The Blessing of our Pantocrater Icon
Letter from our Metropolitan Gerasimos:
Beloved brother in the Lord Fr. Apostolos and the faithful congregation of the St. George Parish in Prescott,
I am thrilled to learn that you are progressing in God and now you are installing the icon of the Almighty high over your altar, so that He may see you and kindly bless you with His Mercy and Grace.
Although I cannot be with you on this important date, please know that my prayers are with you.
May the Lord bless you and your endeavors.
With Love In Christ,
Saint George Orthodox Church of Prescott has many icons that hang on our walls and iconostasis. We love them all deeply, but one particular icon was missing that is many Orthodox churches, the Pantocrater icon. It means All Mighty or Ruler of All and is used in the Scriptures by Saint Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:18 as well as nine times in the Book of Revelation. The oldest known Pantocrator that still survives is dated to the 6th century and is located in Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai. More information can be found at Orthodox Wiki.
After the icon was mounted, it was carefully brought into the church. A service in preparation of its arrival was done beforehand which included a blessing of the waters. The whole church was blessed with holy water as well as the icons already present with special attention given to the Pantocrater icon. After the blessing of the Pantocrater icon was completed, it was carefully hoisted up by two men each on their own ladder.
The icon was carefully balanced as they ascended one step at a time. There were three bolts on the wall that had to be carefully hurdled as to not tilt the icon too far and have it fall to the floor. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal was chanted by the parish as they nervously watched this take place. After the first obstacle was cleared, there was one more final bolt that needed to be hurdled to secure the icon in place. This final bolt put the icon at even steeper angle. The parish continued to watch nervously and sing hymns while father continually blessed the work. There were many attempts to latch on to this bolt that failed to finally the icon did latch on. The ladders were cautiously removed and the Icon of the Pantocrater now hangs securely in the church.
Thank you to those who attended the service and especially those who assisted in placing the icon.
Glory be to God!