Icon Exhibit Opens

Icon Exhibit

“Mary and the Saints”

dsc_2190

St. Paul Church, 4451 Wagner Rd, Dayton, OH 45440
Friday, October 14th : 5-8 PM
Saturday, October 15th: 10 – 5 PM
Sunday, October 16th : Noon – 5 PM

Church Phone: 937-320-9977

email:  FrTed@StPDayton.org

This exhibition features more than 75 rare icons of the Virgin Mary and various other saints commemorated by Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Taken from private collections across the United States, the exhibition will include unique examples from 15th century Medieval Russia, 16th and 17th century Greece, through 19th century Imperial Russia as well as contemporary Icons painted in America. This is a singular opportunity to view prime examples of the spiritual art of the Eastern Orthodox Church as they were originally intended in their appropriate setting. Admission is free. Both self-guided and docent tours will be available.

dsc_2180

Zernov explains that icons (obraza in Russian) were, for the Russians, not merely paintings. They were dynamic manifestations of man’s spiritual power to redeem creation through beauty and art. The colors and lines of the obraza were not meant to imitate nature; the artists aimed at demonstrating that men, animals and plants, and the whole cosmos could be rescued from their present state of degradation and restored to their proper ‘Image.’ The obraza were pledges of the coming victory of a redeemed creation over the fallen one.… concrete example[s] of matter restored to its original harmony and beauty, and serving as a vehicle of the Spirit.”    (in Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation,  Kindle Loc. 3120-26)

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

 

The Greek Street Food Truck will be present, selling their fare on Friday evening, October 14, from 5-9pm.

Icons: Visible Signs of Our Salvation

On the weekend of October 14-16, St. Paul Orthodox Church in Dayton, Ohio, is hosting an

Icon Exhibit, “Mary and the Saints.”

The Exhibit is free and open to the public.

As we contemplate the beauty and the mystery of icons and how they are ‘theology in lines and color’, we realize the nature of salvation:

“A sense of the holy in nature implies that everything that breathes praises God (Ps. 150:6); the entire world is a ‘burning bush of God’s energies,’ as Gregory Palamas claimed in the fourteenth century. When our heart is sensitive, then ‘our eyes are opened to discern the beauty of created things’ (Abba Isaac the Syrian, seventh century). Seeing clearly is precisely what icons teach us to do. The world of the icon offers new insights into reality. It reveals the eternal dimension in everything that we experience.   . . .   the icon restores; it reconciles. The icon reminds us of another way of living and offers a corrective to the culture that we have created, which gives value only to the here and now. The icon reveals the inner vision of all, the world as created and as intended by God. Very often, it is said, the first image attempted by an iconographer is that of the Transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor.

This is precisely because the iconographer struggles to hold together this world and the next, to transfigure this world in light of the next. For, by disconnecting this world from heaven, we have in fact desacralized both. The icon articulates with theological conviction our faith in the heavenly kingdom. It does away with any objective distance between this world and the next, between material and spiritual, between body and soul, time and eternity, creation and divinity. The icon speaks in this world the language of the age to come. This is why the doctrine of the Divine Incarnation is at the very heart of iconography. For, in the icon of Jesus Christ, the uncreated God assumes a creaturely face, a beauty that is ‘exceeding’ (Ps. 44:2), a ‘beauty that can save the world’ (Fyodor Dostoevsky).”    (J Chryssavgis in Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation, Kindle Loc. 3420-34)

 

We will celebrate our salvation in exhibiting the icons which show our salvation, which make the incarnation visible to us throughout the ages.

This exhibition features more than 75 rare icons of the Virgin Mary and various other saints commemorated by Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Taken from private collections across the United States, the exhibition will include unique examples from 15th century Medieval Russia, 16th and 17th century Greece, through 19th century Imperial Russia as well as contemporary Icons painted in America. This is a singular opportunity to view prime examples of the spiritual art of the Eastern Orthodox Church as they were originally intended in their appropriate setting. Admission is free. Both self-guided and docent tours will be available.

