Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Visit #33 - New Icons on the Wall...and more coming!

When I walked into Church on Saturday July 23rd for my 33rd visit to an Orthodox Church, I was happily surprised to see all these Icons on the side of the walls. Up until that point, all of the Icons were in the front on the Iconostatis and a few small ones on the front side walls...but walking into this was quite a surprise.

Even though I only go to Vespers and don't know all about what is happening in Parish life, I did know, through reading on their website and by the weekly bulletin that Fr. Gary emails me and other parishioners, that the Church was in the midst of an Icon project. So I expected to see some changes...but this! All at once, there are tons of Large Icons on the wall! Man, that was some pretty fast Icon writing! I later learned, by talking to the very knowledgeable Tammy, that the Icons on the side of the walls were actually painted on Wallpaper somewhere else and quickly applied as Wallpaper is applied so It wasn't fast painting, just efficient wallpaper applying.

However, the Icon writier is going to paint some Icons above the Iconastatis just like Michelangelo ala the Sistine Chapel. It was a bit distracting during the Vespers Service to see Fr Gary and Deacon Ken snake their way through the works as they led us in Worship.

As you can see it looks like a construction zone, but I know if a few weeks that it will look beautiful!

One thing I noticed is that Reader John (Tammy's Husband) is now modifying some of his actions to accommodate the new Icons. You see, as I have mentioned in previous post's, it is John's practice to scan the Icons when, during Vespers, all the Saints are invoked with his eyes ending on the Icon of Christ. Well, now, he has to turn around and scan the side walls, too! But, you know, what he is looking out is absolutely beautiful.

Tammy took a picture of me by one of the Icons with my camera phone. It's a bit blurry but I will post it anyway:

It is a depiction of Jesus' first miracle which is one of my favorite miracles in the Bible. Now, before you think that I am an alcoholic, let me explain why I love the miracle of the water being turned into wine. You see, it really was an unnecessary miracle. When Jesus healed the sick, rose people from the dead, that, you can say, is a life changing event. But supplying wine for a wedding when the only negative affect of not doing it would be embarrassment for the wedding party, well, why is that miracle so special? Because, Jesus, who didn't even want to do it, was just listening to his Mother. To me, this proves Jesus' humanity. What son doesn't want to please his own mom? Jesus did! And this very human Jesus is also God!

Praise the Lord for the Incarnation!

Last Saturday (July 30th) my family went to a friend's house for dinner (a very good time) and this Saturday (August 6th) my wife and I are picking up my youngest son from camp and then taking him to see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" but I hope to make it to Vespers this Friday for blessing of the fruit and for the Transfiguration.

Can someone tell me what is the significance of the blessing of the fruit? Should I bring my own apples?


  1. Very nice Icons. I've never heard of having them "wallpapered."

    The blessing of grapes, as well as other fruits and vegetables on this day is the most beautiful and adequate sign of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. It signifies the ultimate flowering and fruitfulness of all creation in God's Paradise where all will be transformed by the glory of the Lord.


  2. Nektarios,
    thanks for the explanation...Orthodoxy is so rich in tradition, I learn something new all the time!

  3. I bet Fr. Tom Hopko has a podcast about the Transfiguration...but Nektarios did a lovely job in a few sentences.

    I'm glad to see you're still hanging in there. As we both know, it's hard to go it alone.

  4. Debd,
    Fr Tom Hopko has a podcast about everything! He is all over Ancient Faith Radio. I love the guy and have learned so much from him.

    I am very excited because I understand Ancient Faith Radio is also bringing back "at the intersection of East and West," which is the Sunday School class of Deacon Michael Hyat. That podcast and also "Our life in Christ" has really been my greatest catalyst towards Orthodoxy.