Orthodox icons | Wedding icon | Mother of God and Christ | 24774.
The Mother of God holding the child on her right arm is an Umilenie icon, a motif from 11th-century Byzantium. The Virgin Mary connects intimately with the child, but her somber face hints at the coming Passion.
The Russian Orthodox Church venerates the Mother of God of Vladimir icon on May 21, June 23, and August 26. It stands out as Russia’s most famous miraculous icon.
Christ Pantocrator, meaning “Almighty” or “all-powerful,” is the foundational model for all icons. When Christ incarnated, he embodied both word and image, revealing the unseen God. The Council of Nicea in 325 declared Christ as the Father’s visible and flawless image.
The Pantocrator icon became a Byzantine Church symbol against iconoclasm, championed by figures like John of Damascus. The Western Church has a similar motif called the Majestas Domini, echoing secular rulers.
In Orthodox weddings, couples often receive matching icons of the Savior and the Mother of God, known as the “Wedding Icons” or “The Wedding Pair”. These icons bless the union and accompany the couple lifelong. Traditionally, families pass these icons down through generations.