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Package of sixteen 5 X 7 Icon Christmas cards featuring an icon of the Nativity of Our Lord
The angels offer Thee a hymn;
the heavens, a star;
the Magi, gifts;
the shepherds, their wonder;
the earth, its cave;
the wilderness, a manger;
and we offer Thee a Virgin mother.
—from Vespers of the Eve of the Feast of the Nativity
Explanation printed on the back of the card:
The Symbolism of the Nativity Icon
The icon of the Nativity of Our Lord is rich with meaning and symbolism. Starting at the top of the icon and proceeding clockwise, the icon tells us the following story:
Casting down light from above we find a star, the light of wisdom. As the Orthodox Nativity hymn states: “Those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Orient on high.” The heavens themselves help to proclaim the majesty of Christ’s birth.
The angels at the top right of the icon are glorifying God; one of the angels is announcing the Good News to the shepherds, who show their joy and amazement at hearing the Good News.
The woman on the lower right of the icon is a midwife. Her presence reminds us that the birth of the Christ-child was a real birth, and the body He assumed was a real, human body, requiring customary care and nurture.
At the bottom left of the icon we find the Righteous Joseph, who served as protector and guardian to Mary and Jesus. The old man speaking to him represents the devil, whispering to Joseph doubts concerning Christ’s conception and birth.
Just above Joseph, we see the Magi bringing their gifts from afar, showing that Christ’s salvation touched the whole world, not just one nation or race.
The two animals immediately to the left of Christ represent the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy: “The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master’s crib” (Isaiah 1:3). They are very near the Christ child, providing Him warmth from their breath.
And of course, in the center of the icon, we find the Virgin Mary next to Jesus as a baby in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. His manger is like a casket and His swaddling clothes are very much like grave clothes, showing that He was born to die for our salvation!
|Artist / Icongrapher||Michael Kapeluck|
|Dimensions||5 X 7|