Author Topic: Prayer Corner Suggestions  (Read 19395 times)

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Offline Ian Lazarus

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Prayer Corner Suggestions
« on: August 09, 2007, 05:20:21 PM »
 , at present, do not have a prayer corner (well not an offficial one).  I have a small set of three tea light candles which are placed in front of a diptyc of Christ and the Mother of God, and behind that I keep a set of prayerbooks, a bible, and a small Chotki.  All this is on a shiferobe.  I would like suggestions and if possible, pictires of your prayer corners for when I am able to set up a proper one (hopefully soon).  A few questions come to mind.

Does the corner necesarilly have to be facing East?

What sort of Icons should be put up?

Are candles okay, or is a vigil lampada a necesity?  If so where can I get a small one?

I have a prayer book from Holy Transfiguration Monastery, An Antoichian Western Rite
Missal and Ritual, and even an Old Believers Prayer Book as well as a KJV Bible in my corner.  Any other suggested books/ Prayer books?

Anyone seen an Icon of St. Lazarus of the Four Days that I could purchase?  I can't find one anywhere.

Any  other suggestions would be appreciated.

My thanks.
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2007, 06:04:39 PM »
Sounds like a perfectly good prayer corner.

Here's another.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2007, 06:15:47 PM »
I just have a small shelf - it's an extra shelf that is a part of the set of shelves lining two walls of the "den" area of my house, the eastern and the southern. These shelves were already there when I moved in in fall 1999. We use them for books. The extra shelf is a bit broader then the rest, more "protruding," and we used to use it as a little writing desk. In this year's January, when I was preparing for my Chrismation, I removed everything from this shelf and put on it three icons - of the Savior, of the Theotokos, and of St. George the Dragon Slayer (my patron saint) - all three ordered from "Yevshan," a Ukrainian Internet store operating from Canada. My wife also found two icons of the Most Holy Theotokos that we had at home since time immemorial - one brought from Ukraine (her parents' gift), and one from Seattle (a gift of one elderly lady from the Seattle Ukrainian immigrant community). These two icons had been blessed by priests. They both cannot stand, so I just put them horizontally on the shelf (probably I should get a frame for them).

Other items that I put on this shelf: a prayer book (from Fr. Hieromonk Daniel Zelinsky of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, with parallel texts in Ukrainian and in English - I always pray in Ukrinian); the Holy Bible in Ukrainian translation by Metropolitan Illarion (a.k.a. Prof. Ivan Ohienko); two small crosses, one wooden, empty cross (a gift from my parish priest) and one metallic Crucifix, very tiny, just about 2 inches long (I don't even know where does it come from, looks like it has always been there with me!); and a piece of embroidered Ukrainian tablecloth, very beautiful, with scarlet red, yellow, green, and black ornament on a snow-white background, Carpathian style (from my wife's parents' home in Western Ukraine).

We do not have a vigil lampada, so I am, too, one of those inquiring minds who would like to know, how necessary is it?

As for the light - I put two candles on the two sides of the shelf, but I, nonestly, almost never lit them, instead just use a standing lamp with two regular electric bulbs.

As for facing East - yes, I read that it should be done, but I am actually facing south or southeast when I am praying... just because such is the arrangment of furniture in our den area...


[edited name=Heorhij date=1186697771][/edited]
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 06:18:15 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 08:50:49 PM »
I've got a little square of Ukrainian embroidery too! (Not in the prayer corner though.)

I don't think the lampada is required but it's nice to have - it's supposed to burn longer than candles.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 08:54:19 PM »
Aargh... I seem to remember having a thread about this 2 or 3 years ago.  I just don't remember where/what it was (and I don't have time to search right now).
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 09:45:09 PM »
Another nice thing about the lampada is it's the same as the lamp hung in front of the Reserved Sacrament - in an Orthodox church in front of the main doors of the iconostasis. (And like the one Jews hang in front of the place where the Torah is kept.) A nice reminder that an icon is not just a picture or illustration but a quasi-sacramental presence.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 10:55:41 PM by The young fogey »
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Offline Innocent_T

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2007, 10:13:23 PM »
couldn't resist and took a couple of my prayer corners (yes plural) in my house.
I guess I gone a little overboard ... but it is quite comforting to be surrounded by holy icons in every room ...

http://gallery.mac.com/torsten.reichert#100001&bgcolor=black

Torsten
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2007, 12:17:10 AM »
Here's what I've done for my corner (and I don't know how official any of this is).
I have mine facing southeast (if it's on a corner, it's either southwest or southeast...). I read that we pray facing East because that's the direction the Son came from. I seem to recall having read this in the OSB. I have about 7-8 icons and plan on eventuall having a few more. I usually like to have a 7 day votive candle burning but I'd like to have a lampada. I read that the Saints like having their icons lighted. Under my icons, I have a corner table where I keep my incense, a cross, holy water and some holy oil from the lampada used at St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. I also keep a few Bibles, some prayer books, some other Orthodox readings as well as my rosary and a little rosary book. I personally enjoy praying the rosary every night before bedtime, moreso than the Prayer of the Heart (although I've tailored it to Orthodox standards). I usually say the Prayer of the Heart throughout the daytime at work.