St. Paul Church, 4451 Wagner Rd, Dayton, OH 45440
Friday, October 14th : 5-8 PM
Saturday, October 15th: 10 – 5 PM
Sunday, October 16th : 12 PM – 5 PM

Church Phone: 937-320-9977

The Greek Street Food Truck will be present, selling their fare on Friday evening from 5-9pm.

 

How Icons Show Salvation

On the weekend of October 14-16, St. Paul Orthodox Church in Dayton, OH, is hosting an Icon Exhibit, “Mary and the Saints.”  The Exhibit is free and open to the public.

Icons reflect the Orthodox theology of salvation.   In the face of criticism that the veneration of icons is idolatry, 8th Century Saint John Damascene,  offered a theological defense of the use of icons in worshiping God:

‘I do not venerate matter, I venerate the fashioner of matter, who became matter for my sake and accepted to dwell in matter and through matter worked my salvation, and I will not cease from reverencing matter, through which my salvation was worked . . .’”    (cited in Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology, Kindle Loc. 1880-83)

An icon affirms the truth of the incarnation of God in Christ, which is the salvation of the world.  The godly truth which Orthodox Christianity proclaims is that when God created the heavens and the earth, God created something distinctly “not-god”.  Creation is not the Creator.  Yet in the Gospel claim that the “Word became flesh” (John 1), the Bible lays out simply that in the most mysterious way, in the greatest miracle ever, God became that which is “not God.”   God became “not God” that “not God” might become God (to paraphrase the post-apostolic thought).  This greatest miracle ever became possible in and because of the Virgin Mary.  She became Theotokos which enabled the incarnation which makes salvation, theosis/ deification possible.

We will celebrate our salvation in exhibiting the icons which show our salvation, which make the incarnation visible to us throughout the ages.

This exhibition features more than 75 rare icons of the Virgin Mary and various other saints commemorated by Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Taken from private collections across the United States, the exhibition will include unique examples from 15th century Medieval Russia, 16th and 17th century Greece, through 19th century Imperial Russia as well as contemporary Icons painted in America. This is a singular opportunity to view prime examples of the spiritual art of the Eastern Orthodox Church as they were originally intended in their appropriate setting. Admission is free. Both self-guided and docent tours will be available.

St. Paul Church, 4451 Wagner Rd, Dayton, OH 45440
Friday, October 14th : 5-8 PM
Saturday, October 15th: 10 – 5 PM
Sunday, October 16th : 12 PM – 5 PM

Church Phone: 937-320-9977

The Greek Street Food Truck will be present, selling their fare on Friday evening from 5-9pm.

 

Icon Exhibit October 14-16

Icon Exhibit   October 14-16

Title: Mary & The Saints: A Celebration  of Eastern Orthodox Iconography

Dates: October 14-16, 2016
Times:  Friday 14th : 5-8 PM (Opening Reception)
     Saturday, 15th: 10 – 5 PM
     Sunday, 16th : 12 PM – 5 PM
Place: St. Paul The Apostle Orthodox Christian Church, 4451 Wagner Rd, Dayton, OH 45440
Contact:  FrTed@StPDayton.org
Admission: Free. Both self-guided and docent tours will be available.
Description:  This exhibition features more than 75 rare icons of the Virgin Mary and various other saints commemorated by Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Taken from private collections across the United States,  the exhibition will include unique examples from 15th century Medieval Russia, 16th and 17th century Greece, through 19th century Imperial Russia, as well as contemporary Icons painted in America. This is a  singular opportunity to view prime examples of the spiritual  art of the Eastern Orthodox Church  as they were originally  intended in their appropriate setting.

Icons: To See the Mystery of God

“According to the Church’s hymnography, the first icon of the Lord was disclosed when He became incarnate, and the first iconographer was the Theotokos: ‘The uncircumscribed Word of the Father became circumscribed, taking flesh from you, O Theotokos; and He has restored the sullied image [that is, man] to its ancient glory, mingling it with the divine beauty. We therefore confess our salvation [through Christ’s Incarnation], depicting it in action [through the holy icons] and recounting it in words.’

