Votive Offerings ((Greek): τάμα Tama (“vow”), pl. τάματα Tamata (“vows”)), ((Latin): Ex Voto Suscepto, (“from the vow made”) or Ex Votos ) refers to those things that are vowed or dedicated to God, the Theotokos, or a Saint, and are in consequence looked upon as being set apart by this act of consecration, and as an expression of reverence and thanksgiving.
They can be grouped into three different types of offerings including: (a) votives consisting of actions or material things that are vowed to God (or promised to the Theotokos or to a Saint for their intercession with God), in return for a hoped-for miracle (b) votives offered in thanksgiving for already-answered prayers; or (c) votives given in thanksgiving for blessings not asked for.
Traditionally the spiritual practice of making vows that are sealed by the votive offering has been common among the faithful in the Orthodox Church, particularly in the Greek Orthodox Church.
“Votive Offerings.” OrthodoxWiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2014. <http://orthodoxwiki.org/Votive_Offerings