Ciboria and Tabernacles: A Short History

(This article continuation of my last post: Holy Tables with Reliquaries: A Short History ) The Ciborium A ciborium is a form of canopy supported by columns over the holy table (25). It is sometimes also called a baldachin, but strictly speaking this latter term should be limited to cloth canopies. Ciboria came to be common,…

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Holy Tables with Reliquaries, a Short History

In this overview and the one that will follow I have combined the history of altars (also called holy tables), ciboria and tabernacles because their respective developments are somewhat related. In this first section I will deal with Holy Tables and will focus on ciboria and tabernacles in the second installment.   My interest in…

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Reliquary of St-Vincent of Zaragoza

For many years I had wanted to design some liturgical work involving cloisonné, so I was delighted when Father Andrey Kordochkin of the Russian Orthodox Church of St Mary Magdalene approached me to make a reliquary for St Vincent of Zaragoza. In the cloisonné technique, thin wire is laid onto plate, usually of silver or…

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ARCHIMANDRITE ZENON (THEODOR): His Life and Work

I am not given to adulation: it places too heavy a burden of expectation on the unfortunate recipient, and often hinders the adorer. But I must confess I border on adulation for the works of the contemporary Russian iconographer and fresco painter, Archimandrite Zenon (Teodor) Every once in a while an iconographer appears who is…

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Our Lady of Lincoln Sculpture

I had often wondered if a three dimensional sculpture could be made to act like an icon, leading the viewer to the holy person depicted rather than acting as a self-contained art object. And so I was pleased when I was commissioned to design and carve a two metre (6′-6″) high stone sculpture of the…

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Holy Icons in Today’s World (Pt.3): Ecology

We turn now to our second subject of ecology, looking in particular at icons of Pentecost and Transfiguration. [Pentecost]When I was learning to drive, one of the first things I was told was to keep my eyes on the road because the car would follow my gaze. It is the same with any civilisation: its…

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Holy Icons in Today’s World (Pt.2): Icons and Modern Art

The transfiguration icon and modern art Christ takes with him His disciples Peter, James and John up a mountain, traditionally taken to be Mount Tabor. The Gospels then tell us that Christ’s face and garments shine with light, brighter than the sun. Moses and Elijah also appear before the disciples, talking with Jesus about His…

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