Arriving at an Orthodox Christian church, people put burning candles in front of the icons and pray to God. They pray not to an icon, as to an idol, but to a deity whose symbolic image is the icon. Russian religious philosophers have defined the icon as a window that helps the believer to look into the upper, "heavenly" world during prayer.
The word "icon" is of Greek origin and means "image", "image" in translation. Icons as pictorial images of gods and saints are not common in all religions, but only in Orthodoxy, Catholic Christianity and Buddhism. In the Christian religion, icons depict Jesus Christ, the Mother of God and the saints with a religion from Byzantium. In those days, icons were supposed to be painted on primed wooden boards with tempera paints; the top layer was covered with linseed oil. Outstanding icon painters of Ancient Russia (Andrei Rublev, Dionisy, Theophan the Greek) created icons that were not only a religious shrine, but also masterpieces of painting. Some of these icons have survived to this day. The image created by the icon painter is not yet the Holy Icon. In order for it to become such, an Orthodox priest or bishop must consecrate the newly created image by reading special prayers and sprinkling with holy water. Believers are convinced that when addressing prayer to some icons, miracles are possible (such icons are named after miraculous ones). Coming to the church, believing Christians put lighted candles in front of the icons and turn their prayer to Jesus Christ, the Mother of God or to that saint whose image is captured on the icon. Often people pray in front of the icon of the saint whose name they bear. If there is no image of this saint in the church, you can light a candle and pray in front of the All Saints icon.