all-pure, the Word made flesh was seen by men. Joining the armies of heaven to magnify Him, we call thee blessed. Irmos from Tone 6 Canon at Matins on a Wednesday.
Orthodox Christians are given the name of a saint when they become members through baptism and Chrismation. Churches are dedicated to a saint or saints, who are asked to intercede on behalf of her people. On every day day of the year, one or more saints are especially remembered. Both in worship and in life, the saints are our constant companions and inspiration. Calendar of Saints
Icons are created according to the centuries-old Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Iconographers put themselves under the Tradition, praying that the icon will be an expression not of their human personality, but of the Holy Spirit working in them. Icons are the expression of a visual language where for example, the colours used, the reverse perspective and elongated features all have something to tell us. More here and here.