Author Topic: Where we should kiss the icons?  (Read 855 times)

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Offline Indocern

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Where we should kiss the icons?
« on: July 20, 2017, 06:04:17 AM »
Where one should kiss the icon of Jesus, Theotokos and other saints. For example is it ok to kiss the Theotokos in the face or shoulders. And what about other icons? Also is it ok to touch icons with hands? And I kiss the Theotokos in she shoulders. And other saints like st. Dionysios of Olympus I kiss on the beard.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 06:11:26 AM by Indocern »

Offline RobS

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 08:03:36 AM »
I'm not Orthodox but I can only tell you what I was explained by a parishoner recently, how to venerate icons and where to kiss them.

He told me that if an icon shows the full figure of Christ you are to kiss his feet. If it is one where Christ is with his mother, the Theotokos, you are to kiss his hand and the scroll he is holding. And the icon not made by hands you are to kiss the bottom part of Christ's hair.

If I recall correctly, to venerate the Theotokos you are to kiss her hand, but I'm not sure.

The saints you kiss their feet, or if you don't see their full body their hand or the hand holding a scroll. If there is a relic below the icon you would kiss the relic and not the icon.

I haven't read yet the veneration of icons in my catechism book (Law of God) yet, but this was what was explained to me.

Of course if this is all wrong, I'd like to be corrected.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 08:14:12 AM by nothing »
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2017, 08:56:34 AM »
IIRC, you kiss the bottom half of an icon (the "feet") or the hands, not on the face.
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 08:59:05 AM »
I was told generally to try to avoid kissing the face directly, and if possible to kiss the right hand or feet, or as in The icon "Not Made By Hands" that has only a face to kiss the hair. Our bishop once gave short homily at a vigil on being careful as we kiss icons, for instance not venerating the horse instead of St Demetrius.

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 09:40:33 AM »
Where one should kiss the icon of Jesus, Theotokos and other saints. For example is it ok to kiss the Theotokos in the face or shoulders. And what about other icons?

Priests here say to kiss:
1. Beard (if this is a male saint) - because clergy kisses/touches bishop's beard, plus it's a symbol of Aaraon (Psalm 132, 2)
2. Cheek, as saints are our friends
3. Feet, if we want to show obedience and admiration toward saints/feast

Also is it ok to touch icons with hands?

In some traditions (Copts, I've heard also about Georgians) kiss their hands and then toutch the icon by this hand. That's what I do at my room in the mornign and evening, sometiems also at church.


I was told generally to try to avoid kissing the face directly, and if possible to kiss the right hand or feet, or as in The icon "Not Made By Hands" that has only a face to kiss the hair. Our bishop once gave short homily at a vigil on being careful as we kiss icons, for instance not venerating the horse instead of St Demetrius.

Haha, yeah, and sometiems (if the icon is hang too high) people venerate dragon instead of st. George.
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Offline Indocern

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 10:06:36 AM »
Ok. Thank you.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 10:13:38 AM by Indocern »

Offline Indocern

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 10:28:56 AM »
I kiss the Theotokos on the halo also. I never kissed them on the cheek. And I touch the icon with hand and without move my hand I kiss my fingers 3 times only or center of the hand 3 times more, both 6 times. I also cross myself without touching my body. Once I try to cross my body with touching and get headache. I see this is good to kiss this icon on the beard from what you have said.

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2017, 11:57:14 AM »
Hands and feet.  Or just the corner of the icon.
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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2017, 12:03:01 PM »
Where one should kiss the icon of Jesus, Theotokos and other saints. For example is it ok to kiss the Theotokos in the face or shoulders. And what about other icons? Also is it ok to touch icons with hands? And I kiss the Theotokos in she shoulders. And other saints like st. Dionysios of Olympus I kiss on the beard.

If you are a child, perhaps. Otherwise, I'd feel pretty disrespectful kissing the Mother of God on the face.
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Offline eddybear

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2017, 06:38:07 PM »
Where one should kiss the icon of Jesus, Theotokos and other saints. For example is it ok to kiss the Theotokos in the face or shoulders. And what about other icons?

Priests here say to kiss:
1. Beard (if this is a male saint) - because clergy kisses/touches bishop's beard, plus it's a symbol of Aaraon (Psalm 132, 2)
2. Cheek, as saints are our friends
3. Feet, if we want to show obedience and admiration toward saints/feast

Also is it ok to touch icons with hands?

In some traditions (Copts, I've heard also about Georgians) kiss their hands and then touch the icon by this hand. That's what I do at my room in the morning and evening, sometimes also at church.


I was told generally to try to avoid kissing the face directly, and if possible to kiss the right hand or feet, or as in The icon "Not Made By Hands" that has only a face to kiss the hair. Our bishop once gave short homily at a vigil on being careful as we kiss icons, for instance not venerating the horse instead of St Demetrius.

Haha, yeah, and sometiems (if the icon is hang too high) people venerate dragon instead of st. George.

I do this in the tiny chapel where we sometimes meet, though for a practical rather than theological reason. Space is so tight that the candle stands in front of the icons are very close to them. If there are lots of candles already lit, I'm worried if I lean towards the icons in an attempt to kiss them, I'll end up burning myself!

Offline IreneOlinyk

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2017, 07:52:14 PM »
Where one should kiss the icon of Jesus, Theotokos and other saints. For example is it ok to kiss the Theotokos in the face or shoulders. And what about other icons? Also is it ok to touch icons with hands? And I kiss the Theotokos in she shoulders. And other saints like st. Dionysios of Olympus I kiss on the beard.
What I have been taught in my church and what has been handed down from generation to generation is that:
1) You kiss the feet of an Icon of Jesus Christ because He is our Lord and Master
2) you kiss the hand of the Theotokos because she is our Mother and the Mother of God.
3) you kiss the cheek of a saint because saints are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2017, 12:30:22 AM »
I ways go for the feet of Christ and the hand of everyone else.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2017, 04:38:54 AM »
My priest told me, when I was first catechised: "be mindful when venerating icons like the Ladder, there could be demons in them."

At the time I wasn't paying attention and thought he meant spirits inhabiting the icon... :)
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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2017, 11:21:24 AM »
I ways go for the feet of Christ and the hand of everyone else.

This is what I do.  This is how I was taught.
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Offline RobS

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2017, 01:29:48 PM »
My priest told me, when I was first catechised: "be mindful when venerating icons like the Ladder, there could be demons in them."

At the time I wasn't paying attention and thought he meant spirits inhabiting the icon... :)
Nice!
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Offline Indocern

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Re: Where we should kiss the icons?
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2017, 03:38:14 PM »
Maybe because of this thread I had dream that I am in some church and there was some very beautiful icon of Theotokos and I make symbol of cross on her and kiss her on the mouth. Also I kiss her on the halo like I kiss my home icon.