“Ecclesiastical art” is the art with which we make objects, which we use to worship God and which are either inside or outside the temple. The iconostasis itself, created from carved wood or marble, is in itself a work of art. There are also priestly vestments and covers of the Holy Table which are gold embroidered. In general, everything inside the church can be a work of “ecclesiastical art”.
The forms of ecclesiastical art are temple building, iconography and hymnology. Objects of ecclesiastical art are all ecclesiastical items, priestly items, wood carvings, murals.
Man is always looking for God, who is the source of his existence. And he tries to find ways to express this very thirst to find the God who created him and to worship him.
He does not keep this love for God as a personal fact only. But he expresses it mainly in “common worship”. That is, in the “gathering” of many believers in one place, in order to worship God. Thus we have the first “Church”. The term Church is much older and means the gathering of the people.
So the faithful gathered, at first in the houses, in the so-called “Euktirion Houses” where they prayed and sang the first hymns “in unison”, that is, in two dances. They mainly read from the “Psalm” of “David” and in fact they were all standing, which shows their great love and honor for God.
Later they resort to the “catacombs”, in order to avoid as much as possible the eyes of the persecutors. That is where the first “Ecclesiastical Art” begins. That is, they draw in stones shapes like the “ship”, which implies the church, as an ark of salvation that is.
Also the “fish”, which is also called “Pisces”. And his initials form the phrase: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”.
Likewise the “anchor”, which signifies the security of salvation. That is, like a ship when it drops anchor in port, it is no longer afraid to sink.
And various other shapes, such as the “Holy Cross”, engraved on many walls, because the Cross is the pride and power of Christians.
Also the “vine” which means the union of the faithful with Christ, and among themselves. As he said: “I am the vine and you are the vines. And whoever stays with me will bear much fruit. ”
And many more, which refer to Christ, who is the center of worship. They then begin to post the first “Images”, which depict the faces of Christ and His Virgin Mary mainly, to express as genuinely and faithfully, the sacred bond and the heart’s desire with the One who gave them life and truth. But also to keep more vivid in their minds and eyes the image of the Lord, who had heard so much about his miracles, his earthly presence, his Crucifixion and Resurrection, and others who proclaimed them with courage the Apostles.
Thus begin the first images and become the “center of life” of the faithful and their point of reference to the living and invisible to the Lord eye, and acquire much grace and holiness.
Later, “Temples” were built, which were adorned by Christians with all magnificence, in order to reflect – as much as possible – the beauty of Heaven, which we all long for.
Thus begins very early – from the very first century – Ecclesiastical Art as an expression of worship.
Ecclesiastical art did not stop in Byzantium or in the Post-Byzantine era. It progressed, like all arts, even though the faithful reproduction of Byzantine patterns in painting and architecture continues unabated even today.
As glorious as tradition is, it does not mean it has to be repeated. Evolution does not stop. The important thing is not to distance the creator from the Church, but to remain essential and to quote the essence of faith.
Ecclesiastical items have existed in temples since ancient times because man imitates his Creator in this way and expresses his gratitude to God.