Structure of the Temple


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Structure of the Temple

The structure of the temple correlates with the biblical images of the Temple of Jerusalem. The altar is divided into three parts. There is a sanctuary with an altar part in the center. The sacristy is located in the north and the baptistery in the south.

Narrow low doors lead to them from the altar. Passing through the door it is necessary to bend over in the sign of respect and modesty. The altar is separated from the church by curtain that falls from a light wooden construction. The image of Savior with a quote from the Bible: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you a rest” (Matthew: 11, 28) stands above the construction.


The altar represents a stepped structure and consists of three levels. The first two levels are for deacons and reciters. There is also a pulpit from which Psalter is recited and the homily is delivered. There is the Holy Altar going deep into the wall on the third level. There is an open Gospel with the Holy Crucifixion above it on the Holy Altar.

There is the Tabernacle on the east wall. This place is called "Holy of Holies". Sacred vessels and holy chrism are kept in the altar part of the temple. There is also a throne of the Patriarch in the eastern part.

In the foundation of the building, exactly where the Holy Altar is located, a stone from the foundation of the church of St. Mary (Mart Miriam in Urmi-Iran) is laid. The stone is saturated with the blood of our ancestors, innocent victims of violence and persecution for many years of history. The stone is a symbol of unity with our long-suffering ancestors, martyrs for the faith.

There are icons of the Savior and St. Mary at the entrance to the sacristy and the baptistery. Believers can put candles here.


14 icons are hung on the walls of the church depicting the moments of our Lord's suffering (The Way of the Cross). The way of the cross is celebrated on Good Friday. The suffering of Jesus Christ is recreated on this day in memory of all the believers. The procession led by the priest stops in front of each icon raising a prayer and crowning it with a hymn which tells of the suffering of our Savior. In figurative sense “The Way of the Cross” is the way of suffering and life full of staunchly endured disasters.


It should be noted that all the icons are painted in oriental style as well as all inscriptions (quotes from the Holy Scripture), both on icons and the Holy Crucifix are made in Old Aramaic.

The Icon of Mar Shemmon Bar Sabbae

The icon of Mar Shemmon Bar Sabbae, the patron of our church is unique, as it was painted specifically for our temple. In future, we plan to decorate the church with the icons of the Holy Martyrs of the Church of The East.