LOL Fr Hopko was the one with the Mandorla hypo? Why am I not suprised.
You shouldn't LOL so quickly especially at reactionary statements, what what a lazy google will do, wikipedia:
In icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the mandorla is used to depict sacred moments which transcend time and space, such as the Resurrection, Transfiguration, and the Dormition of the Theotokos.
Use some lame search terms and you will find many more.
I've seen it depicted in the iconography but it would be nice to see some patristics on it.
I am sure LBK can opine more to your point, but another probably bad American Priest:
The primary meaning of the iconographic mandorla is that it represents the Uncreated Light and Glory of God. Its presence around Christ makes perfect sense in icons of the Resurrection and Transfiguration (for obvious reasons), of the Ascension (proclaiming the full glorification of Christ's human nature and reiteration of His divinity, something mentioned many times in the hymnography of the feast), of Christ in Majesty (Christ enthroned in heaven, surrounded by seraphim and cherubim), and in icons of the Mother of God of the Sign (Platytera
), where Christ Emmanuel is shown over His mother's body, signifying most clearly the Incarnation of God as a Divine Child.
The presence of Christ in a mandorla in icons of the Dormition signify the mystical appearance of Christ, accepting the soul of His mother, to escort it to heaven. Normally, the souls of saints, represented as a babe in swaddling-clothes, in their dormition icons are taken to heaven by angels. Given the exalted status of the Mother of God, it is only fitting and proper that Christ Himself takes her soul. A "mere" angel simply won't do. And His holding her soul is also a lovely counterpoint to the iconography and hymnography of the Mother of God holding her Son.
There are images of the Mother of God surrounded by a mandorla. Here is part of a post of mine from the "Canonical Icons" thread:The Multiplier of Wheat shows the Mother of God surrounded by a mandorla, an oval motif of rays and stars which represents the uncreated light and glory of God. This is a major error in iconography, as the Virgin, while, of course, partaking of the glory and life of God, is not divine herself. She does not generate this light. Christ alone may be depicted in this light, such as in icons of Christ in Majesty (Christ enthroned, surrounded by the bodiless hosts), the Transfiguration, the Dormition of His mother (where He is seen holding her soul in the form of a babe in swaddling clothes, surely one of the loveliest of iconographic motifs, and truly loaded with theological meaning), and in icons of the Mother of God of the Sign, where He, as Christ Emmanuel, is surrounded by a circular mandorla over His mother's body as she holds her arms raised in supplication. By contrast, a mandorla is often seen in western images (paintings and statues) of the Virgin, notably in Our Lady of Guadelupe.