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Monday, February 25, 2013

Principles Of Orthodox Worship - IV


Symbolic Representations
by Fr. Dr. Mathew Vaidyan

We have to acknowledge our linguistic limitations.

Words and language alone fail to reflect our gratitude to God Almighty. Symbols speak volumes and help us for meaningful communication with God.

The early Church developed symbolic art in the Catacombs. Symbols used by early Christians include , lamb, dove ,fish, shepherd, vine , bread, cross and the like.

The dove represents Holy Spirit, Christ is the Good Shepherd, and the Lamb of God. The Greek word “ikhthus” which means fish denotes “ Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” when alphabetically expanded.

This was the creed and declaration of faith used by ancient Christians. The symbolism of salt, lamp, etc. are inspirative and educative for a Christian.

They are parts of the Christian devotion. The cross speaks out the sacrificial acts of Jesus. Signing of the cross is also silent , but meaningful worship.

The icons first came into existence in Syria and Egypt. The Byzantine Church developed icons and iconostasis with a sound theology of symbols called iconography.

Source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

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