Icons are a permanent calling to prayer and a liturgical form of confessing the truth that the invisible Son of God has become visible, that the Eternal One was made a mortal Man so that passing through death and resurrection to give us afresh the eternal life, Patriarch Daniel said May 29 addressing the clergy present at the Palace of the Patriarchate.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church chaired the spring meeting of the priests from Bucharest and Ilfov County. In his opening remarks, the Patriarch spoke about the significance of icons in the life of the faithful and in the liturgical worship practised by the Church.
In his speech, the Patriarch also addressed the catechetical role played by iconography saying that we are unable to imagine an Orthodox church building without any icon. He added that we are unable to celebrate the Divine Liturgy or any other service without having in front of us at least the icons of our Saviour Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God.
An Orthodox church’s mystical beauty and its atmosphere full of mystery of is mainly due to the holy icons and frescoes that adorn it, the patriarch explained, and he went on saying that a holy icon is not a simple painting of religious inspiration, but sacred art and gracious presence of the Saviour Jesus Christ, of the Mother of God and of the Saints.
The believers feel this gracious presence when they pray in front of the holy icons, the patriarch noted calling them windows open to the Kingdom of God’s eternal love and the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
His Beatitude reflected on the divine grace saying that it continually descends upon those who approach the holy icons with faith, with fear of God and much devoutness and pray with humility. The Patriarch pointed to the need of being aware that by venerating holy icons, the faithful do not bow down before the visual adornment, nor to their beauty, nor to the matter from which icons are made, but to the person who is depicted in them.
The proceedings of the meeting took place at the Patriarch Teoctist Aula Magna of the Palace of the Patriarchate.
His Grace Timotei of Prahova, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Saint Spyridon the New Metropolitan Cathedral in the opening of the meeting of priests and deacons.
Credit: Lumina Newspaper