CI05 Church and Saints
The Orthodox church highly honour saints “Pay to all their dues, . . . honour to whom honour is due” (Rom. 13:7). The church as one, the body of Christ, contains the striving church (we on earth) and the victorious church (saints in heaven). We pray for them, as in the commemoration of the saints in the Divine Liturgy, and they pray for us before the throne of God. We honour saints because they are worthy of great honour. They deserve it because they spent their life honouring God on earth and striving in keeping His commandments.
In this way, we never deny God the honour due to Him. We actually honour Him in them, as they are his handwork (Eph 2:10). When we praise the craftsmanship, all the honour goes to the Craftsman.
However, we should always remember that, of all the ways we can honour God’s saints, the best way is the to imitate their faith in Him (see Heb 6:11-12; 13:7).