The word of the Gospel and the ‘word’ of the holy icons help us to experience at first hand the mystery of the divine economy: ‘While our physical eyes are looking at an icon, our intellect and the spiritual eyes of our heart are focused on the mystery of the economy of the Incarnation.’

By means of the holy icons, we see the Lord and the saints. We converse with them: ‘The holy Apostles saw the Lord with their physical eyes; others saw the Apostles, and others again saw the holy martyrs. But I too yearn to see them with my soul and body and to have them as a medicine against every ill…Because I am a human being and have a body, I long to see and communicate with holy things in a physical manner too.’” (Hieromonk Gregorios, The Divine Litugy: A Commentary in the Light of the Fathers, pp 40-41)

The Sunday of Orthodoxy (2016)

The Holy Prophets

“But there is more that we can take away from this commemoration today. Before the first Sunday of Lent commemorated the restoration of the icons, it was given over to remembering the prophets. This is why we had the readings from the Gospel (John 1:43-51) and Epistle (Hebrews 11:24-12:2) that we had today and why we heard much about the prophets in the hymnography last night. In a very real sense, the confirmation of the icons is a reaffirmation of the prophets: what they had foretold, the icons confirm. So we just heard Philip telling Nathaniel that ‘ We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth’ (John 1:45). It is this that the icons confirm: Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ spoken of by the prophets, has come visibly in flesh.

Prophet Amos

When we turn our attention to the Epistle reading, we are taken a step further. There we heard of the sufferings endured by the prophets as they looked to the things that God had planned for us; or as we sang last night: ‘they refused to worship the creation instead of the Creator; they renounced the whole world for the Gospel’s sake, and in their suffering they were conformed to thy Passion which they had foretold.’ The prophets, by concentrating all their hearts and strength on the promise of God – the gospel – by refusing to compromise with the world and enduring all the suffering that this entails, were themselves conformed to Christ’s Passion, becoming images of Christ. Make no mistake about this. It is to this that we also are called: to be icons ourselves, by being crucified with Christ, by being conformed to his image, by living the life that he opens up for us, the life of God himself.

Prophet John the Forerunner

The Epistle concluded by reminding us that, surrounded by a cloud of witnesses – all these icons, saints who have conformed themselves to Christ – we are ourselves to throw off everything that hinders us from running the race set before us, to lay aside every weight that holds us back, every sin and passion that attaches our heart to things in this world rather than to Christ. We are, the Epistle says, to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, so that he now sits at the right hand of the Father.” (John Behr, The Cross Stands While the World Turns, pp 28-29)

Charity Icon Sale 2015

Christopher’s Restaurant & Catering, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering, OH 45420, has for many years hosted a December Charity art sale.   All of the proceeds from the sale of the art on display in the Restaurant in December is donated by the restaurant to charity – this year it is being given to an Ohio prison ministry and to a women’s shelter.

The icons available this year were painted by an inmate in a state prison, Daryl, who converted to the Orthodox faith while in prison and took up iconography as a way to express his faith.

St. Ephrem the Syrian

Some of the icons have already sold, but some are still available for purchase.

Evangelist Luke

This year the icons feature various saints of the Orthodox Church.  Most of them are about 8″ x 11″ plus the frame.

Andrew the 1st Called Disciple

The above icon of St. Andrew is special to Daryl as that is his patron saint.

Evangelist John

Most come already framed, and the frame is included in the price of the icon.

St. Patrick of Ireland

For more information about any of the icons or to purchase one, contact Christopher’s owner, Chip Pritchard, at (937) 299-0089 or at chip@christophers.biz.

St. Brigid

You can see all of the icons he painted this year at  Daryl’s 2015 Icons.  If you are interested in commissioning Daryl to do an icon for you, contact FrTed@StPDayton.org.

