The presence of Old Testament Saints is brought home to me as I share the Feasts of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Calendar every day.
By Shawn Tribe
|Left: Missal of the Carmelite Rite (O.Carm). Right: Roman Missal of the Discalced Carmelites (OCD)|
In the circular zone [of the dome] around the figure of Christ Pantocrator is depicted -- if space allows -- a choir of Angels. Often, between them are painted the Theotokos on the east side, and Saint John the Baptist on the west.Within the sanctuary of Byzantine churches, one might also find Old Testament narratives depicted on the walls. Those depicted are those which are classified as "types" of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. A good example of such typology would be the narrative of the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his own son.
Below this zone, in the spaces between the windows of the drum of the dome, are shown the Prophets, through whom, as the Creed says, God spoke to men: Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others. The number of Prophets depicted varies according to space available. In some churches, there is one Prophet between each set of two windows; in others, two or three...
If the circular base of the drum of the dome is suitable, various Righteous personages of the Old Testament are represented in medallions (busts enclosed in circles) -- for example, Abel, Abraham, Noah.
Guide to Byzantine Iconography, vol. 1, p. 81
|St. Elias (Elijah)|
|Moses and the Burning Bush|
|The Prophet Isaiah|
|The Crossing of the Red Sea|
|The Fall of Jericho|