An Introduction to the Orthodox Worship Space

In some churches, the walls have been completely covered with  images biblical scenes and saints. When we see these pictures we remember what it is to be the body of Christ.


So here we are, inside of an Orthodox Church. As I say in the book, an Orthodox Church can take many different shapes and architectural sizes, and what we have here is basically a rectangle with an apse, a curve at the end of it, for the altar. The reason that these churches might vary so much in their appearance is that all over America,  people, Orthodox people, congregations have bought their churches from congregations that were departing for one reason or another. So previously, it may be as with our church, this was built as a Methodist church about 100 years ago. Now no matter what Orthodox Church you go into, no matter what architectural form it takes, there will be the altar at the eastern end, and an iconostasis in front of the altar. And what you’ll see is that there’ll be a center gate or door, the Royal Doors, in the center, and on either side an icon of Christ, and an icon of Christ as a baby being held in his mother’s arms. Now, in some churches you will also see, as we have here, that inside the walls have been completely covered with images of bible scenes, of saints, of incidents in church history, a lot of martyrs from church history. So when we see these pictures of these beloved saints and of our Lord, we remember what it is to be a member of the Body of Christ. That we have, as it says in Hebrews 12, a great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us. They are invisible to our eyes, but they are with us constantly, everyone who has lived for Christ and died in Christ. And we who are currently following out our earthly lives strive to emulate them, and take encouragement from these images.