What does the iconostasis represent?

The Iconostasis is the link between heaven (the Holy of Holies) and the nave (The Holy Place). Therefore, everything is symbolic upon the Iconostasis. The Icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and various saints and feasts are there because Christ, the Theotokos, the saints etc., lead us and guide us into the Holy of Holies.

What is the genesis of iconostasis?

Lesson Summary. The iconostasis is a vertical element commonly found in Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. It serves as a division between the sanctuary and the nave, and several religious figures are represented on it. It originated from the Jewish tradition of separating the congregation leader from the faithful …

Did Hagia Sophia have an iconostasis?

Iconostasis can also be seen in Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul Turkey. Once a Christian basilica, then an imperial mosque, and now a museum; Hagia Sophia has a fifty foot silver iconostasis in it. The iconostasis was removed when Hagia Sophia was turned into a mosque, and was returned when it was turned into a museum.

What are icons in the Orthodox Church?

Orthodox Christians view icons as visual representations of the people and stories of the Bible. Webster’s Dictionary defines this type of icon as, “a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians”.

Why do Orthodox churches have iconostasis?

A typical feature of Eastern Orthodox churches is the iconostasis which separates the inner sanctuary reserved to the clergy from the nave occupied by the laity, preventing the faithful from glimpsing at the sacerdotal proceedings behind the screen.

What is the chancel used for in a church?

The east end of a church, traditionally the place where the high altar is located. Chancels may have seating for a choir, and there may be small chambers off the chancel, such as a vestry, an ‘office space’ for the priest. Chancels were often dominated by a large east window above and behind the altar.

What are three things that make the Hagia Sophia special?

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. After the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II had it repurposed as a mosque, with the addition of a wooden minaret (on the exterior, a tower used for the summons to prayer), a great chandelier, a mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca), and a minbar (pulpit).

How do Orthodox Christians use icons to pray?

It is important to make the distinction between praying “to” the icons and praying “alongside” them. Orthodox Christians pray with an icon nearby to serve as a visual reminder. Praying “to” an icon is considered improper because this would turn it into an idol.

Why do Orthodox kiss icons?

Processing with icons around the church reminds us that the path from Galilee to Golgotha is a path through matter that ultimately redeems it. So we kiss icons, and we bow before them, because, thanks to Christ, the world he entered and made a part of himself is good and holy. Thus, as St.

What is inside an Orthodox church?

The Church building is divided into three main parts: the narthex (vestibule), the nave (the temple proper) and the sanctuary (also called the altar or holy place). A major difference of traditional Orthodox churches from Western churches is the absence of any pews in the nave.

What is a rood screen in a church?

Rood screen, in Western architecture, element of a Christian church of the Middle Ages or early Renaissance that separated the choir or chancel (the area around the altar) from the nave (the area set apart for the laity).

What does it mean to have an iconostasis?

An iconostasis (also iconostas or icon screen) is a screen or wall which serves as a stable support for icons and marks the boundary between the nave and the altar or sanctuary. The term can also refer to a folding, portable set of icons.

What are the different styles of Byzantine iconostasis?

There has been historically and continues to be a vast range of styles for iconostases: Some are simply two icons of the Theotokos and the Lord; the most complex, cathedral icon screens have multiple tiers with many icons per tier. The iconostasis is perhaps the most distintive feature of Byzantine Rite churches.

How does iconostasis represent the division of Heaven and Earth?

The conclusion there was that iconostasis represents the division of Heaven and Earth, and how the barriers between the two have been broken. Exploring the specific icons used in the iconostasis reveals more about how this remarkable union has taken place.

Who are the Saints on the right of the iconostasis?

Deesis (Gr: δέησις) means “prayer” or “supplication”, and refers to a type of iconographic depiction of Christ in Glory, seated on a throne, with various Saints standing either side, arms raised, prayerfully supplicating Him. Immediately to the right and left of Christ are, respectively, the Theotokos and St John the Baptist.