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Venerating Icons

venerating_iconsWhen you enter the church, it is traditional to venerate the icons. Usually there are icons at the entrance to the church and many churches have icon stands in the front as well. When venerating (kissing) an icon, pay attention to where you kiss. It is not proper to kiss an icon in the face. You wouldn’t go up and kiss the Lord or His mother on the lips, would you? You would kiss their hand, and only if they invited would you even dare to kiss them on the cheek. Pay attention to what you are doing. When you approach an icon to venerate it, kiss the gospel, scroll or hand cross in the hand of the person in the icon, or kiss the hand or foot of the person depicted. As you venerate an icon, show proper respect to the person, show proper respect to the person depicted in the icon—the same respect you would show the person by venerating him or her in an appropriate place. And remember, blot off your lipstick before kissing.