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The parts of the Orthodox church and their use

Orthodox churches are divided into three main parts: the narthex or vestibule, the nave, and the sanctuary. The narthex which in older times was used for the catechumens (pre-baptized Christians) is built in the western part of the nave and communicates with it through three openings-doors. The middle door connects the narthex with the central part, the Basilica. In the narthex, which is the area that welcomes the faithful, are the candelabra, small or large icon stands, portable or fixed, and the candle counter of the church.

In the nave, to the right is located the bishop's throne, the pulpit, and to the left are the lecterns and the pews. Above the narthex at the side parts, is the gallery, the area reserved for women. The nave is separated from the sanctuary with the temple or the iconostasis, which usually reaches the roof of the church and has three gates. The main gate is called the Beautiful Gate, which is at the center and has a double-door. To her right is always placed the icon of the adult Christ and to her left the icon of the Virgin Mary, next to which is placed the icon of the Saint or the Saints the church is dedicated to, while next to the icon of the Christ one can see the icon of John the Baptist. On the doors located on both sides of the central gate are depicted the archangels Michael and Gabriel while above the Beautiful Gate is usually depicted the Last Supper.

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