St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Portsmouth NH

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Characteristics of Byzantine style icons

Icons have several commonalities. First, the sensory organs, including eyes, nose and ears are enlarged and in addition, the fingers and feet are lengthened. These features connote a larger than human sense of spirituality. The expression on the face is always somber and reflects the subject's humility. The Saints are generally adorned in robes to attribute their dignity. Finally, halos are typically shown around the heads of the figures. Often the icons are painted in multiple colors and with gold backgrounds.

In his book, "Introducing the Orthodox Church", Author Anthony Coniaris captures the spiritual significance of iconography, pointing out that, "Standing in the Orthodox Church whose walls and ceiling are covered with icons of Christ and the Saints, the worshipper does not feel alone. He experiences the communion of Saints. He experiences a fellowship with Christ and the Saints. He is made to feel that he is a member of the family of God."

Below are examples of two revered Saints, Nicholas and Nectarios. This Parish is privileged to have had the cuff of the vestment of St. Nectarios as a relic of the Church.