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The Iconostasis

Hamel El Iquonat
  •     The Iconostasis represents one of the most important architectural features of Orthodox churches. It is a rigid screen made of wood or marble, containing icons of our Lord, His angels and his saints. It lies between the sanctuary and the nave of the church.
        The Iconostasis, which is derived from the Byzantine churches, contains three doors: the Royal door, which is the entrance to the main sanctuary; and a door on each of the other side for the side sanctuaries. The side doors were used for preparation of the host, which is still the case in the Byzantine churches, but not in the Coptic Church, where they are considered as Royal doors as well. On the inner side (side of the sanctuary) curtains are fitted, which are drawn open or closed depending on the church service. In ancient times and in some of today’s monasteries, curtains were placed behind the doors that were locked. The key would be kept with the archdeacon. It is opened during the Liturgy, and this symbolizes catching a glimpse of the splendor of heaven.

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