Whether you’re building a new Greek Orthodox church or converting an existing one, you need to consider the interior. There are several factors to consider, including the Nave, Tabernacle, Soleo, Royal Doors, and Stylized Glass Windows.
Traditionally, the Greek Orthodox Church has two distinct areas – the Nave, which is the assembly area of the Church, and the Sanctuary, which is the main body of the Church. These areas are separated from each other by a special wall called the iconostasis. This structure is the main characteristic of the Orthodox Church, and it is usually decorated with icons.
In the earliest days of the Church, the Nave was a large and spacious area. It was used for instruction and Baptism, as well as for penitents who were excluded from Communion. It was also the place where the priest distributed the Eucharist to the congregation.
Traditionally, the tabernacle in Greek Orthodox Church is placed on the central area of the Holy Altar. The tabernacle is normally a box-like vessel, usually made from stone or metal. The tabernacle is lined with white cloth and is normally secured to an adjacent wall or pedestal.
The tabernacle was a prominent feature of the Old Testament Temple. It served as a blueprint for approaching God and was a permanent reminder of His presence. In addition, it was designed to promote reverence, purity, and holiness. The tabernacle was also a place of sacrifice. The high priest offered a sacrifice once a year to atone for the sins of the people.
Traditionally, the Nave of Greek Orthodox Church interior is a place where the baptized gather to pray. The area is also used as a place to venerate an icon of the day. The nave has several features that make it distinctive from other churches.
The most important feature of the nave is the dome. This symbolizes heaven. It is the highest point in the cathedral. The nave is the central part of the building. It contains the central altar, which is a square table covered with sacred vestments. The table also contains the Tabernacle, which holds the Body and Blood of Christ. The table is also the place where the Holy Eucharist is served.
Having a beautiful interior is not always the norm in Greek Orthodox churches. Some may have open naves with few seats. However, there are also beautiful cathedrals with elaborate interiors.
Aside from its architectural merits, the Greek Orthodox church’s interior has many other things to offer. One of the most notable is its rich iconography. These icons depict both saints and angels. They can be on canvas, in fresco or even on wood. In a few cases, they may be part of a mosaic.
The Soleo is the area of the church immediately in front of the icon screen. This is where most Sacraments of the Church take place. It may also serve as the home to special services such as processions.
Stylized glass windows
Historically, Eastern and Western Orthodox churches have used stained glass to create an image of heaven on earth. During the Renaissance, the idea of the luminous environment was reintroduced. Using cathedral glass, mosaics, and frescos, artists created an image of saints and heaven on earth.
The interior of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is known for its luminous environment. This is a result of natural lighting, interior iconography, and artificial lighting. It is also a result of architectural forms.
Typically, an Orthodox church has a three-tiered icon screen. It is called the iconostas. These screens are usually made of three types of doors: a lateral door, a chapel door, and a main door. These doors are used by the priest during Divine Liturgy.
During certain times of the Divine Liturgy, the Royal Doors are opened. This allows the worshipers to see the shrine of the altar. Symbolically, the Royal Doors represent a doorway to the Kingdom of God.
The image of the Annunciation to the Most Holy Theotokos is usually placed on the Royal Doors. In addition, the four evangelists are depicted on the wings of the doors. The Holy Prophet Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord John is portrayed in a prayerful pose. The image of the Virgin Mary is also placed on the Royal Doors.
A veil separates the Royal Doors from the side of the altar. This is called “katapetasma” in Greek. It symbolizes the sealing of the tomb of Christ.