“Theology in Colors”
“That which the word communicates by sound , the painting (Icon) shows silently by representation”
St Basil the Great
The liturgical and sacramental life of the Church is inseparable with its visual context. As rightly said, We worship with five senses and one of these five senses is the Sense of vision.
Icons suggest two type of creativity, it is art and liturgical. These two types are complementary and inter related, therefore an Icon is not just a simple image, nor just a decoration, nor just an illustration of Holy Scripture. It is something greater. The Orthodox Church not just sees it as an aspect of Orthodox teaching but the expression of Orthodoxy in its totality. The Icon is one of the manifestations of Holy tradition of Church same like written and Oral tradition. A writing an icon is a process from darkness to light, so material thing ascends to their spiritual ascends. That’s why the process of Iconography is related to liturgy, it is liturgical. Any Icon is symbolical description of the reality therefore the teaching about an Icon is the teaching about Image of God in Man. So every step that an Iconographer demonstrates on board from the step one shows certain reality same like the Holy Liturgy.
According to the tradition and patristic teachings, the context of Holy Gospel and Holy Icons is the revelation, the Incarnation of the Word of God. That is his entry in to the world and the human History, when He became describable. This tradition is followed in parallel with Oral and the written tradition. Both the written scripture and Icon shows the same truth but scripture describe with words and Icon through colors because of which Holy Icons are rightly called “Theology in Colors”.