What is the difference of icon veneration between various Christian confessions?

It will be interesting to hear view of point from representative of each confession, and finally create comparative table of this act.

It seems, that most interesting and fuzzy difference is between east orthodox and catholic Christians. Furthermore, it seems that official doctrines of each confession can differ from how Christians of that confession really do veneration of the icons.

  • 3
    Surveys of all confessions aren't particularly constructive as that's better served for book writers (and you'd have to write quite a large book). Is there a specific one or two you're interested in hearing from?
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 13:50
  • Also I'd bet quite a lot that not a single confession will admit to icon worship considering it's expressly prohibited in scripture. Whether they do or not really isn't the purview of this site.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 13:51
  • Well, I think that it is possible to explain in brief, by short thesis, an attitude to icons and icon worship for each confession (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestants (yes, I know, that there are many different denominations in it))
    – Andremoniy
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 14:02
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    None of the churches you are talking about 'worship' icons, and to imply that they do could be taken as offensive. The term you are looking for is 'veneration'. If you are interested in the practices in different churches with regard to icons, I would recommend editing to reflect that. Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 14:26
  • @DJClayworth Thank you a lot about this term clarifications. I've edited my question.
    – Andremoniy
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


From catholic perspective, an icon is a symbol, nothing more. you do not pray to it, but ask for the intersession (of the depicted individual perhaps) for you.

@Andremoniy, I think there is already a lot of good summaries of this on the web, you can probably compile a smaller summary, and ask people to verify if it seems accurate to them.

  • Thanks for your reply. Well, actually everything what is discussed here could be found in Web or in papers. It seems, that C.SO is not targeted for generation new knowledge or doctrine, is it?
    – Andremoniy
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 14:07
  • Could you please clarify (in the answer): do Catholics recognize some kind of "wonder-working" icons? (sorry for this term if it is not correct, this is just my translation of term, which I mean) I mean such concrete copies of icon, praying in front of it to the painted Saint, could give some wonder.
    – Andremoniy
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 14:14
  • @Andremoniy let me look some info on this, to be sure I am not making mistakes. Because, there are objects, that are "special", like relics, but not special in amulet or magical sense, but in the sense of in intersession, and extension of one's will
    – Greg Bala
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 14:44

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