Author Topic: The Theotokos in the Armenian Church  (Read 1505 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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The Theotokos in the Armenian Church
« on: July 28, 2011, 10:28:43 PM »
I've seen several youtube videos of Armenian Churches both old and new that have only an icon of the Theotokos with Baby Jesus above the altar. Is this similar to the Platytera or is it because Jesus is represented along with Mary sort of as a "two-for-one?" I'm confused as to why there is no Christ Pantokrator.

Also, Armenian Churches have no iconoclast, right?

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Offline Salpy

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Re: The Theotokos in the Armenian Church
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 11:32:04 PM »
We don't have an iconostasis, if that is what you mean.  We just have a raised altar area (bema) with a curtain that is drawn during certain times.  It's my understanding that this is more ancient.

Or did you really mean iconoclast?  We are not iconoclasts.  We use icons in the church, although you won't usually see as many icons in an Armenian Church as you do in a Coptic or EO church.

The icon above the altar is supposed to represent the Incarnation.  It is supposed to be of St. Mary holding the Christ Child.  I've heard it referred to as "the icon of our Salvation," because it shows Christ coming into the world to save us.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Theotokos in the Armenian Church
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 01:46:01 AM »
I meant iconostasis.

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Offline kijabeboy03

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Re: The Theotokos in the Armenian Church
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 04:51:37 PM »
"It's my understanding that this is more ancient."

I'm told that it is. Syriac and Malankara Orthodox churches don't have iconostases either in my experience, just the bema and an adorned altar as in the Armenian Orthodox Church. Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox churches seem to vary. In North America the ones I've visited or seen all seem to have some variant of an iconostasis, but in Africa many are not built to be able to have one (the octagonal churches) and there I've really only seen the Roman Catholic-style cathedral in Addis Abeba with one, which wasn't actually in front of the altar (it was sheltering the last emperor and empress' tombs :-) ).
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 04:53:10 PM by kijabeboy03 »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Theotokos in the Armenian Church
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 09:37:18 PM »
"It's my understanding that this is more ancient."

I'm told that it is. Syriac and Malankara Orthodox churches don't have iconostases either in my experience, just the bema and an adorned altar as in the Armenian Orthodox Church. Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox churches seem to vary. In North America the ones I've visited or seen all seem to have some variant of an iconostasis, but in Africa many are not built to be able to have one (the octagonal churches) and there I've really only seen the Roman Catholic-style cathedral in Addis Abeba with one, which wasn't actually in front of the altar (it was sheltering the last emperor and empress' tombs :-) ).
Right. The templon, which is the grandaddy of the iconostasis, actually comes into use around the time of Calcedon.