Orthodox Christianity 101


The Kandili, also known as the vigil lamp or oil lamp, is a sacred fixture commonly found in Orthodox Christian churches and homes. This lamp holds symbolic and practical significance within Orthodox tradition, serving as a visible representation of the perpetual light of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Typically crafted from metal or glass, the Kandili consists of a container filled with oil or wax, atop which a wick is placed and ignited to produce a steady flame. Its design may vary, ranging from simple and utilitarian to elaborately decorated, often adorned with religious motifs or inscriptions. In church settings, the Kandili is often suspended from the ceiling or mounted on a stand near the iconostasis, where it burns continuously as a sign of Christ's eternal presence and the prayers of the faithful ascending to heaven. Similarly, in Orthodox homes, the Kandili is commonly placed before icons or in a designated prayer corner, where it serves as a focal point for personal devotions and family worship. Beyond its symbolic significance, the Kandili also carries practical importance, providing illumination during evening services, especially in dimly lit church interiors or during nighttime vigils. Its gentle glow creates an atmosphere of reverence and solemnity, inviting worshippers to enter into prayerful contemplation and spiritual communion. Moreover, the act of tending to the Kandili, refilling its oil or replacing its wick, becomes a ritual of devotion and mindfulness, symbolizing the faithful's commitment to keeping the flame of faith alive in their hearts and homes. Through its dual role as a symbol of divine light and a practical source of illumination, the Kandili embodies the Orthodox belief in the inseparable connection between the material and spiritual dimensions of life, inviting believers to participate in the ongoing revelation of God's presence in the world.
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.