SiZE: 7 ¾" tall x 12 ¾" wide
The tapestry icon is meant to be used flat – it can be framed – there are no metal parts.
The Epitaphios is also a common short form of the Epitaphios Threnos, the "Lamentation upon the Grave" in Greek.
The Noble Joseph, taking Thy most pure body down from the Tree and having wrapped it in pure linen and spices, laid it in a new tomb.”
Troparion of Great Friday
BACKGROUND: In the Byzantine Christian East and in some Roman Catholic countries it is traditional to have a funeral for Christ on Holy or Great Friday. The deceased Christ is represented in the East as an “icon”on cloth while in the West a statue is used.
During the Great Fast (Lent) and Holy Week 2020 we encountered limitations in our ability to attend “in person” services in our churches. In response to this some suggested families celebrate the events of Holy Week in their homes. Among the suggestions for Great Friday was to have children create a “grave” for the crucified Lord.
While there are few icons of Christ being prepared for burial, there are many stunning icons on winding sheets (Epitaphios Threnos, Plaschanitsa, Nassh).
With the uncertainty whether liturgical practice would be “actual” or “virtual” in these recent past Paschas, this winding sheet “tapestry icon” was reproduced, depicting Christ after being removed from the cross, lying supine, as his body is being prepared for burial.
While the idea new, this icon is appropriate for “in-home” veneration. This tapestry icon can also be incorporated into religious education programs for the church or at home.