For us Orthodox Church differs from any other place, and what makes the difference is the Altar.
It is on the altar that operates the mystery of the Eucharist, the summit of the celebration of the Church. On the altar bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.
Iconostasis of the Church of the Monastic Fraternity of Nîmes – 2011 –
Highly sacred and holy space, SANCTUARY, surrounding the altar, is bounded by an iconostasis, with the main opening: the ROYAL DOORS. They open directly onto the altar. Only cross the celebrants Holy Doors.
Similarly from entering the sanctuary, that those who are called to liturgical service.
The sanctuary is a highly sacred and holy place, one enters with piety and love of God, with a lot of love for “respect beauty of the place and the magnificence of God “:” This is the house of the Lord, the throne of God … “
It can be seen that this provision of the altar of the Lord in the sanctuary and iconostasis characterizes all Orthodox churches, even when the place of worship is a local basement.
In the sanctuary, on the left of the altar, a small altar for the preparation of the Holy Gifts: the PROSTHESIS.Above are filed: Chalice and Paten (or diskos) based on which the bread for the liturgical celebration. The priest fills the cup of wine and water, and then prepares the Lamb and the plots of the Mother of God, the saints, the living and the dead.
At the Offertory, the solemn moment of the Divine Liturgy, the chalice and paten are carried solemnly in procession of the prosthesis at the Altar.
The right of the sanctuary is called diakonikon – this is the sacristy – where usually are arranged ornaments and liturgical objects.
Outside the sanctuary is the NEF: where are the creels and Faithful. This is where the majority of course sacraments, except ORDINATIONS diaconal or priestly, but also Bishops, held at the Altar. The anointing of the sick, it can be administered to the patient’s home.
In churches built there is the NARTHEX is the vestibule between the nave and the outside. the monks usually say typically monastic offices. On the outside is the Peristyle, a kind of courtyard.
Stalls Monks at the Monastery of the Archistratege Michel Mavrosouvalas Oropou, Greece.
In large churches churches of Orthodox Christianity found the dome or hemispherical dome, which dominates the top PANTOCRATOR Christ, which encloses the interior space, reproducing the harmony of the cosmos summarized in the church .
The word means PANTOCRATOR: SOVEREIGN OF THE UNIVERSE.
AN ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL DOME
The walls of our churches are decorated with frescoes by the same painting technique that the holy icons.Frescoes and icons representing scenes from the life of Christ, the Mother of God and the Saints.
Faithful are thus surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.
Some painted icons of the church of the monastic fraternity of Nîmes.
This OMNIPRESENCE holiness and sacred mystery of Christ’s work created the climate essential for prayer and inner peace.
The colors, the smell of incense, light candles and lanterns, singing … all these put on alert our sense of God’s creations. As we enter the sacred mystery of the place. Place primarily devoted to worship, prayer, the Divine Liturgy, the intimate relationship with the Creator with LOVE.
Place of contemplation of the divine name, place ABORT LOVE this uncreated.
Icons reveal the Kingdom, they are open on Kingdoms windows. the mystery is sacramental order: the sacrament of the presence of that shown. The Icon is liturgical, it is not there to flatter our senses with its beauty, it allows us to pray in the presence of one who is represented: Christ, the Mother of God, a Saint or a Holy, a mystery of Christ’s life (eg resurrection, ascension etc..) or the Mother of God (Dormition).
Icons are venerated (not worshiped) by the People of God Faithful, praised by priests and clergy, carried in procession. The Icon is fully integrated with the liturgy of the Church.
This is because the Word became flesh and came to live among men, because God has left His Transcendence to reduce, annihilate as the Apostle says, and become visible in our own traits in the Person of the Son of God, that we can represent. Before the Incarnation of the Word, no representation was not possible, simply because God’s revelation was not accomplished in the total clarity of the Incarnation.
The Icon has answered “guns” (rules) very specific. It describes a state of dynamic that is not of our world: that our human nature transfigured, as it appeared to the disciples at the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, but also to all those who saw the resurrected Christ.
Icons in the flesh is already risen (Icons of Saints for example), illuminated from within by a light that is not of our world.
That is why the forms, perspectives, colors, sense of clarity or lack of light and shadows in this icon gives it beauty like no other, totally alien to figurative art trying to imitate visible reality.
Icon is the image of the invisible, that is a gateway to the kingdom of God become our window.
Thus, we can understand that the church (place of worship) and is ONLY ESSENTIALLY a sacred place, a place of prayer, contemplation, in which one enters with faith and love with respect. This place includes human and lights.
Orthodox faithful enter the church crossing himself already on the doorstep of the church, then they will venerate and kiss the icons of Christ and the Mother of God and the Saints wish they worship.
But NEVER the church will serve as a worldly or crowds jostle to admire lay exposures (all respectable and honorable it is), listen to beautiful music.
The church is the place of the Liturgy CELESTE. The beauty of the Divine Liturgy not only address is to reason, it speaks directly to the heart of man. It encompasses human, nourishes and brightens. Must be in the Liturgy as the child discovers the world and its wonders. Peaceful, relaxed and focused.
Orthodox faithful do not live the length of offices as a constraint, but as a foretaste of the Kingdom.
the sense of beauty is the deepest of the divine image of man brand.
LOSER IN THE SENSE OF THE SACRED MAN LOSES, THAT IT OR NOT, THE SENSE OF BEAUTY, HE LOSES THE JUST LOOK AT HIMSELF.
Man losing the sense of the sacred, loses its own reality, it was created for the new man, intelligence and desire of man are created for Christ. In the human being, God is the first element and the second man. Man is created as a divine-human power, which has a duty under the guidance of his soul “in the image of God,” to be like God in everything, and also become an act divine-human being, a being which man is perfectly united with God.
Man must find the sacred meaning of their places of worship and celebration. By finding this, it will regain its spiritual reality.
We can now better understand what feels “Christian” Western world saw its holy places become “cultural and recreational” centers. Built this place for God by the former, which was to be celebrated only the mysteries where man had power, in peace and quiet, come and meet his God, this place is a place where heavy traffic “on visits where exhibitions and concerts are made profane.
Sticky meant by these means to bring men to the church?