The term “Holy Relics” (Greek Αγιων Λειψανα) refers to the material remains of a saint after his repose or to those items which have come into contact with his sanctified body.
Christians of antiquity, with Scriptural basis, gathered the remains of those who were martyred for Christ i.e. Ignatius the God-bearer, Polycarp of Smyrna, Irenaeus of Lyons, and also constructed churches over their remains and erected altars and tables of oblation over their graves from which to celebrate the Eucharist.
For members of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, second in number only to the Roman Catholic Church, the pious veneration of Holy Relics remains a living tradition. Holy Relics are made accessible to the faithful in churches and monasteries; the liturgical calendar of the Church is replete with references to the translocation of these sacred objects and; prayers and hymns invoking the saints and honoring their sanctified remains are found in liturgical texts. Holy relics are also found in every consecrated Altar Table in both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church.