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Statues of saints


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#21 Olga

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:13 PM

I intended the example to be in support of those who were saying that the presence of statues does not necessarily imply their veneration after a western fashion.


Thank you for this clarification. Quite right, of course. It would be of greater concern if the statues were inside the cathedral.

#22 Michael Astley

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:24 PM

I wonder - Olga or anybody else - what you make of the custom in Western Rite parishes of the Antiochian church specifically, of permitting statues in church provided that they are set in a niche - I think that this is to pacify those who would otherwise struggle with the three-dimensional aspect of statues but then this is undone when they are carried in procession. To my knowledge, Western Rite communities in ROCOR and elsewhere tend to content themselves with icons.

In Christ,
Michael

[edited to add that the photographs of Our Lady of Wansingham are from St Mark's, Denver, while the others are from Holy Incarnation, Lincoln Park, Michigan]

#23 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:36 PM

As I briefly look again at this thread, I ask myself "Why do men build Cathedrals, Churches, carve statues or paint icons? Is it not to leave an inheritance or a remembrance or a monument to themselves? I remember the verse of the Psalm "Unless God build the house in vain do the builders, build!" (?) Our Lord Himself spoke in the Gospel that not one stone will be left of the Temple of Jerusalem (?) Why? because all humanly made items are somehow "idols" like the tower of Babel! All seem to lead to confusion in one way or another, to the mixing of tongues and languages so that no one understands the other anymore!

It is the inner Temple of our souls with which we are to be concerned, and the Living God who indwells our lives "Do you not know that you are them Temple of the Holy Spirit?" (?) A sedentary people tend to build monuments to themselves, while nomadic people leave little behind to be remembered. Perhaps we of the 21st Century need to again become nomadic peoples, pilgrims, exiles from Paradise in order to recognize how foolish all the "hoop-la" becomes at the moment of death!

The Holy Week is upon us! What is of importance? Is it statues, icons, material things, or the re-enterring upon the Mystical Journey to Jerusalem where Christ, Our Lord Jesus will suffer and be crucified again for our salvation? All I can say is that I hope to leave all the monuments to the false self behind, and enter with Christ Jesus into the Reality of "the Way of the Cross which leads to the Resurrection and Theosis/transformation into Christ."
Who of us can truly say as St. Paul did "It is no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives in me"? The New Life to which the Lenten has led us!

#24 Kosta

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:43 PM

I've always been critical of the western rite vicariate on their use of statues. They have attempted to claim in the past that statues were a part of orthodox iconography and were venerated equally with icons. Some WR writers even have seen themselves as the vehicle to (re)introduce statues into the church and have used their alabaster statues in processions. This is all nonsense statues were never part of the iconographic tradition of the church.

#25 Andrew McQuillen

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:43 AM

We have no statues at all in my Antiochian Western Rite parish (unless you count a 3-D crucifix on our rood screen), though we do have lots of icons. Personally, statues always bothered me even before I was Orthodox, especially if they are painted and put in a position that draws a lot of attention. I am not sure how many parishes in the Western Rite Vicariate have statues, but it should be known that not all have "May Crowning" processions or other para-liturgical services involving statues.

Andrew McQuillen
http://mydevourer.blogspot.com

#26 Manoli Anagnostiadis

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:22 AM

Christ is Risen!

I came across this footnote in Rev. Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky's book Orthodox Dogmatic Theology (my church's Lenten discussion book) that I think is extremely pertinent to this thread:

"Nothing is said in the Orthodox canons regarding the veneration of statues, such as came to be used in the religious art of the West in the Middle Ages and later centuries. However, the virtually universal tradition of the Orthodox Church of both East and West in the early centuries, and of the Eastern Church in later centuries, has been to allow as religious art two-dimensional depictions and bas-reliefs, but not statues in the round. The reason for this seems to lie in the realism that is inevitable in three-dimensional depictions, making them suitable for representing the things of this world of earth (for example, the statues of emperors), but not those of the heavenly world into which our earthly thinking and realism cannot penetrate. Two-dimensional icons, on the other hand, are like 'windows to heaven' which are much more capable of raising the mind and heart to heavenly realities." (pg. 324)

#27 Nathaniel Woon

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:46 AM

I remember reading and seeing pictures of a carved statue of St. George the Trophy Bearer in Greece - it's a miraculous one dating back to Byzantine times

#28 junos

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:27 AM

As a Catholic in the western rite, I do not have a problem with statues. Surely only God can choose how he will use an image - no matter the will of the artist, it is not the will of the artist that matters, but the will of God that imbues a created thing with "power" or "presence" to draw a soul to God?
I am a religious artist so I am very interested in these views and sacred traditions.

#29 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:33 PM

It is not God Who uses an image but us.



#30 Ilaria

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 02:23 PM

As Kosta mentioned, the icon is a representation of the transfigured person, while a statue, by itself, is a representation of the body. Dear Junos, as an artist, I think that one may sculpture statues, let say, for the representation of the earthly living of a saint; however, a statue would not be an appropriate image of the transfigured body, of the sanctified person. This is a profound subject in icon theology, I would recommend you some writings in this regard: Leonid Uspensky and others.



#31 Kosta

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 05:26 AM

There have been certain Orthodox theologians that have attempted to equate statues with icons, but they are simply wrong. Even the carved wooden statue of St George in an ancient Kastoria church has a curtain as a veil to cover it up and stop its veneration, somethingunheard of for icons.




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