Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow I am in Dallas, Texas, with my Archbishop, DMITRI of Dallas and the South (OCA). I’m here for a small meeting with him and my fellow deans. Probably more social than practical – but time will tell.
The Church in Dallas could have been pulled from the countryside of Russia. Built around 2000, it’s frescoes continue to slowly grow as the entire interior of the Church proclaims the doctrine of Christ.
Such iconography has an effect that small icons cannot have. They are as large (or larger) than life, and, typically have a way of putting the stories of the gospel together such that the whole of the gospel is proclaimed.
According to Archbishop DMITRI, he and the iconographer worked on the layout for the iconography such that the central message would be the dignity of human nature. His Eminence is convinced that the departure from the Orthodox faith that we witness in the modern world is largely an assault on the dignity of man. He thus defends it at every turn, and is determined that his cathedral will do the same with its iconography.
I hope to coaxe a tour out of him tomorrow so that I can have him “read” the iconography to me in its larger context.
I will certainly have a better feel for the cathedral and a sense of how the icons work together. Even as it is, in my ignorance, it feels as though I am standing in the midst of the Bible when I am there and pray.
I am always renewed by a visit to Dallas. Archbishop DMITRI is the age of my father (83) and among the strongest pillars of the Orthodox faith I have ever encountered. His own knowledge is encyclopedic and he enjoys teaching. Thus it is a renewal – I am strengthened by an example I would emulate and taught anew the truth of the Christian faith.
Worth getting on a plane and suffering the insults of American air travel. Glory be to God for all things.
If I get my tour tomorrow, I will write at some length on the cathedral’s icons.