Image Credit Wikipedia – Holy Trinity, fresco by Luca Rossetti da Orta, 1738–9 (St. Gaudenzio Church at Ivrea).
As I mentioned in a previous post Rublev’s Icon is so beautiful, rich with symbolism, and a beautiful icon to pray with.
I encourage you to study further the symbolism, history, and meaning behind this icon. I never get tired of reading about it, gazing at the beautiful colors, looking through this window, and being draw into “contemplating the mystery…”
Icons such as these were placed at the entrance to the Church. (Here I am talking about the Russian Orthodox Church and the wall of icons at the entrance called the Iconostasis). This particular icon was used at the Feast of Pentecost and had a prominent place facing East.
Icons are painted in “reverse perspective” so they are both a window – in that we look at and through them and as we enter we can look outward – what is quite profound is that it’s almost as if the image is gazing at the viewer…
In Rublevs Icon, Christ (which I interpret to be the figure in the center) faces the altar. In the Russian Orthodox Church the priest would also face East with his back to the congregation. He celebrated the Eucharist in the sanctuary, the laity remaining behind the Iconostasis. The focus is on the mystery… the gaze is towards the altar…it’s an interior gaze towards God that is so very moving …
When I read about this particular symbolism, in Rublev’s Icon, I could not help reflecting on how I am personally moved by the beauty of the Tridentine mass. (I’m reflecting on the Tridentine mass here because, put simply, this was the liturgy I grew up with).
The “Divine invitation” that this icon, I believe, gifts us with is to direct our gaze to the altar…it draws us into contemplating the mystery…the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. We are not mere spectators but are invited to share in this Divine Intimacy…
Act of Oblation to the most Holy Trinity
I vow and consecrate to God
all that is in me:
my memory and my actions to God the Father;
my understanding and my words to God the Son;
my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Spirit.
I consecrate my heart, my body,
my tongue, my senses and all my sorrows
to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ,
who consented to be betrayed
into the hands of wicked men
and to suffer the torment of the Cross for me.
St. Francis de Sales
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