The 7th Ecumenical Council and the Importance of Icons

Yesterday, October 11, the Orthodox honored the Holy Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council who affirmed that icons are necessary for proclaiming the incarnation of God.  David Bell explains:

“The iconoclasts have forgotten the Incarnation and the fact that at that stupendous moment the bodiless and invisible God became embodied in visible humanity: ‘In former times God, who has no body and no form, could not be depicted in any way. But now, since God has appeared in the flesh and lived among human being, I depict God who can be seen. I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake, who deigned to dwell in matter and who brought about my salvation through matter. I will never stop honoring the matter through which my salvation was brought about.’ (John of Damascus)

An icon of Christ, therefore, is not merely something to remind us of our Redeemer, but a true symbol of the incarnation. As God revealed himself in the created stuff of flesh and blood, so he may reveal himself in the created stuff of wood and paint. An icon is a revelation of God through matter just as the Incarnation was a revelation of God through matter, and the fact that one was a perfect revelation while the other is imperfect does not negate the basic principle: they are both images. In summary, therefore, John of Damascus makes four main points: (i) evidence for images can be found in the Old Testament itself and they are extremely useful for teaching an illiterate population; (ii) an image need not be identical to its prototype in order to be called an image; (iii) the true worship of God and the veneration (or ‘relational worship’) of images are quite distinct; and (iv) images of Christ bear eloquent witness to the New Dispensation and are clear testimony to the reality and importance of the Incarnation.” (Many Mansions, pp 273-274)

Icons: Images of Faith and Love

Theodoret of Cyrus considers the words of St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy:

“Be a model of the sound teachings you have heard from me in the faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”  (2 Timothy 1:13)

Theodoret comments:

Imitate the painter, he is saying, and as they take note of the originals, painting copies of them with precision, so too keep as a kind of original the teaching given by me about faith and love.”   (Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, p 239)

Theodoret gives us a way to understand icons of the saints.  The iconographer aims to give us a precise image of the saint, to remind us of their life,  holiness, their deeds and their teachings.  When we contemplate an icon, we are drawn to think about the saint’s teaching on faith and love.   We remember their teaching on and witness to Jesus Christ the Lord.  Thus every icon bears witness to Christ.

The Sunday of Orthodoxy (2015)

The First Sunday of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church commemorates the 7th Ecumenical Council, held in 787 in the city of Nicea, and its decision that iconography is theology in lines and colors which affirms the incarnation in a unique and essential way.

“The key theological teaching defended by the Second Council of Nicaea is that as Christ is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), we are able to depict him in colors; that iconography is a theological statement, an affirmation of our faith. This has two further important consequences. First, that we do not look elsewhere to try to see or understand who and what God is: in Christ, the fullness of divinity dwells bodily (Col. 2:9) – the fullness; we do not find God elsewhere, by some other means. Second, the holy icons are not simply religious art. We don’t place them in our churches and house simply for decoration. While reflecting different artistic schools, icons are properly a theological statement, reflecting the transformative power of God at work in Christ: the light who shines in darkness, illuminating the darkness; the one who shows that the form of a servant is in fact the lordly form; the one who by his death destroys death.

The icons are a witness to this and continue to communicate this transformation for those who have eyes to see. As the apostles depicted Christ in words, we also depict him in colors, including all the aspects of his work and salvation, all the various events we celebrate. We also depict all those who have put on Christ, all those in whose lives, words, and deeds we can see the Spirit of Christ breathing – the Theotokos and all the prophets, apostles, martyrs and saints of every age. We do not treat the icons as magic idols or ethnic art, and we certainly do not worship creation rather than the Creator; but venerating the icons, we pay honor to the ones depicted on them, and so worship the one God. Such is the historical reason for celebrating this Sunday as the Sunday of Orthodoxy.”   (John Behr, The Cross Stands While the World Turns, pp 27-28)

Great Lent was and is also a season of preparing catechumens for baptism.  Thus there is a strong catechetical emphasis in the themes and scripture lessons throughout Great Lent.  That Jesus is Mesiah, Lord and Savior, God incarnate, becomes central to the Lenten proclamation of the Gospel.