Practical Uses of Icons

Holy icons serve a number of purposes. (1) They enhance the beauty of a church. (2) They instruct us in matters pertaining to the Christian faith. (3) They remind us of this faith. (4) They lift us up to the prototypes, which they symbolize, to a higher level of thought and feeling. (5) They arouse us to imitate the virtues of the holy personages depicted on them. (6) They help to transform us, to sanctify us. (7) They serve as a means of worship and veneration.142 Madeline L’Engle describes her experience: “…an icon, for me, is an open window to God.