The Aloha Lecture Series

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Kailua, Hawaii, United States
The Aloha Lecture Series is a monthly lecture event given by different people in our community to create a platform to share our ideas and generate discussion about what it means to thrive as human beings.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lecture #3: The History of Hymnody

Listen Here to The History of Hymnody

Lecture #2: Icons Explained: Exploring the Meaning Behind Eastern Orthodox Iconography

June 27, 2011

What is an Icon?
  • St. Clement: “the image of an absent person was to be accorded the honor that was due the person himself…”
  • St. Basil: “The honor that is paid to the image passes over to the prototype. 103
  • “Unlike a symbol, an icon brings one to participation in the reality which the icon "represents."”

How are Icons used in every day life for Orthodox?

  • Icons are placed everywhere to serve as examples of holiness, as a revelation of the holiness of the world to come, a plan and a project of the cosmic transfiguration…these images are placed everywhere for the sanctification of the world by the grace which belongs to them. Icons are like the markers on our path to the new creation, so that, according to St Paul, in contemplating ‘the glory of the Lord, we are being changed into His likeness’.” P.193.

Why do Orthodox venerate icons?

  • “Beginning with the fourth and fifth centuries there grew among Xians the belief that in relics and images there was available some special form of divine presence and participation.”

Seventh Ecumenical Synod

    " We decide in all correctness and after a thorough examination that, just as the holy and vivifying Cross, similarly the holy and precious Icons painted with colors, made with little stones or with any other matter serving this purpose (epitedeios), should be placed in the holy churches of God, on vases and sacred vestments, on walls and boards, in houses and on roads, whether these are Icons of our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ, or of our spotless Sovereign Lady, the holy Mother of God, or of the holy angels and of holy and venerable men.

For each time that we see their representation in an image, each time, while gazing upon them, we are made to remember the prototypes, we grow to love them more, and we are more induced to worship them by kissing them and by witnessing our veneration (proskenesin), not the true adoration (latreian) which, according to our faith, is proper only to the one divine nature, but in the same way as we venerate the image of the precious and vivifying cross, the holy Gospel and other sacred objects which we honor with incense and candles according to the pious custom of our forefathers. For the honor rendered to the image goes to its prototype, and the person who venerates an Icon venerates the person represented in it. Indeed, such is the teaching of our holy Fathers and the Tradition of the holy catholic Church which propagated the Gospel from one end of the earth to the other."

The Question of Holy and Sacred Objects

Did the Ark of the Covenant work miracles (e.g. Joshua 3:15ff; 1st Samuel 4-6; 2nd Samuel 11-12)? Did the Bronze Serpent heal those bitten by snakes (Numbers 21:9)?  Did the Prophet Elisha's bones raise a man from the dead (2nd Kings 13:21)?  Did St. Peter's shadow heal the sick (Acts 5:15)?  Did aprons and handkerchiefs that had touched St. Paul heal the sick and caste out evil spirits (Acts 19:12)?

Listen to: In Defense of Embodiment

In Defense of Embodiment