This icon is inspired by the story told in the Gospel of Luke Lk In the story, Jesus, at the age of 12, leaves his parents and goes to the temple to listen to and ask questions of the teachers of law. In the icon he is shown sitting on a throne and he is disproportionately larger than the others.
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Joseph is sitting next to him on the left and Mary is sitting on his right. The halos which surround the heads of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary are a well-known symbol which denotes a holy or sanctified state. Below Jesus are the teachers. Jesus is revealing to them his extraordinary knowledge of the scriptures and his great spiritual insight. After finding Jesus, Mary asks him "Son, why have you done this to us? You see that your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow. Did you not know I had to be in my Father's house?
His reply indicates that at this young age Christ was already aware of his divine mission. Even though this picture appears to be outside, the red curtain across the tops of the buildings indicates that it actually takes place indoors. The colors in the alcove behind Jesus are the same as the colors of the present carpet and pew cloth of St. This brings the image out of a historic setting and into our present. It is a reminder to us that we also can find whatever we are seeking in our own lives in the house of Our Father. This icon is used at St. Anne's during the advent season.
St Ann's Well, Nottingham
This is the four weeks before Christmas when we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is a time of penitence as well as anticipation. John the Baptist is on the left standing on the shore of the Jordan River. He is shown larger than the other figures in the icon to indicate his importance. Consistent with icon convention, John has a thin face, an intense gaze, long shaggy hair and beard, and clothing made of camel hair.
The halo which surrounds his head is a well-known symbol which denotes a holy or sanctified state. John is holding his message of repentance and preparation for the coming of the Messiah: Repent, the reign of God is at hand MT This is the same message Jesus delivers when he begins his ministry MT The crowd on the right is listening and reacting to John's message in various ways.
The woman on the far right has raised her covered hand to her mouth. This is a sign of respect to the word she is receiving.
By covering her hand in humility, she is recognizing the presence of God in John. At the bottom of the icon on the left side near John's feet is a small leafless tree with an ax in it. It represents John's warning to the hypocrites within the crowd. He tells them: The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire MT There are five figures at the bottom of the icon.
They represent a soul's movement from slavery to the passions on the right to a spiritual union with God on the left. The 1st figure on the right has his head completely covered out of shame. He has recognized that he is a sinner but has not yet stepped into the water.
The 2nd figure has entered the water and begun to shed his clothing. He has his closed hand to his eye showing he is wiping away tears of repentance. The Eastern Church calls heart-felt weeping the second baptism because it brings God's forgiveness. The 3rd figure has removed all material coverings and is contemplating the teachings of the Lord.
He is praying to God for enlightenment. The 4th figure has entered even further into the water. His finger is to his temple showing that God has enlightened him about leading a holy life. The 5th figure is immersed in the water.
He has his hands raised and his eyes closed. He has recognized God. He is fully repentant for his sins and is in prayer. This is a traditional icon of the Last Supper as described in the Gospels. For the most part it is self-explanatory. Jesus is at the head of the table. He is shown bigger than the other figures to indicate his importance. The other figures at the table are the twelve apostles.
Two of the figures do not have beards. The one on the lower left is Thomas and the one by Jesus is John. They do not have beards because it is believed that they were teenagers. Only one of the faces is shown as a profile. It is the face of Judas. Typically, an evil person has two intentions and is telling only one of them. Another word for this is duplicitous, which means two-faced.
Face Down Beside St. Anne's Well by Kathy Lynn Emerson
So, an evil person is often shown displaying only one side of their face and hiding the other. Judas is also identified by the pouch of money he is holding and the fact that he is reaching for food Matthew , They are the first letters of the two Greek words for Jesus Christ.
Normally there would not have been a fish at the Passover meal. The fish is a sign of fasting for the Orthodox. So, traditionally it is included in Greek versions of this icon. The author requested that a fish be included in our icon and we agreed. The Last Supper took place in Holy Zion, the upper room. This is the room depicted in the icon. After the house was gone, a church was built there right away.
Even today it is called Holy Zion. It is really the first Christian Church.
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The color behind Jesus in the alcove is the same as the color of the present carpet and pew cloth of St. This was done intentionally to encourage us to think of Jesus celebrating in our church in the person of the priest. Father Doug asked the artist to add the empty chair. It was added so that we could catechize the children and tell them that that is their chair. They must do everything necessary to keep it. This is true for adults as well.
This is an icon of the birth of Jesus.