Saturday, April 26, 2008

Epitaphios


I lifted this picture from John at Orthographika (see my blogroll). This is a picture of my little store-front Church this week. The icon that is on the table dates from the early 1800's (yes, it really is 200 years old, is an historical artifact, and is one of the earliest, if not the earliest pieces like this with the embrodery in English instead of Russian or Greek). The words are: The noble Joseph took Thy most pure body and laid it in a tomb."...or something close to that.

The icon is of Christ's dead body. The gospel book is sitting on top of it, and His face is covered with the same cloth that is used to cover the Holy Gifts (the bread and wine that are used in the Eucharist).

When Orthodox Christians approach this icon during Holy Week, we make two prostrations, kiss the feet, the gospel and the cloth, and then another prostration. All forms of love and veneration belong to the prototype. So what this really means is that the bows and kisses are for Jesus Christ.

I really like the flowers, and I love this icon. I just wanted to share a visual image with my blog readers of what my week has been full of.

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

That is so beautiful !

Anonymous said...

A 200 year old icon with writing in English! That's so wonderful!

Christ is Risen!

Magdalena

Dianne said...

Very beautiful. And I love that such an extraordinary liturgical artifact is in the possession of a church that meets in a storefront. Do you have any more information on the history of that piece, maybe who made it, where it came from, how your priest came to have it? That would be fascinating.

Christ is Risen!

Anonymous said...

Sigh. Homesick.

Glorious Pascha to you!
--Theodora