THE COMPLETE ICONOSTASIS TIERS

Chady Elias THE COMPLETE ICONOSTASIS TIERS

Iconography and Liturgy

The Icon in the Eastern Church is not a luxury. The icons illustrate the history of the salvation and the life of Jesus, Mary, and all Saints. This work of visual art is based on symbols of the theology illustrated with geometrical forms and meanings for each color, also it includes the history of the church. The icon is integral aspect of the Liturgy as texts, gestures, and chants. Celebrating liturgy in the Eastern Church without icons is like watching movie without moving images.  

 

Iconostasis Icon Program 

Iconostasis Programs are governed by a number of guidelines and traditions. The rules can vary by region and period and rites. Some Iconostasis has one tier and it can go up to seven tiers. Keep in mind there is some room for variation according to traditions and rites.

A- Complete Iconostasis

1- The Bottom First Tier Called Sovereign.

  • The Royal Gate; the middle gate of the iconostasis usually holds the Annunciation Icon in the middle and the four Evangelists divide two on each door.

  • The Last Supper is usually located over the Royal Gate.

Right Side

  • On the right side of the Royal Gates; the middle gate is an icon of Christ.

  • On the right side of the Pantocrator Icon is located the Deacon Door or the right side door. The Icon of a Deacon or an Angel can be located on this door.

  • On the right side of the right deacon door is the icon of St. John the Baptist.

Left Side

  • On the left side of Royal Gates; the middle gate is an icon of the Theotokos; the Virgin Mary with the child.

  • On the Left side of Theotokos Icon is located the Deacon Door or the right side door. The Icon of a Deacon or an Angel can be located on this door.

  • On the right side of the right deacon door is the icon of the patron saint of the church as St. Nicholas, St Georges or Other Saint.

 

2- The Second Tier – Interchangeable.

On this tier are located the Icons the Twelve Great Feasts:

  • The Nativity Of The Theotokos

  • The Presentation Of The Theotokos

  • The Annunciation

  • The Nativity Of Christ

  • The Presentation Of The Lord

  • The Theophany

  • The Entrance Into Jerusalem

  • The Resurrection

  • The Ascension Of The Lord

  • The Descent Of The Holy Spirit

  • The Transfiguration

  • The Dormition Of The Theotokos

  • The Exaltation Of The Cross

See the Icons of the Great Feasts here >>>

3- The Third Tier – Interchangeable.

In the center of this tier located the icon of Diesis.

On the left and the right of the Diesis Are located the Icons the Twelve Apostles;

  • Saint Simon The Apostle, who was called Peter.

  • Saint Andrew The Apostle.

  • Saint James The Apostle, the son of Zebedee.

  • Saint John The Apostle, the Evangelist.

  • Saint Philip The Apostle.

  • Saint Bartholomew The Apostle.

  • Saint Thomas The Apostle.

  • Saint Matthew The Apostle also called Levi.

  • Saint James The Apostle, the son of Alphaeus.

  • Saint Jude The Apostle also called Thaddaeus.

  • Saint Simon The Apostle, the Zealot.

  • Saint Matthias The Apostle, who filled the place of Judas the traitor

4- The Fourth Tier.

This tier is interchangeable with the fifth tier.

The fourth tier includes the Icon of “Our Lady of the Sign” in the middle and on the left and right of this icon are the Icons of the Old Testament Prophets, as:

Jonah, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Daniel, Obadiah, Haggai, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Malachi

5- The Fifth Tier.

This tier is interchangeable with the fourth tier.

The Fifth tier includes the Icon of “Holy Trinity” in the middle and on the left and right of this icon are the Icons of the Patriarchs and the Fathers of the church.

6- The Sixth Tier.

This tier can include some of the Icons of the Parabolas;

The Lamp, The Speck and The Log, New Cloth on Old Garment, The Divided Kingdom, The Sower, The Growing Seed, The Good Samaritan, The Friend at Midnight, The Rich Fool, The Barren Fig Tree, The Weeds Among the Wheat, The Mustard Seed, The Leaven, Hidden Treasure, Pearl of Great Price, The Net, The Invited Guests, The Heart of Man, The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, The Prodigal Son, The Rich Man and Lazarus, The Persistent Widow, The Pharisee and The Publican, The Unforgiving Servant, Laborers in the Vineyard, The Two Sons, The Tenant Farmers, Marriage Feast or Great Banquet, The Budding Fig Tree, The Faithful vs. The Wicked Servant, The Ten Virgins, Ten Talents or Gold Coins.

7-The seventh Tier.

This tier can include some of the Icons of the Miracles of Jesus Christ;

  • Changing water into wine.

  • Healing of the royal official's son.

  • Healing of the Capernaum demoniac.

  • Healing of Peter's mother-in-law.

  • Healing the sick during the evening.

  • Catching a large number of fishes.

  • Healing a leper.

  • The miracle of healing a centurion's servant.

  • Healing a paralyzed man.

  • Healing a withered hand.

  • Raising a widow's son.

  • Calming the storm.

  • Healing the Gerasene man possessed by demons.

  • Healing a woman with internal bleeding.

  • Raising Jairus' daughter.

  • Healing two blind men.

  • Healing a mute demon-possessed man.

  • Healing a 38-year invalid.

  • Feeding 5000 men and their families.

  • Walking on water.

  • The miraculous healing of many people in Gennesaret.

  • Healing a girl possessed by a demon.

  • Healing a deaf man with a speech impediment.

  • Feeding the 4,000 men and their families.

  • Healing a blind man.

  • Healing a man born blind.

  • Healing a demon-possessed boy.

  • Catching a fish with a coin in its mouth.

  • Healing a blind and mute man who was demon-possessed.

  • Healing a woman with an 18-year infirmity.

  • Healing a man with dropsy.

  • Healing 10 lepers.

  • Raising of Lazarus.

  • Healing Bartimaeus of blindness.

  • Jesus curses the fig tree with no fruit.

  • Restoring a severed ear.

  • Catching 153 fish

8- The Calvary Scene Tier

This tier usually located on top of all tiers and includes the icons of Christ on the cross in the middle Saint John the Apostle on the right, and the Virgin Mary on the left.

See My Iconography Projects Here

Note: For the Iconography uses in the Catholic Liturgy read “ICONOGRAPHY AND LITURGY” OFFICE OF PAPAL LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS 



Older Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published