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Which icons for veneration?


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#1 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:53 PM

I should be grateful for clarification about which icons should be put out in church for veneration and which are illustrative of some event and so not put out for veneration. For example, we put out icons of saints and that is obvious enough. We also put out icons of great feasts such as the Nativity of the Lord, the Annunciation, the Transfiguration, and so on, and that is also clear. However, there are icons of events such as Christ healing the man born blind, and, further, icons illustrating stories such as that of the Publican and the Pharisee and of the Prodigal Son.

 

What are the criteria for determining which icons are for veneration, and those which may be put out somewhere in the church but not for veneration?

 

 



#2 Peter Simko

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:57 PM

When we venerate the Gospel Book, we venerate all that it contains and all that it represents, it seems.  So venerating icons of events contained within seem like they fall within the same category.  That is how I have been taught to understand this when it comes to Christ's parables, for instance.



#3 Olga

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:10 PM

Events such as Christ and the Samaritan woman, Christ healing the blind man or the paralytic, are not problematic at all. These are not parables, but incidents from Christ's earthly life.

Depictions of the Publican and Pharisee are at best didactic images. No saints are depicted, and neither is Christ. They are illustrations of a parable, the characters are fictitious. Images of the Prodigal Son depend on how the story is portrayed as to whether veneration is possible.

 

Here is a common depiction of this parable:

 

Prodigal_Son_icon__61580.1423444189.1000

 

Here is another, which is suitable for veneration. The presence of Christ as the father-figure welcoming the return of his wayward and sinful son goes to the heart of this pre-lenten commemoration, whose dominant theme is acknowledgement of our sins, repentance, and the boundless mercy and compassion of God.

 

pilda_fiului_risipitor1.jpg?itok=8BFFnPt

 

The father in the parable of the Prodigal Son is God; and the "God who can be seen", as St John of Damascus said, is Christ. Similarly, the Good Samaritan parable can be venerated if Christ is shown as the compassionate stranger.



#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:20 PM

Thanks! So, icons for veneration - the ones that the faithful see on the main icon stand and approach to venerate - are those which show someone who can be venerated. Is that it?



#5 Olga

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 02:58 AM

Essentially, yes. Are there any other specific images you had in mind?

 

Icons can (and should be) didactic as well as venerable. However, not all didactic images are venerable. :)

 

For the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, it is better to have an icon of whichever saint or feast is appointed to be commemorated on that day according to the menaion or the church calendar. In the Russian church, for instance, this year, that Sunday coincided with the commemoration of the Russian New Martyrs and Confessors. So the hymns for the services that weekend were from the Triodion, and for the Russian saints.



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 11:46 AM

I had in mind some of the events of these preparatory Sundays before the Great Fast such as the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, most icons for which are didactic and not for veneration. Looking ahead to the Saturday of Souls, presumably we would put out an icon of the Last Judgment which would remain for the Sunday of the Last Judgment. Forgiveness Sunday is also the Sunday of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise: would an icon for that Sunday be of the expulsion, which usually just shows an angel performing the expulsion, and so be suitable for veneration or just didactic? f not, which would be the proper icon for that Sunday?






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