Praying with Eastern Rite Icons

28 February to 23 May 2023

Participants’ Page

Our focus this semester will be on praying with Eastern Rite icons. They are quite different from the Western art we have concentrated on so far. The Western Church leaves artists free to paint religious images however they want; the Eastern Church provides guidelines to ensure that icons are theologically sound, because icons are meant to proclaim the Gospel in images as the Scriptures do in words. Icons belong in churches, not museums; they are sacred objects for the prayer corners of our homes, not decorations for anywhere else. They not only recall historical persons and events, but they are windows into heaven that put us into direct contact with the holy persons or with the enduring heavenly reality of the events portrayed. Icons, more than any other form of art, are meant to be prayed with. Please join us and experience their spiritual richness.


Fr. Peter Fennessy, SJ, long-time member of the Manresa ministerial team,
Ms Carole Sugrue, docent at the Detroit Institute of Arts for more than 30 years.

Dates and Times:
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM on Tuesday evenings:

1February 28Introduction & Last Week of Jesus’ Life
2March 14Holy Thursday
3March 28Good Friday
4April 11Resurrection
5April 25Appearances, Ascension, Pentecost & Assumption
6May 9The Trinity & Christ
7May 23Mary & Jesus

Second Semester Dates
September 5, 19; October 3, 17, 31; November 14; December 5

Do read this Introduction to Icons

Pray over the following images for Session 3 on March 28

And read about them here

Theodore Apsevdis, Arakiotissa (1192), fresco, in the Church of the Panagia tou Arakos, Lagoudera, Cyprus.

Andreas Ritzos, The Mother of God of the Passion (c. 1490), egg tempera on wood, 32.2 × 24.4 inches, Icon Museum, Recklinghausen, Germany.

Cretan School, Our Lady of Perpetual Help (or The Theotokos of the Passion) (1494 or earlier), tempera on walnut panel, in the Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Rome.

School of Andrei Rublev, The Mystical Supper (1425–1427), 34.7 × 26.6 inches.

The Mystical Supper (detail of Holy Thursday icon) (end of 15th century), canvas, gesso, tempera, original size: 9.7 × 8 inches, Novgorod State United Museum-Reserve, Novgorod, Russia.

Unknown Greek artist, The Mystical Supper (modern).

Jesus Washing the Feet of the Disciples (1497), tempera, canvas, gesso on wood board, 33.3 × 26.5 inches, The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Pskov school, Jesus Washing the Feet of the Disciples (16th century), tempera on wood panel, Pskov Museum, Pskov, Russia.

Unknown modern artist, Jesus Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (contemporary), linen canvas on gessoed wood board, 11.8 × 8.3 inches.

Sergey Krasavin, Prayer of the Chalice (2018), egg tempera, mineral pigments and gold leaf on gessoed linden board, 27.6 × 19.6 inches.

Julia Bridget Hayes, Christ the Bridegroom (2013), egg tempera and gold leaf, 23.6 × 31.6 inches.

Unknown modern artist, Christ the Bridegroom (contemporary).


If you wish, look over the following images for Session 3 on March 28

Good Friday

Novgorod school, The Crucifixion (late 15th-early 16th century), The Museum of History and Architecture, Novgorod, Russia. 

Novgorod school, Crucifixion (1500-1525), tempera on gold on basswood, 28 × 22.4 inches, Musée du Louvre.

Novgorod school, The Descent from the Cross (1475-1500), tempera on panel, 35.8 × 24.4 inches, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Cretan school, Christ in the Tomb or Extreme Humility or Man of Sorrows or King of Glory (1490s), egg tempera on wood, 25.2 × 19.7 inches, Ikonen-Museum, Recklinghausen, Germany.

Cretan school, Weep Not for Me, Mother (1500-1550), egg tempera on wood, 9.3 × 7.1 inches, Monastery of Iviron, Mount Athos, Greece.

Theodosia Poulopos, Epitaphios (1599), cloth with gold embroidery, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece.

Moscow school, probably Prochor of Gorodets, Epitaphios (c. 1410), 31.9 × 24.6 inches, Cathedral of the Annunciation (or Dormition), Kremlin, Moscow.

Novgorod school, The Entombment (1475-1500), egg tempera on linden wood, 35.8 × 24.8 inches, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.




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