Christ, The Lightgiver

Adapted from the English text from CHRIST PANTOCRATOR

Novgorod School, 15th Century

Written by Paula Howard, OSB

Mount St. Scholastica, March 2002

The prototype for Christ the Lightgiver is a Russian icon, Christ Pantocrator, from the Novgorod school of the 15th century. Pantocrator is the Greek word meaning Ruler of All. Icons of this type depict the Divine Majesty of Jesus with the gold sash over the right shoulder indicating his priesthood. The red tunic represents the sacrifice of his blood and the blue mantle reminds one of his heavenly divinity. Inscribed in the cross of the halo are the Greek letters omicron, omega, nu which begin the words for "I Am Who Am." Christ's hand turned towards the heart indicates that the Words of the Book are an expression on his inner wisdom.

Some of this information is from the book Praying with Icons by Jim Forest (Orbis Books, 2008).