Some of us, if not most will encounter someone or some group who after learning of our Christian faith, that is that we are Orthodox Christians, that we allow the veneration of saints and the presence of relics in our churches will falsely accuse us of practicing idolatry. Now of course, in no way, are we through our veneration and prayers worshipping the saints. The Church is clear that worship belongs to God alone, as I have previously discussed in my last post, “A Cloud of Witnesses”. Just to mention a few points from what I have written:
- “He is God not of the dead, but of the living,” (Mark 12:27). The God of the saints (who have gone before us and are ever living in Him) is not the God of the dead.
- “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4: 15: 16). We cannot separate those members of the triumphant church from us who are foreigners in this world. We are one Church serving one Lord.
- “First of all, then I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) So if we ask for the intercessions of members of our Church, then it is not wrong to ask for the intercessions of the departed saints who are still members of the Body of Christ, Christ being the Head of that Church.