Terminology - Glossary I

Term Definition

I AM – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.“ John 8:58


ICON – Image. Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). Because Christ is God who became Man, He can Himself be pictured or imaged. Thus, icons of Christ? together with those of His saints – express the reality of the Incarnation. Orthodox Christians honor or venerate icons, but never worship them, for… Read More


ICONOCLASM – (Gr. “the breaking of icons”).  The name of a heresy saying that icons should be removed from churches and destroyed. It refers to the conflict in the Byzantine Empire between 787 and 843 over the use of icons in the church. The Seventh Ecumenical Council (787 and 843) decreed the use of icons,… Read More


ICONOGRAPHY – The art of painting icons. The art was developed chiefly in monasteries by monks. There are several schools of iconography each having its particular style. Andrei Rublev was one of the great icon painters and he established a certain style which has been followed because it gives the true Orthodox expression in iconography.


ICONOSTASIS – (Sl. Iconostas) The screen which separates the sanctuary from the nave, covered with icons. Actually, there are two or three tiers of icons. To the right of the Royal Doors is the icon of our Lord Jesus Christ, bearing the open book of the Gospel; to the left is the icon of the… Read More


ICXC – IC XC is an ancient Greek Christogram. This comes from the Greek spelling of Jesus Christ,  IC XC is simply the first and last letter of each individual word. Often a bar is depicted over each to signify that it is an abbreviation and to signify Christ’s divinity. In Orthodox iconography, IC XC… Read More


IDIOMELON –(samoglasen) A hymn that is not patterned on any other hymn in terms of either meter, content, or melody.  It never serves as a model for other stichera.


IDOL – A statue or other image of a false god; also, anything that is worshiped in place of the one true God. Money, possessions, fame, even family members can become idols if we put them ahead of God (Lev. 26:1; Col. 3:5).


IDOLATRY – 1) Excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, ect. 2) Religious worship of idols.


ILITON –(eileton) The silk cloth used to wrap the antiminsion or corporal.


ILLUMINATION Enlightenment. In the Bible, darkness is often used as an image of sin and death. To be illuminated is to be shown the true path of righteousness in God, thereby being led out of the darkness of sin and death. Baptism is called illumination, because in it we are delivered from sin and death… Read More


IMAGE – (Gr. eikon) Literally, “icon.” The Bible teaches that man was created in the image and likeness of God. Men and women reflect the divine image in their ability to reason and to rule nature, and in freedom of action. Although sin has darkened or stained God’s image, it has not annihilated it. Through… Read More


IMAGE OF GOD – It consists, as explained by the Apostle Paul, In righteousness and holiness of truth. Eph. iv. 24.


IMMANUEL – “God is with us,” a title of Christ the Messiah, God in the flesh (Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:22, 23).


IMMERSION ? In Baptism the submerging of the body in water.


IMMORTALITY – Eternal life. Those who follow Christ will rise to eternal life with Him in heaven; those who reject Him will be resurrected to eternity in hell (John 3:16-18; 5:26-29).


INCARNATE – From Latin, meaning “to become flesh.” Christ is God Incarnate: He became flesh – that is, human thereby sanctifying human flesh and reuniting all humanity to God. The Son of God was incarnated from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. He took upon Himself the flesh and the soul of man and… Read More


INCARNATION – refers to Jesus Christ coming “in the flesh.” The eternal Son of God the Father assumed to Himself a complete human nature from the Virgin Mary. He was and is one divine Person, fully possessing from God the Father the entirety of the divine nature, and in His coming in the flesh fully… Read More


INCENSE – An aromatic resin substance which upon being burnt in the censer gives off a sweet smelling smoke used in the services. It symbolizes the rising of prayer to God and the zeal of the Christian. It is the sap of the frankincense tree, or other aromatic substances, dried and burned in honor of… Read More


INCLINATION – Bowing the head. A gesture usually accompanying the making the sign of the cross as an unspoken “Amen” to any prayer. Bows, kneeling, the sign of the Cross, the lifting of our hands, the bowing of our heads, kissing icons — all these things are expressions of that state of mind of which… Read More


INFANT BAPTISM – There are numerous biblical passages which support the ancient Christian practice of infant baptism, which was universal in the Church until the Anabaptist reaction after the Protestant Reformation. Among these are: “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt…. Read More


INRI – Latin, Jesus Nazareourun Rex Judeorum – Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.


INTERCESSION – Supplication to God in behalf of another person. Christ intercedes before God the Father in behalf of the repentant sinner, and God’s people intercede for one another (Is. 53:12; Jer. 27:18; Rom. 8:34).


INTONE – To recite in a singing tone.