Greek Orthodox church undergoes renovation
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Saturday, April 14, 2012
4/14/12 at 6:18 AM
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Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1222 S. Guthrie Ave., is undergoing an extensive renovation that will include an ornate 40-foot-wide carved wooden screen holding new icons, religious paintings in the ancient Orthodox tradition.
The Rev. Bill Christ, pastor, said rooms were removed to widen the sanctuary of the church.
He said the church is divided into three areas corresponding to the ancient Jewish temple - the narthex, corresponding to the outer court; the nave, or main worship area, corresponding to the holy place of the ancient temple; and the altar, corresponding to the holy of holies.
The wooden screen separates the nave from the altar.
"It's considered a holy area," Christ said. "Only people involved in the liturgical function go behind the screen."
The 11-foot-high screen will hold eight large icons, paintings depicting a variety of scenes from the Bible and the early church. Janet Jaime, an Oklahoma City-area iconographer, is creating the icons.
Christ said he hopes to have the project completed in time for Pascha, or Easter, of 2013.
The cost of the screen and icons will be about $250,000.
"It's traditional in the Orthodox church to offer up your best to God, to do things in a beautiful way. Our churches tend to be ornate on the inside," he said.
"The use of icons goes back to the early church. Before the 15th century and the invention of the printing press, Bibles were scarce and most people were illiterate, so the church developed scripture in picture form to teach people the faith."
Original Print Headline: Greek Orthodox church undergoing renovation
Bill Sherman 918-581-8398
Mary Wright wipes lipstick marks made by kisses from the faithful from the glass covering the gold icon she donated to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Janet Jaime, the Oklahoma City artist who created the icon, is making about 20 more for the church, part of an extensive renovation. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World