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
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
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
The Greek words inside of the circle just outside of the icon of
Jesus states: “EΓΩ
ΕΙΜΙ ΤΟ ΦΩΣ
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”.