Orthodox Architecture and Iconography
The Dome iconography presents an icon of Christ the Almighty, the Pantocrator, being held up by six angels. The lower level of the dome features several Prophets of the Old Testament: Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Samuel, Isaiah, Elijah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Malachias and Zacharias.
It has been said that the Churches of Western Christianity with their Gothic design try to reach toward heaven, while the Byzantine structures of Eastern Christianity attempt to bring a little of Heaven down to earth. The design as well as the traditional adornment of the interior of our Church is based on this concept.
Orthodox Church buildings often have icons painted on the wall. On the Apse, the area behind the Altar Table in the Sanctuary, is the icon of the Virgin Mary. Her arms are stretched out and the Christ Child is enthroned within her. This particular icon is called the “Platytera” which stands for a title of the Virgin Mary- “Platytera twn Ouranwn”- “More Wider than the Heavens.” It is she who gave birth to the Son and Word of God who is infinite and eternal, yet through His human birth entered time and history as a man. Depicted in the icon are also the Archangels Michael and Gabriel who approach the mystery of the incarnation with awe.
Below the icon of the Platytera and over the Royal doors, is the Icon of the Communion of the Apostles. The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament par excellence of the Orthodox Church. It is our union with Christ as we partake of His Body and Blood. This particular iconographic representation is not an icon of the Last or Mystical Supper but one of Christ, the eternal High Priest, offering His Body and Blood to the whole world in persons of His disciples.
On the right side, receiving from the Cup are the disciples John, James, Matthew, Thaddeus, Simon and Philip. On the left side receiving the Body are the disciples Peter, James Alphaeus, Andrew, Bartholomew, Judas Iscariot and Thomas.
The disciples are in a posture of approaching the Sacred Mysteries with humility and reverence. Alone among the disciples, Judas Iscariot presents a haughty posture and he alone faces away from the Lord, rejecting a life in union with Christ.