Veneration and honor given to icons

When we bow down, pray, kiss, give flowers, and light candles in front of an icon, we say that we do those things not for the icon but for the entity the icon represents. We also venerate and give honor to icons. Isaiah 42:8 says “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Are we not giving praise to the images when we venerate and give honor to the images?

Council of Trent says we venerate and give honor to images: “The images of Christ and of his Virgin Mother and of the other Saints are to be had and retained especially in churches, and a due and honor and veneration is to be given them not because any virtue or divinity is believed to be in them that for which they are to honored as what the heathens do who placed their hopes in idols but because the honor which is given them is referred to the originals which they represent…”

I think the passage from Trent indicates that the honor paid to the image doesn’t stay with the image. “[It] is referred to the originals which they represent.” Therefore, no honor goes to the image itself. Does that make sense?

No, we aren’t giving praise to images (at least we shouldn’t be). We are venerating the person represented by the image, as dmar198 noted, and as Trent specifies. And in venerating the person, we also are not (should not be) giving them the praise due only to God (adoration). The “veneration” is that “honor”, no more or less than that which we are commanded to give our mothers and fathers. Adoration is giving glory to God alone, acknowledging that He is God and, for this reason, we worship Him as our One true God.

Images are a reminder of God’s faithful people, we honor what it represents, like the Crucifix represents Jesus Sacrifice.

Comment Question: If we let society rip all Christian icons out how will the next generation get along without the truth of Jesus’s followers? Make no mistake it started with prayer in school. We are being stripped of Christian culture piece by piece.

God Bless:)

Isaiah is not telling us that we cannot praise anyone or anything but God. He is telling us not to give to anyone or anything but the LORD that specific type of praise (latria) which is reserved for a deity.

Bowing down, kissing, asking, giving flower, lighting candles, etc. are done for various reasons and are not exclusively acts of divine worship.

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