Fort Worth, TX
Church Of The Holy Sepulchre Catholicon
Photograph - Photography
"Christ Pantocrator" watches over Christian pilgrims from the Catholicon Dome inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. The Catholicon is the central Orthodox Church, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, facing the Tomb of Christ. In the middle of the Orthodox Church, directly below the Dome, is the "navel of the earth," symbolizing the Earth's spiritual center (cf. Ezekiel 38:12).
Christ Pantocrator is a commonly used iconographic display of Jesus within Eastern Orthodoxy. The term Pantocrator is variously translated as All-Powerful, Almighty, or Ruler of All. A classic art form in Byzantine church architecture, an iconic fresco or mosaic of Christ Pantocrator typically occupies the central church dome, the half-dome of the apse, and/or the nave vault. The equivalent in Roman Catholic imagery is Jesus in Majesty.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre's Christ Pantocrator mosaic and fresco is rich in spiritual meaning. The Christogram--Greek letters IC and XC for Jesus Christ--brackets Jesus' halo. Inside of Christ's halo is the Cross, with three arms representing the Holy Trinity. Each arm bears a Greek letter--Ό ώ Ν (omega, omicron, nu)--to represent the phrase "He who is." This imagery emphasizes Christ's divinity, drawing upon the phrasing of God's name as revealed to Moses (Ex. 3:14, in the Septuagint text reads ἐγώ εἰμί ὁ ὢν: "I am He Who is") and referenced in the Book of Revelation ("Who is" -- ὁ ὢν). The ornately covered book in Christ's left hand represents the Gospels. Christ's right hand is raised in Eucharistic blessing. Christ is surrounded by key church leaders/theologians from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The Four Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) look to Christ from the corners.
This color image of Christ Pantocrator highlights the rich colors of the Dome's iconography.
Image captured with a Canon 5D III & Canon 16-35 f/2.8L II USM lens.
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