Traditionally, the walls of an Orthodox Church are covered with frescoes, usually depicting particular events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, specific scenes from Scripture, or various saints of the Church. While we hope to someday build a traditional Byzantine style church with such wall-paintings, we decided to adorn the nave with mounted icon reproductions while we worship at our current site.
The parishioners of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church chose some of their most beloved saints to beautify the walls of our church. Through our parishioners’ prayers, generosity, talents and hard work, as well as the extraordinary resources and talents of Orthodox Images, we have been able to adorn our iconostasis and the walls of our church with beautiful icons. For iconographic style, we chose images originally painted in the renowned Pachomaiou style. These monastic iconographers have had wide stylistic influence around the world: the nuns at the Saint John the Forerunner Monastery in Goldendale, Washington, paint in this same style. Here are just a few examples:
In addition to these striking reproductions, we have some hand-painted icons. Among these are the icons of Christ and the Theotokos in the Narthex, painted for our parish many years ago. We are also blessed to have three hand-painted icons commissioned from the nuns at Saint John the Forerunner Monastery: “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist” (on the analogion in the narthex), “The Mystical Supper” (above the beautiful gates of the iconostasis), and an icon of “The Bridegroom” which usually hangs in the altar, but is brought out for veneration during the Bridegroom Orthros services of Holy Week. Finally, we have a large, transportable fresco of the “Panagia Platytera” (All-holy Lady of the Sign), her arms outstretched in supplication, on the back wall of the Sanctuary, painted for our church by iconographer Heather MacKean.
While some of the saints depicted are familiar to many of us, others are less known. We have compiled a small booklet telling the lives of each of the saints depicted in our church. We hope that by reading about their holy lives, and through their intercessions, we may all grow closer to Christ our God.
Recommended Reading on Iconography
- What Do You Know About Icons?, Holy Monastery of St John the Baptist, Greece (2001)
- The Meaning of Icons, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press; 2nd edition (June 15, 1999)
- A History of Icon Painting, Grand Holdings Publishers, Moscow (January 8, 2005)
* Most, if not all, recommended reading selections on our website can be purchased at our parish’s Logos Bookstore