Sunday, November 23, 2014

Venerating the Saints

The Orthodox Church is known for venerating the Saints, adoring the interior of the Church with countless icons dedicated to them. Every day of the year is a celebration of a certain Saint. Also the Orthodox show a great importance to the Nameday (the day we venerate a certain Saint), in contrast to the Birthday, which takes second place. Why do the Orthodox venerate the Saints? St John of Damascus gives a brief exegesis of this reality, claiming:

“We ought to honour the saints as friends of Christ, as sons and heirs of God, as John the Theologian and Gospel-writer says: ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God.’[1] ‘Wherefore they are no more servants, but sons; and if sons, also heirs of God through Christ’[2].”[3]

[1] John 1, 12.
[2] Gal. 4, 7.
[3] Cavarnos, Constantine, Byzantine Sacred Music, (Massachusetts, Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 1981), p.13.

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