1. Fr Paul

    Fr Steven, thank you for your thought provoking and scholarly article. Whilst I bless Icons, as an iconographer I have always felt this was superfluous as there is a point when the Icon is being created that it “comes alive”, that is to say it ceases to be a jumble of colours, paint, gold and wood and gains “life”. Sometimes this is early on in its creation, other times it has not been until almost the last hilights are being applied ( and I have been quite despondent that I have failed) that the Icon comes to life.
    What you didn’t raise in your article is the practise of having icons behind the iconostasis for 40 days and then being returned to their owners. This is quite common in the Antiochian tradition. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

  2. Hello Fr. Paul,
    About putting an icon on the altar for sometime, I suggest that in one, or all, the services of solemn veneration that are attached to the article published by Scott. I don’t know if you saw them or not. Since you are an iconographer and priest, I would especially like to hear what you think about those compiled services. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularily objectionable to putting the icon behind the iconostase unless it contributes to the notion that an icon gets it sanctity by osmossis, by soaking up the altar’s holiness, so to speak. If it is made clear, as I tried to do in the services I compiled, that the icon’s holiness comes from likeness and the name, then putting the icon there for a time could be considered part of the inaugural, solemn veneration, as I called those services, perhaps somewhat awkwardly. Your comments are most welcome.

  3. Dear Father,
    Thank you for an excellent article. It is a healthy sign when we can test current practices and assumptions in the search for genuine tradition. I refer to this subject in my book, especially page 286 where I write:
    “The writing of the name is the crowning act of painting an icon. It is this naming which, perhaps above all else, makes it a holy icon, signifies that it is an image of this saint and not that saint. St Theodore the Studite wrote:
    ‘Christ’s image, on the other hand is called ‘Christ’ because of the signification of the name, but not because it has the nature of divinity and humanity.'”

  4. Rev. Dcn. Sergius Miller

    I’ve contended for years rthat a blessing is NOT necessary. I never have my icons blessed. Thank you for the article.

    1. You’re quite welcome.

  5. Thank you, Father, for this article.

  6. Hello Julia,
    You’re quite welcome.

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