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Definition of ICONOSTASIS
: a screen or partition with doors and tiers of icons that separates the bema from the nave in Eastern churches
Origin of ICONOSTASIS
modification of Middle Greek eikonostasion, from Late Greek, shrine, from Greek eikono- + -stasion (from histanai to stand) — more at stand
First Known Use: 1833
In Eastern Christian churches of Byzantine tradition, a solid screen of stone, wood, or metal separating the sanctuary from the nave. It has a royal door in the center and two smaller doors on either side. Covered with panel icons, it always includes the icon of the Incarnation (mother with child) on the left and the second coming of Christ on the right; icons of the four Evangelists, the Annunciation, and the Last Supper cover the royal doors themselves.