By Sharon E. J. Gerstel
Gerstel (Byzantine paintings background and structure, U. of Maryland) analyzes the ornament of the Byzantine sanctuary from the viewpoint of its modern audience, from monk to liturgical celebrant, from bishop to put worshipper. She rather finds to fashionable readers what was once and is happen
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Additional info for Beholding the Sacred Mysteries: Programs of the Byzantine Sanctuary (Monographs on the Fine Arts)
In St. Nicholas Orphanos and a number of other churches in Macedonia, as well as in churches outside the region, such as St. John Chrysostom at Geraki, the omophorion is draped over the bishop's arm and forms a cloth cradle below the open scroll or codex (Figs. 56, 66, 67). The omophorion is occasionally decorated with a design that is not strictly cruci- form. Often the decoration on Basil's and Chrysostom's omophoria distinguishes them from other bishops. In Panagia Eleousa in Veljusa (Fig. 9), St.
The scrolls endow the bishops with the faculty of speech and are a means by which they could participate in and comment on the service. The idea that the painted figures actually were capable of speech was familiar to Byzantine rhetoric. The patriarch Photios, in a description of the Nea Ekklesia in Constantinople, envisions the words inscribed on the prophets' scrolls as part of a continuous conversation: A choir of apostles and martyrs, yea, of prophets, too, and patriarchs fill and beautify the whole church with their images.
An examination of the texts and their specific instructions will clarify the explicit connection between the painted liturgy and contemporary liturgical practice. Monastic inventories suggest that large foundations possessed at least one liturgical scroll for each of the liturgies. The number of actual scrolls in a single monastery varied according to the size of the community and the wealth of the establishment. The inventory taken in September 120o at the monastery of St. John the Theologian on Patmos listed four scrolls for the Liturgy of St.