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What you need to know about icons?

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the Veneration of icons is one of the main signs of Orthodoxy. The Holy fathers write that the Orthodox, that is, a true believer, can only be called the one who reveres the Holy icons.

on one side is the "gospel in colors". A wonderful means to convey bogojavlenija truths and stories from the life of Jesus Christ, the virgin and the saints. Especially simple people, often illiterate in matters of faith. However, on the other hand, a wrong understanding of the veneration of icons very often turned to good Orthodox Christians idolaters or heretics.

the Second commandment of God teaches: "thou shalt Not make unto thee any graven image, or that is in heaven above, or on the earth beneath or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall NOT bow down to them or worship them "(ex. 20, 4-5).


How it should be interpreted? What does it mean in our terms?

This commandment God prohibits idolatry. Idol or idol is called an object or picture that is worshiped as the Creator. This is a crucial distinction between veneration of icons and the worship of idols. Therefore, we can safely say that this commandment is not about icons, but about something else. When believers worship, venerate icons, they worship and adore not the material from which they are made, and who is on them. Through the image of honor as a prototype. But the idolaters worship his own created images or sculptures who think their gods: in such a case, the image and prototype are identical among themselves. The worship of icons, which depict the Saviour, the virgin Mary or the saints we are thereby honoring real people and not invented or created by yourself.

From Scripture we know that God Himself had commanded to be put in the tabernacle over the ark of the Covenant, gold images of Cherubim. And not only them but many other man-made images were not decorative, and religious, liturgical purpose. And that God revealed the same Moses, who gave to mankind His commandments. So, the second commandment does not contradict the existence of the phenomenon of sacred images in the Church. Instead, it teaches us the proper worship that is pleasing to God...

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