What is myrrh? Is is a fragrant herb used to mask the smell or odor of death. Its use in the early east where it was worn in sachets around the neck to hide bodily smells such as perspiration. It is also used in mouthwashes, to treat candida or athletes foot. Obviously it is used to hide the decaying material of our flesh.
Why then are there myrrh bearing icons, real or mostly false. Let us be charitable and say perhaps through God’s actions they are all in some way a sign of God’s concern for His people, a warning that all is not well, It might just be a prophecy that things should change; a ressurection perhaps?
Therefore we can perhaps say these Icons, held in such respect in the Byzantine Orthodox Church, are signs that the church made need embalming, the sacrifices offered need to be treated to hide their smell in God’s nostrils. Is their odor offensive to Him? That He cannot countenance the odor of the dying orthodox church is not too far fetched if one considers these Icons from the spiritual view and from the traditional customs of the east.