Placement of Fingers in Icons

Posted on March 3, 2011

Question

What is the significance of the placement of the fingers of the right hand I notice in icons of Christ and certain saints?


Answer

The fingers are arranged to form the following letters—IC XC—which are the first and last letters of “Jesus” and “Christ” in Greek.

Hence, the index finger points upward, forming an “I.” The middle finger is curved to form a “C.” The fourth finger crosses over the thumb to form an “X,” while the little finger is curved in a manner similar to that of the middle finger, thereby forming another “C.”