Orthodox Christianity 101

Holy Napkin (Air)

The Holy Napkin, also known as the "Air" or "Aër" in Orthodox Christian liturgical terminology, holds significant symbolic and practical importance within the Divine Liturgy. It is a large, rectangular cloth, often made of silk or other rich fabric, representing the veil of the Temple torn at the moment of Christ's death, granting access to the Holy of Holies. In the context of the liturgy, the Holy Napkin covers the chalice and paten, symbolizing the shroud that enveloped Christ's body in the tomb. This covering serves to veil the sacred mysteries of the Eucharist, emphasizing their ineffable and transcendent nature. Additionally, the Holy Napkin bears embroidered or printed images of angels and other symbolic motifs, further enriching its theological significance. Liturgically, it plays a practical role in the administration of the Eucharist, serving as a corporal upon which the sacred vessels rest during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. The reverence and care with which the Holy Napkin is handled reflect the Orthodox Church's deep respect for the Eucharistic elements and their role in the salvation of believers.
Orthodox Church
Orthodox Christianity 101

Orthodox Christianity has such a deeply rooted history spanning over thousands of years. Every detail, practice, and term has been meticulously preserved and passed down through generations for a very specific purpose, embodying the richness of tradition that defines the Orthodox faith. This richness is mirrored in the language and terms we use, where each word carries profound theological, historical, and spiritual significance.

Delving into the glossary of Orthodox Christianity is more than an academic exercise; it is a spiritual journey into the heart of our faith. Through understanding these words, we forge a deeper connection with our religious heritage, appreciating the wisdom and devotion of those who came before us. Each term in this glossary opens a window to the vast expanse of Orthodoxy, offering insights into the doctrines, rituals, and spiritual practices that have sustained and nurtured believers across centuries.

As you explore this glossary, let each word be a step closer to the essence of the Orthodox Church and its teachings. This journey through our sacred vocabulary is not just about learning definitions; it's about deepening your connection with the Divine and illuminating the traditions that make Orthodoxy a treasure trove of spiritual wisdom.

More Terms
Orthodox Christian Church
History of Orthodox Christianity
Learn our history

Other Orthodox Terms

More Terms

Learning more about Orthodox Christianity? Subscribe and stay awhile.