St. Cyprian of Carthage
Orthodox Church in America
Diocese of the South
/ Sanctuary Iconography Project

First Sketch of Apse Wall Icon Plan

Plan for Walls and Ceiling of Sanctuary

Coming to the 40th year since it was formed by the Diocese of New York (now under the Diocese of the South - Orthodox Church in America), and the 6th year of meeting in its permanent location, St. Cyprian of Carthage embarks upon the first application of Iconography on the walls and ceiling of the Sanctuary, the area of the church building where the altar rests.

The first work will include preparation of the walls with plaster for a permanent surface to support the directly applied pigments. This plaster project will commence during September 2014.

Next, the Iconographer, Seraphim "Conner" O'Keefe, will begin to cover the Apse wall with the Image shown above. The north and south walls will also be covered, as well as the ceiling.

Additional pages will develope with more detailed description of the Iconography, as well as pictures of progress.

Water Color of Apse Plan

As Seraphim works with a plan for the Apse wall, the sketch has now been enlarged and given some color. Notice some of the minor changes in this rendition; the inclination of the Holy Fathers and the size and shape of the Theotokos with Christ image.

First images on a plaster surface

The Most Holy Theotokos
The Most Holy Theotokos
The Most Holy Theotokos
St. Cyprian of Carthage icon
St. Cyprian of Carthage icon
St. Cyprian of Carthage icon

As images transpire on the white canvas of the Apse wall, it is a miraculous experience to see sketches become icons. These photos represent the planning and color testing stages of the iconography project. Seraphim created plaster panels for the images of the Theotokos for the center of the Apse and of St. Cyprian to be located the left of the Altar. These panels serve as drafts for the final iconogrpahy and color tests for paint and surface interaction.

October 2014 - Plaster work completed

View from Sacristy
View from Nave
Applying Cement Board
Applying Cement Board
November 2014 -The Holy Images begin to appear

As the month of November passes, the outline or sketches of the Apse and Sanctuary wall Icons appear. As shown in the small scale sketch and water color for the Apse, this Icon includes the Holy Altar flanked by Angels, and the traditional Image of the "Holy Fathers" approaching the Altar for Communion that is shown by the Chalice and Bread. This Image will show the Hierarchs St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Cyprian of Carthage, as well as Sts. Tikhon and St. Innocent, apostles to North America. The present panel Icons of the "Communion of the Apostles" will be mounted above this gathering of the hierarchs. Centered on the Apse wall and flanked by Angels is the Icon showing the mystery of the Incarnation or the "Platytera" that shows the Theotokos (God bearer) and the God-Man, her son Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This Icon appears to emerge from the Holy Chalice. The top of the Apse wall, as well as the Santuary walls, will show medallion Icons of the persons who spoke or received the Old Testament Canticles; Daniel, Isaiah, Hannah, Jonah, Habakkuk, the Three Holy Youths, Zacharias, and Moses. Along the base of the Sancutary wall will be the Presbyters and Martyrs Jacob (Netsvetov) of Alaska and John (Kochorov) of Chicago. Immediately behind the Iconostasis on the same wall will be the Deacons Stephen (Protomartyr) and Olympia. Above the Deacon Saints will be post-Resurrection scenes on the North and South walls, that of the Sea of Tiberias with Peter swimming to shore where the risen Lord had breakfast prepared, and the Road to Emmaus with Luke and Cleopas who were given eyes to see the Risen Lord in the breaking of bread. The ceiling will have a centered Icon of the Throne of God. This image will be flanked by Cherubim and Seraphim. Photos of the stages of this Iconography will be posted below.

Pictorial Update - February 2, 2015

Pictorial Update - May 4, 2015

Pictorial Update - July 2015

The final weeks of work - 07/08/2015

(10 images)


St. Cyprian of Carthage Orthodox Church · 2570 Huguenot Springs Road · Midlothian, VA  23113
Mail: 2570 Huguenot Springs Rd., Midlothian, VA 23113