Icon of the Eucharist

Does anyone have Coptic icons of the Eucharist from old churches or artefacts (i.e. older than 100 years)?


  • 18.jpg (Wooden chalice case embellished with an image of the Last Supper. The chalice case is used in the Holy Communion to hold a cup of wine, a symbol of the Holy Blood of Jesus. 19th century, painted by Anastasi Al Rumi).

    pd1131669.jpg (Ancient Coptic Icon of the Eucharist, probably around the same date as the first one).
  • edited March 2015
    The main reason I asked was that many people have told me (mainly Egyptians) that the Icon should only have 11 of the Apostles depicted. However, some of the old icons have 12 depicted. Furthermore, our Eastern brethren depict 12 in their modern icons as well. I was also told that the reason for depicting 11 is to signify that Judas didn't partake (which we know). On the other hand, I have been told that the depiction of 12 includes Paul the Apostle, signifying the unity of the church and that we all receive the one sacrifice, and that Icons are not historical portraits, but rather that are more concerned with conveying messages and providing windows into the Kingdom, than with chronology.
  • As of rules for the Coptic Orthodox Church, the only strict rule placed on the icon of the Eucharist was placed by H.H. Pope Shenouda, stating that there should not be any other items placed on the table other than the body and blood of Our Lord. I have never heard of St. Paul being in any icons of the Eucharist, although as a Coptic Iconographer in training I can tell you that it is in fact crucial that icons be accurate to some extent, although they include many symbolic colors, details, objects and figures. Icons are not just for liturgical purposes but are also a visual historical record of the Bible and our Church. Our Eastern brethren are extremely careful in preserving their iconographic traditions, and if you look at an image if St. Peter the Apostle from the 6th century, you will find it looking almost identical to a modern icon of St. Peter. 

     In modern Coptic Iconography, although Judas did not partake of the communion, you will almost always see him in the icon, with his back towards Christ signifying that he both betrayed Christ and did not partake of the Eucharist. He holds a money bag and is dressed in green (symbolic color of evil) and is moving in the direction as though he were leaving the icon. In some variations of icons, such as those by Bedour Latif and Youssef Nassief, he is even shown being strangled by the branches of a tree in the far corner (http://copticmuseum.stmarkstoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Last-Supper-2.jpg), and very rarely (in folkloric icons/ paintings) he is even accompanied by demons.

    Sorry for the late reply, hope this helped :)
Sign In or Register to comment.