Beautifying St. Andrew’s

Iconography Project – Phases I-III Completed

The iconography at St. Andrew’s thus far includes 3 phases:

  • The Panaghia (“the All-Holy One”) on the East Wall of the Sanctuary;
  • The Pantocrator (“The All-Powerful”) on the dome of the Nave;
  • The Iconostasis or Icon screen.
Completed
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The Panaghia


The Panaghia (The “All Holy One”)

The Pantocrator ("The Almighty")

The Pantocrator (“The Almighty”)

iconostasis-2

The Iconostasis (Icon Screen)

The Panaghia depicts the Virgin Mary the Theotokos (“The God-bearer”) with Jesus Christ on her lap. This icon shows the Virgin as the Church with Christ in the midst of her. She is flanked by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Also depicted are the bishops from whom the two chief liturgies used in the Orthodox Church derive their names, St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great, as well as the Old Testament Prophets Elijah and Moses.

The Pantocrator depicts Jesus Christ as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the One who Created and the One who will Judge.

The Iconostasis follows the traditional form of Mary on the left and Jesus Christ on the right. The Patron saint of our community is next to Mary and next to Christ is St. John the Baptist. The Archangels are on what is known as the deacon’s Doors.

Phase IV – Concept Drawings

Phase IV of our Iconography Master Plan includes 4 areas: 1) Front Wall, 2) Ceiling, 3) North and South Wall, and 4) Back Wall.

St. Andrew’s has entered into a contract to complete the Front Wall and the Ceiling, with a projected installation date of February 2014. Currently, we are asking for contributions to our Beautification Fund in order to complete this project.

  • The Front Wall refers to the walls on either side of the Iconostasis as well as above the Iconostasis. On the South side wall will be an Icon of the Nativity of Christ and on the North side, the Resurrection of Christ. Above will be depicted two Angels pointing to an icon of the Holy Napkin or “The Icon Not Made with Hands”. This icon depicts the miraculous impression of the face of Jesus upon a cloth used to wipe His face by St Veronica.
  • The Ceiling will include a “heavenly ring” surrounding the Pantocrator wherein the Theotokos, St. John the Baptist, and the Cherubim and Seraphim encircle the Jesus Christ. In addition, the Four Evangelists (St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John the Theologian) are depicted representing the dispensation of the Gospel to the whole world.
  • The intention for the North and South Wall is to depict scenes from the Life of Christ and the Great Feasts. Fr. Anthony has included two different applications which have not yet been decided upon. One version includes three scenes per wall and the other, five scenes.
  • The Back Wall as proposed would include an icon called the “Sleeping Judah” that depicts Christ as Prefigured in the Old Testament. The rest of the wall will include saints important to the local community of St. Andrew’s.
Front Wall – Left and Right of Altar
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Front Left - Resurrection, Angel

Front Wall Left – Resurrection, Angel

Front Right - Nativity, Angel

Front Wall Right – Nativity, Angel


Ceiling | North and South Walls
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Ceiling - Heavenly Ring | North Wall – Angels, Evangelists, Major Feast Days

Ceiling – Heavenly Ring
North Wall – Angels, Evangelists, Major Feast Days

Ceiling - Heavenly Ring | South Wall – Angels, Evangelists, Major Feast Days

Ceiling – Heavenly Ring
South Wall – Angels, Evangelists, Major Feast Days

 

Back Wall
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Back Wall - Christ the Sleeping Judah, Prophets, Saints

Back Wall – Christ the Sleeping Judah, Prophets, Saints

Our Iconographer

Fr. Anthony Salzman

Fr. Anthony Salzman

Our iconographer is the V. Rev. Fr. Anthony Salzman, a priest in the Greek Archdiocese and the founder of Image and Likeness Iconography.

Fr. Anthony has given us an outline for doing four more phases of icon installation and God-willing, we will continue to adorn God’s House unto His Glory and our Salvation.

Theology

In the Orthodox Church, the church building is referred to as a Temple. Just as the Jewish Temple was the place of gathering for worship and the atonement for sins, so too, the Temple is the place where the ecclesia (“the assembly”) of the Orthodox faithful gather together to offer praise and worship to God and to ask for the pardon and forgiveness of their sins.

The Old Testament Temple was the place where the high priest would present offerings to God in the Holy of Holies on behalf of the people. For the Orthodox, the priest stands in the Sanctuary to offer prayers on behalf of the people and at the same time, represents Jesus Christ, the One True High Priest, who offered His Life for our sake.

The Jewish Temple was the place where God descended to meet with priest and bestow forgiveness. In Orthodox worship, not only does God descend to us but we ascend to Him. The Divine Liturgy begins “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, declaring that we are now mystically entering the Kingdom of Heaven.

Since we understand ourselves as mystically ascending to heaven, proper imagery which heightens our sensual awareness of that reality naturally grew in the Church. Iconography is an integral part of our worship because it brings the Kingdom of Heaven to us and draws us into the Kingdom.

For the Orthodox, icons are not just decorative, but symbolically represent the presence of the persons depicted and the truth of the doctrines of the Church. Icons are venerated in the Orthodox Church and their veneration is a show of respect and love to the persons, events, or teachings depicted in the icon. Veneration is honor, which is not the same thing as worship. Veneration sets us on a path to God; worship is the end of that pathway and belongs to God alone.

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