The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
The Orthodox Church makes no sharp distinction in its worship between the spiritual and the aesthetic. One becomes aware of God’s presence through the senses, in the experience of “splendor” and “beauty.”
In the Orthodox Church, the altar is the main focus. It is separated from the rest of the Church by an icon screen, called the iconostasis. Centrally located in the altar is the altar table which holds the Eucharist and the Book of the Gospels. In the Orthodox Church, the altar is considered the “holy of holies” since this is where the Holy Mysteries are celebrated.
The main part of every Orthodox Church is known as the nave. It is here that the faithful gather for worship, the icons are available for veneration, the singers, readers and chanters fulfill their functions. Overhead in the highest, most central dome represents the heavens and contains an icon of Christ. Iconography is very prevalent in the Orthodox Church and depicts many scenes from the Holy Bible. Finally, the third part of every Orthodox Church is the vestibule, or narthex. Traditionally this “entryway” into the Church is somewhat larger than in the ancient Orthodox Churches throughout the world. The vestibule serves as a transition area between “the world” and “the Kingdom.”