Relics are portions of the earthly remains of Orthodox saints, but may also include their clothing and vestments or items like the portions of the True Cross. We venerate relics because we believe the body remains the temple of the spirit even after death. St. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote, “Though the soul is not present a power resides in the bodies of the saints because of the righteous soul which has for so many years dwelt in it, or used it as its minister.” At Saint Andrew’s we have three relics; one in the antimens unlabeled but believed to be from one of the New Martyrs who suffered under communism, and two on the eastern wall of the church near the trapeza table that are open for veneration at all times. Because relics are one (of the many) things that converts to Orthodoxy sometimes struggle with, you may be asked why they are a part of our Holy Tradition; it should comfort you to know that they have been a vital part of our worship since the very earliest times, as detailed in this excellent article.
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