Hand painted icon of The Myrrh-Bearing Women - egg tempera on wood, oil gilded

Holy Week, Pascha and Icons

Holy Week and Easter is without a doubt a very eventful time in the Liturgical year and particularly rich in images. Our journey through the events of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection is a time of prayerful focus and intense contemplation. Before taking you on a journey through the Orthodox Church’s Holy Week, accompanied by icons, I would like to explore very briefly what icons are.

Orthodox Christian churches are usually filled with images painted on the walls or wooden panels. Additionally, we place icons of the feast or saints commemorated on a given day in the centre of the church. Biblical events (or holy people) are brought vividly before our eyes. However, an icon does not represent an eyewitness reconstruction of events, neither is it a photographic record of what a particular saint looked like. Looking at an icon, we become aware that what we are gazing at is not of this world.

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