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Dome - Jesus Christ – Pantocrator – Ruler of the Universe







Icon of Christ Pantocrator in the central dome



The icon of Christ Pantocrator is one of the most widely used religious images of Orthodox Christianity. Generally speaking, in Byzantine church art and architecture, an iconic mosaic or fresco of Christ Pantocrator occupies the space in the central dome of the church. 


It is the tradition of the Church to depict "God is with us" by having a large Pantocrator icon inside of the central dome, or ceiling of the church.


This unique icon of Jesus Christ portrays as the Righteous Judge and the Lover of Mankind, both at the same time. The Gospel is the book by which we are judged, and the blessing proclaims God's loving kindness toward us, showing us that he is giving us his forgiveness.


Although He is the Ruler of all, Christ is not pictured with a crown or scepter as other kings of this world. The large open eyes look directly into the soul of the viewer. The high curved forehead shows wisdom. The long slender nose is a look of nobility, the small closed mouth, the silence of contemplation.


Christ is bearded, his brown hair centrally parted, and his head is surrounded by a halo. The icon is shown against a gold background.




On each side of the halo are Greek letters: IC and XC. Christ's fingers are depicted in a pose that represents the letters IC, X and C, thereby making the Christogram ICXC (for "Jesus Christ"). The IC is composed of the Greek characters iota (Ι) and lunate sigma (C; instead of Σ, ς)—the first and last letters of 'Jesus' in Greek (Ἰησοῦς); in XC the letters are chi (Χ) and again the lunate sigma—the first and last letters of 'Christ' in Greek (Χριστός).


There are three letters inside of the halo of Jesus Christ namely: Ŏ on the left side; Ŵ on the middle top; Ń on the right side. Some scholar’s interpretation says “God’s existence.” The three letters symbolize “I Am the Existing One” Exodus 3:14. The name I Am the Existing One is the Essence of God which is one and undivided. Jesus said “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (which means the “I Am the Existing One” (John 8:58).  


The Greek words inside of the circle just outside of the icon of Jesus states: “EΓΩ ΕΙΜΙ ΤΟ ΦΩΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ¨΄Ο ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΩΝ ΜΟΙ ΟΥ ΜΗ ΠΕΡΙΠΑΤΗΣΗ ΕΝ ΤΗ ΣΚΟΤΙΑ ΑΛΛ' ΕΞΕΙ ΤΟ ΦΩΣ ΤΗΣ ΖΩΗΣ”. This was taken from the book of John 8:12 and the English translation is: “I Am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life”


There is Greek word Ο Παντο   located under the IC and another word κράτωρ located under XC. These two words were parts from a single word Ο Παντοκράτωρ which means “Almighty” or “Omnipotent”.















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