Byzantine Iconography is the Art of portraying sacred images for the purpose of prayer, religious education and spiritual uplifting. Before the Bible was written, icons of the Lord and the Saints were already in use by the first Christians. Saint Luke painted an icon of Christ, the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist. Other iconographers followed his example. Icons are not to be worshiped, which was a pagan custom reserved for statues and images of pagan pseudo-divinities. Icons are to be venerated, since the image of the icon is sacred. We always cherish and honor a picture of a loved one or someone who passed away; we exhibit even more honor and prestige towards the sacred images of the Lord, the Incarnate Word of God and Savior Jesus Christ.
There are also icons of Saints which are commonly used in the Orthodox Church. Saints pray for us and intercede for our salvation. Some people wonder, why implore a Saint to pray for us and not pray directly to Christ. However, one deed does not cancel the other; we ask friends and family to pray for us in time of need. They are people like us; they are not in Heaven, and yet, we ask for their prayers. Therefore, we may as well ask for the prayers of the Saints who are saved in Heaven. The Church is united, whether members of the Church are in Heaven (Church Triumphant) or on earth (Church Militant). Praying for each other and with each other makes all of us one worshiping community in Christ. The Church is the Body of Christ, we are the members, connected and celebrating the gifts of His grace as one union in the Lord.
There are also icons that portray images from the Bible or the life of the Church. They are called Narrative Icons. Icons always tell a story. The Fathers of the Church called icons “the Bible of the illiterate.” They speak to all of us in a personal and profound way. An infant cannot read the Bible; but every person can recognize Christ and establish a connection with the Lord through His image. In the Bible, even the Lord’s garments became a vessel for miracles and salvation. The woman, who suffered from a flow of blood, touched his garments and became well. The same has happened to thousands of persons who have also been blessed, cured and graced by icons in their lives. Even touching an inanimate object that is connected to Christ is enough for our faith to invite the grace of God. We call such icons miraculous, although the miracle derives from the Lord and the faith of the person.
Miraculous icons are found all over the Orthodox world. All icons can convey a blessing; all icons teach and inspire faith. When Christianity was persecuted by invasions of non Christians in Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and the Middle East, people were not allowed to have books and religious education. Icons carried the message of the faith for centuries until freedom was re-established.
The Church of Saint Demetrios in Merrick is blessed with outstanding iconography. Unique icons adorn the interior of the Church and the visitor is welcome to marvel at spectacular works of art, completed by the renowned iconographer Mr. George Philippakis. Most of the icons in the Church are completed with only few left to be installed in the near future. Also, a Byzantine style ecclesiastical windows project is in development, so that the Church is filled with works of art that can convey the message of the faith with images that are more powerful than words.
ICONS THAT NEED A SPONSOR BEFORE COMPLETION
Icons from the Life of the Virgin Mary: $10,000 ea.
1) Presentation of the Virgin Mary
2) Embrace of Mary with Elizabeth
3) Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
4) Dormition of the Virgin Mary
Sanctuary (Altar) Icons: $6,000 ea.
1) Saint Basil the Great
2) Saint Nickolas of Myra
3) Saint Cyril of Alexandria
4) Saint Gregory the Theologian
5) Saint John Chrysostom
6) Saint Romanos the Melodist
Main Nave Icons: $15,000 ea.
4) Entrance in Jerusalem
BYZANTINE STYLE WINDOWS THAT NEED A SPONSOR BEFORE COMPLETION
All small windows in the higher level of the Church (26) $500 ea.
Windows in the Entrance or Narthex area (West wall) $1,000 ea.
Sanctuary (Altar) Window (North wall) $4,000
You can also sponsor an icon or a window in the Church of Saint Demetrios. Your donation will be in the Church as long as the Church stands, commemorating a significant aspect of the faith. Future and present generations will benefit from your generosity. Icons are installed only once and therefore this is a unique opportunity to offer our gift of giving and love for such a marvelous purpose.
For donations or further information, please, call the Church office at:
(516)379-1368 or (516) 379-5516.
Altar Area Icons
|1||Platytera holding Jesus Christ||COMPLETED|
|3||St. Steven the Deacon||$6,000|
|4||St. Gregory the Theologian||$6,000|
|5||St, Cyril of Alexandria||$6,000|
|6||St. Gregory Dialogos||$6,000|
|7||St. Basil the Great||$6,000|
|8||St. John Chrysostom||$6,000|
|9||St. Athanasios the Great||$6,000|
|10||St. Iakovos the brother of GOD||$6,000|
|11||St. Nicholas of Myrra||$6,000|
|12||St. Romanos of Melodos||$6,000|
|13||St. John Chrysostom and St. Paul||COMPLETED|
|14||Three Children in the Furnace||COMPLETED|
|15||The Offering of the Sacrament of Holy Communion||COMPLETED|
|16||The Sacrifice of Abraham||$6,000|
|17||The hospitality of Abraham||$6,000|
|18||Crucifixion with Stain Glass Window||COMPLETED|
|19||Resurrection with Stain Glass Window||COMPLETED|
|20||Lower Right Altar Wall: Axion Esti||THE 12 APOSTLES|
|21||Lower Left Altar Wall: Life Giving Fountain|
Dome Area Icons
|22||Pantocrator enclosed with the Lettering Ring||COMPLETED|
|23||Four Angels holding Lettering Ring||COMPLETED|
Sixteen Prophets (not available)
The Four Evangelists (COMPLETED)
Icons of Saints (COMPLETED)
|44||St. Raphael||48||St. Alexander||52||St. Christina||56||St. Eleftherios|
|45||St. Irene||49||St. Marina||53||St. Panteleimon||57||St. Peter|
|46||St. Nicholas||50||St. Paraskevi||54||St. Stylianos|
|47||St. Phanourios||51||St. Savas||55||St. Andreas|
Nave Area Icons (each scene includes stain glass window)
|60||Saints Constantine and Helen||COMPLETED|
|63||Betrothal of St. Catherine||COMPLETED|
|64||St. Dionysios||not available|
|66||St. Anthony the Great||COMPLETED|
|67||St. Irene Chrysovalantou||COMPLETED|
|69||St. Irene the Great Martyr||COMPLETED|
|71||St. Basil the Great||$6,000|
|72||St. John Chrysostom||$6,000|
|73||St. Athanasios the Great||$6,000|
|74||St. Iakovos the brother of GOD||$6,000|
|76||St. Theodore||not available|
|77||St. Sophia with Sisters||COMPLETED|
Nave Area Icons (each scene includes stain glass window)
|82||The Agony Before the Passion||COMPLETED|
|83||Burial of the Lord||COMPLETED|
Balcony Area Icons
|85||Life of Panagia||COMPLETED|
|86||Iconography for the Entire Chapel of Saint Eleftherios||COMPLETED|