Christ the Pantocrator
This icon of Christ as Pantocrator, the Ruler of all, portrays Him in solemn glory. He is not pictured with a crown or scepter as other kings because His power is not of this world. He came to be with us and to show us His loving kindness.
His right hand is extended in blessing, while the left is supporting the Bible. His inner white robe (for purity) symbolizes His Divine nature while the red outer tunic (symbolizing blood) reveals His humanity.
On either side of the throne are the Coptic abbreviations for “Jesus Christ.” On the top of the icon is the Coptic word for “Our Savior.” His feet lie upon the cosmos, for everything in heaven and on earth is subject to His authority.
This icon is placed on the Bishop’s throne to signify by Whose authority the episcopacy is attained and as a reminder that our Lord Jesus Christ is the True Master and Teacher. Christ is the Bishop (“superintendent” or “overseer”) of our lives, so must the bishop be to the Church. Thus, Blessed Augustine, bishop of Hippo says: “Thus no man can be a good bishop if he loves his title and not his task” (The City of God).
St. Ignatius of Antioch says: “Surely, Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, for His part is the mind of the Father, just as the bishops, though appointed throughout the vast, wide earth, represent for their part the mind of Jesus Christ” (Letter to the Ephesians 3:2).
St. Cyprian of Carthage indicates: “Therefore, the duty of a bishop of the Lord is, not to deceive with false flatteries, but to provide the remedies needed for salvation” (On the Lapsed 14).