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Moderated Forums => Liturgy => Topic started by: Orthodox Swamp Thing on June 15, 2010, 07:00:26 PM

Title: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Orthodox Swamp Thing on June 15, 2010, 07:00:26 PM
I have seen Orthodox put their patron saint on their phone, computer desktop, MP3 player and electronic picture frames. Is that being disrespectful to the Icons and the people they represent? Thoughts, Opinions, Comments & Ect.....  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: augustin717 on June 15, 2010, 07:11:56 PM
Only overly pious.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: LizaSymonenko on June 15, 2010, 09:00:07 PM


Well...anyone who knows me, knows I am completely head-over-heels about Orthodoxy.  I love our Faith, our churches, our icons, people, etc.  I take pictures of every Orthodox thing!

My desktop currently is a photo I took of my own church.  It brings me peace.

Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Quinault on June 15, 2010, 09:06:24 PM
That is a really beautiful picture.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Entscheidungsproblem on June 15, 2010, 09:11:44 PM
What exactly would be disrespectful about it?  Wood, paper, liquid crystal, it is only a medium.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: genesisone on June 15, 2010, 10:13:45 PM
My question should perhaps be placed on the Faith board, but it seems pertinent here: is there a difference between an icon and a picture of an icon? Let me illustrate this way: You take a photo of me holding an icon; then you come a little closer and your photo is clearly "someone" holding an icon (perhaps hands and part of the torso showing). Then you come closer yet and only the icon itself is within view. So is there a point at which a very ordinary picture becomes an icon? If we're talking about nothing more than a picture of an icon then there should be no problem with its being used in various places. It's not as if it were intended for veneration. Somehow there must be a difference. Is this making any sense? Of course, I know we also have to be careful about trivializing such things. I'm guessing we're not going to find a "one answer fits all" statement.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: LBK on June 15, 2010, 10:23:36 PM
What exactly would be disrespectful about it?  Wood, paper, liquid crystal, it is only a medium.

Regarding digital images on a computer screen, or stored on a hard drive: such images are not "made of matter" as a printed or painted icon is. It is when the image is printed and therefore "made substantial", that it can be venerated as an icon. The common custom also is that any completed icon, painted or printed, mounted or framed, is blessed by a priest on the church altar, then it is ready for veneration.

Perhaps the most strident argument against the veneration of icons used by the iconoclasts was that of "worshipping matter", i.e. venerating things made of wood, paint, stone, or other earthly materials was idolatry. Of course, the iconoclasts were quite mistaken, as they missed the point that humble, fallen, earthly substances were sanctified through the incarnation of Christ. We do not worship the wood or paint, nor the paper and ink, but we venerate what (or who) is represented on the icon. The material, tangible nature of icons reflect the immaterial God becoming material, tangible flesh. A JPEG file on a hard drive or an image in a digital picture frame or computer screen is immaterial, a mere shadow.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Orthodox Swamp Thing on June 15, 2010, 11:13:59 PM
Good points. I asked my priest about this and he said there isn't a problem but I just have my internal dealings with it since they aren't blessed and I want to treat the icons and the people they represent with the utmost respect. Now my second question is this....

Can a icon that is on a digital media be venerated like a regular icon?
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Orthodox Swamp Thing on June 15, 2010, 11:18:21 PM
@ LizaSymonenko that's an awesome picture... I hope you don't mind but I swiped a copy...
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: LBK on June 15, 2010, 11:18:45 PM
Can a icon that is on a digital media be venerated like a regular icon?

I'm not sure what you mean by this.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Orthodox Swamp Thing on June 15, 2010, 11:23:40 PM
well ok can a picture of an icon that is on digital media (cell phone and MP3 player) be venerated like a regular icon?
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: LizaSymonenko on June 15, 2010, 11:26:36 PM
@ LizaSymonenko that's an awesome picture... I hope you don't mind but I swiped a copy...

You are MORE than welcome!  I was just in the right place at the right time!

If you would like it in a higher resolution, let me know and I will be happy to send it to you.

Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on June 15, 2010, 11:28:52 PM
What about LCD or Plasma screens on the iconostasis, where the image can morph into another image? Then you can have a rotation of saints!
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: LBK on June 15, 2010, 11:30:14 PM
Quote
well ok can a picture of an icon that is on digital media (cell phone and MP3 player) be venerated like a regular icon?
No. Such an image is a virtual image, not a "real", tangible one. See my earlier post:

Quote
Regarding digital images on a computer screen, or stored on a hard drive: such images are not "made of matter" as a printed or painted icon is. It is when the image is printed and therefore "made substantial", that it can be venerated as an icon. The common custom also is that any completed icon, painted or printed, mounted or framed, is blessed by a priest on the church altar, then it is ready for veneration.

Perhaps the most strident argument against the veneration of icons used by the iconoclasts was that of "worshipping matter", i.e. venerating things made of wood, paint, stone, or other earthly materials was idolatry. Of course, the iconoclasts were quite mistaken, as they missed the point that humble, fallen, earthly substances were sanctified through the incarnation of Christ. We do not worship the wood or paint, nor the paper and ink, but we venerate what (or who) is represented on the icon. The material, tangible nature of icons reflect the immaterial God becoming material, tangible flesh. A JPEG file on a hard drive or an image in a digital picture frame or computer screen is immaterial, a mere shadow.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: stashko on June 16, 2010, 07:11:58 AM


Well...anyone who knows me, knows I am completely head-over-heels about Orthodoxy.  I love our Faith, our churches, our icons, people, etc.  I take pictures of every Orthodox thing!

My desktop currently is a photo I took of my own church.  It brings me peace.



Wow ,,,that's one nice Picture.....The beautiful Light Radiating Behind and Thur the Royal Door......The Glory Of The Lord Is Shinning Forth......

Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: LizaSymonenko on June 16, 2010, 08:20:15 AM

...that's exactly how I "saw" it.  It was a breath-taking moment.
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Orthodox Swamp Thing on June 16, 2010, 12:54:40 PM
Thanks for your comments... However, the pictures of icons I do have on my MP3 player do start conversations.... Which can be interesting to say the least!!
Title: Re: Icons & Electronic Devices
Post by: Orthodox Swamp Thing on June 17, 2010, 07:21:09 PM
If anyone would like to have my collection of Icons I made I have 160 of them and they are 370 X 500 and work perfectly on a zune.... Just PM me with your email address and I will send them to you.