One of most important features of any Orthodox Church is the iconostasis, the icon-screen that stands between the people in the nave of the church, and the altar. The iconostasis represents the mystical veil between this world and the heavens, and the icons featured on it serve as symbols of the meeting place between the earthly and the eternal, between God and man. As such, it should itself be a thing of beauty, both as an offering to God and as a reminder to the congregation of the glory of the Lord.
The design for our iconostasis, shown above in pictures taken from the 3D model, was created by a skilled craftsman who is a convert to Orthodox Christianity, who heard about our renovations online and volunteered his labor free of charge for this portion of the project. This model represents the first stage of contruction, which will be the front panel and the royal doors. The side panels with the deacon’s doors will be constructed at a later date.
The aesthetic principal guiding the creation of this project is to create something simple and elegant, that will be functional for many years to come. However, while the design itself is simple, the materials and the craftsmanship will be the very finest we can offer. The posts and cross beams will be made from locally-sourced Alabama aromatic cedar; the doors will be of a solid oak or walnut, also regionally sourced from the south east; the crosses in the lower open panels will be made of golden mahogany; the backing panels for the icons will be made from sheets of Baltic birch, sourced from Russia; and the framing around the icons will be custom made from a deep, red African bloodwood. These high-quality materials will be joined together using special metal connectors, which will be almost invisible, except for the clean lines they make between the individual pieces. Finally, the royal doors themselves will be suspended on a hanging track, to maximize the available space between them and the altar.
How You Can Help
As you may know, the cost for construction materials has skyrocketed over the course of the past year. Our estimate is that it will take $5000 to construct the iconostasis for the chapel, not including the new iconography necessary to fill in the extra panels that did not have in our old space. We have been blessed that a generous benefactor has offered to match all donations up to a total of $2500.
We are asking for donations toward the iconostasis project, not only for the $5000 construction amount, but also above and beyond that for the new iconography to adorn the extra panels.
Any amount you can give will be appreciated, and of course your donations are fully tax deductible.
You can make your donations via PayPal or Square, through Venmo (@StJohnCassianOrthodoxChurch), or by mail.
Please indicate in the note field or by sending us an email that your donation is for the iconostasis.
By December 2021 we already slightly exceeded the amount we needed to raise for the primary phase of construction. Any additional donations will be reserved for the second phase, and for the additional iconography needed.
Thank you so much for you support!