Icons are an inseparable part of Orthodox Christian worship. More indepth information is available at our
A stand or tetrapod standing before the iconostatis holds the icon(s) of the day. It is customary to walk forward and venerate the icon.
Here is the traditional Orthodox method of venerating an icon:
1. Approach the icon and make two metania*
2. Kiss the icon on feet or hands (never the face)
3. A candle may placed before the icon at this time
4. Make an additional metania and then depart
If a candle is to be placed before another icon, a similar procedure is followed.
During Lent, a complete prostration to the ground is made instead of the metania bow.
Before entering the pew or standing in a selected place, the custom is normally to bow to the altar and make the Sign of the Cross before (similar to a genuflection in the Western Church).
Orthodox practice is not fixed and rigid so one will observe variations in the process of veneration.
* A metania consists of
the sign of the cross followed by a deep bow with the arm extended so that the fingers touch the ground before rising again