On Saturday, October 4, 2008, St. Vladimir's Seminary will once again host its annual Orthodox Education Day, a day of "homecoming" for alumni, friends, and the general public, which this year features the theme "Holy Icons and Sacred Arts."
The campus-wide celebration will especially honor the holy icon-the early Christian art form uniquely and deeply associated with the worship and faith of the Orthodox Church, and one that has mesmerized poets, writers, and artists for centuries, and has inspired believers and non-believers alike.
Among the campus exhibits will be a magnificent, rare collection of fifteenth to twenty-first-century Russian icons from the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts (http://www.museumofrussianicons.org/) . The museum houses more than 350 Russian icons, the largest collection of its kind in North America and one of the largest private collections outside of Russia; icons in the museum span six centuries, dating from the earliest periods of icon painting up to the present. Gordon Lankton, founder of the museum, and curator Kent Russell will be on hand to explain the special and select icons loaned to the seminary for the day. Also on display will be unique icons on loan from the seminary library and chapel.
To augment these displays, artisans of the sacred arts will be demonstrating their fine iconography in various media, from egg tempera paint to exquisite embroidery. And, to accompany the festival of imagery, the renowned Boston Byzantine choir will present a musical, visual performance titled "The Sound of Icons."
Additionally, the seminary has planned several events to educate visitors about the meaning and use of icons. Dr. Vasileios Marinis, Kallinikeion Assistant Professor of Byzantine Art, Queens College and specialist in Byzantine architecture and in the study of women in the Byzantine period, will deliver a keynote lecture titled "Holy Images or ‘Sacred Art'? Perceptions of Icons in Contemporary Society." Following the keynote address, highly interactive workshops for adults, teens, and children will be conducted, including how to "read" an Orthodox icon and how to create an icon.
Visitors also will be able to enjoy an array of delectable ethnic foods, originating from Russia, Greece, Armenia, India, the Middle East, and other regions typically associated with Eastern Christianity.
Worship services in the Orthodox Christian tradition, beginning with a hierarchical Divine Liturgy, will be conducted throughout the day in the seminary chapel and at select campus sites, and the public will have a rare opportunity to venerate the relics and icons of Ss Herman and Innocent, the saints who founded Orthodoxy in America.