Product Code: L4002 [ custom-made ]
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Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics the Gospel Book (Greek: Εὐαγγέλιον, Evangélion) is very important liturgically. It is considered to be an icon of Christ and is venerated in the same manner as an icon.
Traditionally, the Orthodox will never cover the Gospel Book in leather - the skin of a dead animal - because the words of Christ are considered to be life-giving. Animal skins are also reminiscent of the Fall of Man when God fashioned garments of skin for Adam and Eve after their disobedience (Genesis 3:21). The Apostle Paul speaks of Christ being the "New Adam" (I_Corinthians 15:22,47-49), and the Orthodox understand Christ as coming to clothe mankind in the original "garments of light" which Adam and Eve lost in Paradise. Traditionally, the Gospel is covered in gold, the earthly element which is best symbolizes the glory of Heaven. If gold is unavailable, the Gospel may be covered in cloth.
The Gospel Book rests on the center of the Holy Table (Altar), as the Cross of Christ was planted in the center of the earth. This placement of the Gospel Book also represents the activity of Christ at the Creation (the square Altar representing the created world). The Gospel rests upon the antimension, which remains on the Altar at all times, as Christ will remain with the Church until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). Even when the antimension is unfolded to receive the chalice and diskos, the Gospel Book is not removed from the Holy Table, but is stood upright in front of the Tabernacle.