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Question 323

Good afternoon Pater i have a question....why do greek orthodox kiss icons in church?       


Answer to Question 323


After almost a year of doing this post I had expected that this would have been one of the first questions I would have been asked and yet this is the first time.


 Now that I am faced with the question I donít know how to answer it without going into a long explanation. What I will say is that it has absolutely no roots with the ancient Greek idolatry and the reason we venerate Icons has a deep and theological explanation. The Icon is directly connected to the Dogma of the Incarnation in other words our beliefs on God becoming man, which is the very foundation of Christianity and which all our hopes of salvation depend on. If the Church was to oppose the Icon, as did some in the past, then it would actually be denying that God became man and therefore the means to manís salvation is lost, because it would break the union between God and man which Christ united in Himself. 


For us Orthodox, it is important that we understand what Icons are and what they represent and teach especially in our times when many modern churches teach against them saying that it's a form of idolatry. We all therefore need to understand why we venerate and kiss Icons so that we can defend ourselves when faced with these accusations. 


It would take me too long to explain everything here as a comment, but if you wonít get bored reading then read a talk I gave years ago which I think covers everything you need to know in detail.