Posted By: Gideon
New Q - 06/06/02 08:44 PM
Is there any place in the home that an Icon would be considered inappropriate? Where would the best place be to place an Icon?
I know several people, one being a priest, who place their icons in the upper corner of the wall. It looks somewhat peculiar there but the thinking is that icons are not artwork and should not be hung like it.
Myself, and most Orthodox I know, place them reverently, not near any "artwork", head level where you can venerate them...
This link may be helpful... Icon corners
[ 06-06-2002: Message edited by: OrthodoxyOrDeath ]
Posted By: Danj
Re: New Q - 06/06/02 09:14 PM
Slava Isusu Christu
I was once told that one should not place an icon in a bathroom/toilet area. Any other area in the home is fine. I have an icon in every room except the bathroom. Hope this is enlightening.
Posted By: Moose
Re: New Q - 06/06/02 09:18 PM
I agree with OOD. Traditionally the icon corner would be in the eastern corner or wall of the room you pray in. If you pray while sitting in your favorite chair then the icons should be visible from that place. If you pray standing before the icons then your icon corner should be in a place that is easy to stand in front of (i.e., not in a corner that is way across the room from where you will be).
Some people feel that there should be a special place to go to in which to pray. I can understand this sense of detachment but there is much merit in the idea of praying where you are at (as if it is an ordinary and not extraordinary thing to do).
Regarding hanging the icons high on the wall I seem to remember someone telling that this is a Greek custom akin to the common western custom of hanging the crucifix over the doorway.
Closets, hallways and bathrooms would not be very good places to hang icons.
Posted By: OrthoMan
Re: New Q - 06/06/02 10:10 PM
Though I have Icons in every room except the bathroom, my Ico Prayer Corner is at the top of the steps. It is convinent for me to stand facing the East while I pray. I also have a small table below the Icons where I keep a Vigil Light and a prayer book. Along with an Icon of St Panteleimon brought back for me from Lithuania.
Thank you for that link
- in it I found a very interesting statement :-If you have not found out already, you will notice that when you begin praying with your icons, with the Grace of the Holy Spirit, new ones will find you. Perhaps you become fond of certain Saints or receive a few as gifts, but your icon corner will always be as "alive" as you are spiritually.
How true I have found this to be - my shelf started out with one Icon and a crucifix and now , thanks to some very good friends, there are seven.
May Our Blessed Lady, Mary ever Virgin, Mother of us all, and my Mistress, keep us all in Her most tender care.
Our Lady's slave of love,
May your icon corner grow to immense porportions!
The Slavic Orthodox icon corner actually developed from the pre-Christian tradition of venerating the main corner of the home as one enters it through the front door.
Formerly, it was in this corner that the "home gods" and "patrons of the hearth" were honoured.
Especially honoured in those times was the family protector, "Pek" a very nasty little god whose curse spelled danger. This is where the Slavic word for "danger" comes from - "Nebezpeka" or "not without Pek."
The father of the family performed the ancient rites of passage and he was called "Batiushka" - the name for Orthodox priests in Russian to this day.
During a feast, the oldest woman in the house sat in the corner as the place of honour.
With the advent of Christianity, the eastern "Blessed Corner" was covered with icons that were decorated with flowers from the Tomb of Christ in Holy Week, for example.
A table was placed beneath it on which are placed prayerbooks, Blessed Bread, Holy Water, candles (especially from the Feast of the Meeting of our Lord) and the like.
Very often, a chair would also remain at the icon corner, as on Namedays and other important personal holidays, the individual being feted would sit on that most important and spiritual spot in the home.
As with an actual iconostasis, icons of Christ are placed on the right side of the extending wall, and icons of the Mother of God on the left.
The icons also represent the rites of passage of the family as well.
Icons given at Baptism, at graduations, weddings etc. punctuate our spiritual life and we reflect on all this when we pray before them.
On a personal note, as we are now unpacking from our house move, I came across our wedding icon, the icon used to bless my wife and I 21 years ago yesterday.
It is a beautiful framed icon of Christ the Pantocrator, signed at the bottom by Patriarch Josef Slipyj.