Object ID
2015.13.1
Object Name
Stefana
Date Created
1938
Material
Glass; Wood
Object Entities
Pappas, Alex (is related to)
Pappas, Julia (is related to)
Breizes, Mitzle (is related to)
Object Description
Stefana in a framed shadow box. The frame is silver with darker grey around the edging. In the middle of each side of the frame there is a floral decoration: One larger blue flower with a pink, smaller one on each side and there is also leaves extending off of the back of each. The colors of all of the flowers are very baddly faded as well as the leaves. In each corner of the fram there is a silver detail that somewhat looks like folded/draped fabric. There is a glass cover of the shadow box and the inside is lined with a cream colored fabric and around the glass portion, it is lined with lace. Inside the box is a pair of Stefana. The crown portion is made of plastic which look like flowers. There are white bulbs and in between them there are rows 'stems' with beige colored flowers, three-four on each stem. On the crown itself there are three bands to the head piece. At about ear length the three strands of the headpiece twist together and they connncet to each other in the center. There are two bows to each head piece, four in the whole shadown box, that are om a cream, silky like fabirc. In the middle of each bow there is another flower, similar to the ones within the crowns, just slightly larger. There is also brown leaves and more of the white bulbs. There is also tool that is under each bow. In the bottom middle of the box there is a large bow that is in the shape of a flower. It uses the same fabirc as the bows above and also has tool underneath it. In the center there is also one flower with multiple white bulbs and two brown leaves. The box is about three inches deep and the back is made of wood with a paper covering. There is an inner crack in the glass on the left side.
Origin
Belonged to Alex and Julia Pappas and was worn during their wedding on July 24th, 1938. The Crowning is an essential part of the wedding ceremony in the Christian Orthodox Church. This is a very symbolic part in the lives of the newlyweds. After prayers are offered on their behalf, the groom and bride are crowned by the priest "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". The Stefana have two meanings. First, they reveal that the man and woman, in their union with Christ, participate in His Kingship. Second, as in the ancient Church, the Stefana are a symbol of martyrdom. The word "martyr" means witness. The common life of the bride and groom is to bear witness to the Presence of Christ in their lives and in the world. Martyrdom is usually associated with death. So the reality of God's Kingdom in the life of the husband and wife will necessarily take the form of dying to one's self, to one's will, and the giving of one's life totally to the other, and through the other, to Christ. At the end of the service, the Stefana are removed as wedding crowns and the priest prays that God will receive these symbolic now crowns into His Kingdom. The reality of the Kingdom into which the bride and groom have entered is not completely fulfilled, but only begun. Husband and wife must receive God's Kingdom and make it both a present reality and a challenge and goal of their common life. After the wedding ceremony the stefana are then traditionally kept in wooden Stefanothikes the special made boxes. Stefana are also sometimes translated to English and known as Stephana.
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Citation
Stefana, 1938, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/10763. Accessed 11/30/21.