 I'll try to get a picture up for you for some ideas. When you purchase or receive an icon, make sure to have your priest bless it. Also, have your priest over every pre-Lenten season to bless your whole house.
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Offline samkim

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2007, 08:12:25 PM »
What is a good online store to purchase items for my prayer corner? Though I am on a college student budget... I would like to have a sacred space to say my prayers.

And is it necessary to have your icons blessed?
주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.

Offline Innocent_T

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2007, 10:24:56 PM »
What is a good online store to purchase items for my prayer corner? Though I am on a college student budget... I would like to have a sacred space to say my prayers.

And is it necessary to have your icons blessed?

There is a nice online shop www.skete.com where you can get icons and other products.
It is customary that you have icons blessed. You bring them to a Saturday Vespers and they reside on the Holy Table until Divine Liturgy on Sunday, after which the priest will bless the icons and sprinkle them with holy water.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2007, 06:46:03 PM »
You bring them to a Saturday Vespers and they reside on the Holy Table until Divine Liturgy on Sunday, after which the priest will bless the icons and sprinkle them with holy water.
This is certainly true, but if it's more convenient, you can bring them on a weekday Matins or Vespers or any time you and the priest are both at the parish. They always stay on the Holy Table until the next Sunday Liturgy, however.
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2007, 11:46:13 AM »
There is a nice online shop www.skete.com where you can get icons and other products.
It is customary that you have icons blessed. You bring them to a Saturday Vespers and they reside on the Holy Table until Divine Liturgy on Sunday, after which the priest will bless the icons and sprinkle them with holy water.

In the Byzantine practice, icons normally reside in the Holy Altar for 40 days before they're collected.

Offline Innocent_T

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2007, 11:57:53 AM »
In the Byzantine practice, icons normally reside in the Holy Altar for 40 days before they're collected.

I heard that before and but I never found a source for that. I asked our priest about that and he also didn't find anything in the rubrics about that. Nevertheless it is certainly a pious custom.

It would be great if you could point me to the source of this practice.

Actually our priest told me that originally there was no special blessing for icons at all. The practice was that if an icon was painted in the orthodox manner and if you started venerating the icon it was blessed. The blessing of icons came into practice later apparently when the church found it necessary to bless icons - what was furthermost a check that the icon was painted in the orthodox manner and in line with orthodox teachings.
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Offline TinaG

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2007, 12:26:42 PM »
I personally enjoy praying the rosary every night before bedtime, moreso than the Prayer of the Heart (although I've tailored it to Orthodox standards).
 

Jibrail - do you mind posting your Orthodox version of the Rosary?  Even though I was never Catholic, the rosary has become such a familiar prayer through movies, TV and living in an area with a large Catholic population.  I like saying the "Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos" prayer on a prayer rope with the Our Father at the 10 bead breaks.  I have to concentrate on the Orthodox Rejoice prayer since you can easily slip and run on into "Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death"  (Though is this really such a bad thing to add?  I sincerely hope the MOG is praying for me at the time of my death!)
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2007, 12:39:32 PM »
I heard that before and but I never found a source for that. I asked our priest about that and he also didn't find anything in the rubrics about that. Nevertheless it is certainly a pious custom.

It would be great if you could point me to the source of this practice.

Actually our priest told me that originally there was no special blessing for icons at all. The practice was that if an icon was painted in the orthodox manner and if you started venerating the icon it was blessed. The blessing of icons came into practice later apparently when the church found it necessary to bless icons - what was furthermost a check that the icon was painted in the orthodox manner and in line with orthodox teachings.

I think that it is a Greek Tradition. When I have  lived in places that I attended the local Greek Orthodox Church that was a practice I always saw, however went I have gone to  OCA and ROCOR parishes it was always a blessing with prayer and Holy water. The Antiochian Church I attend now follows the slavic practice although Father says he is aware of the Greek tradition and will do it if the members desires  icons blessed for the 40 days.

Thomas
« Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 02:35:02 PM by Thomas »
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Offline FrChris

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2007, 12:42:03 PM »
Yes, whenever a parishioner has asked me to bless an icon, I always ask if they want to do the '40-day in the altar' method or the Slavic method.

Only once has a person chosen the Slavic method...and she was from Ukraine.
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Offline Innocent_T

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2007, 01:08:48 PM »
Yes, whenever a parishioner has asked me to bless an icon, I always ask if they want to do the '40-day in the altar' method or the Slavic method.

Only once has a person chosen the Slavic method...and she was from Ukraine.

thanks for the info.

so how does practically work in a big parish? are you keeping post it notes on the icons back to remember when they were put into the altar?
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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2007, 01:55:10 PM »

so how does practically work in a big parish? are you keeping post it notes on the icons back to remember when they were put into the altar?

Basically, yes!

We tape the person's name and the date the icon was first placed in the altar, and we try to file them so that the ones closest to being returned are most easily accessible. Then, often on Sundays after antidoron is distributed and before we marry or baptise people the person approaches someone (almost always me) and asks for the icon back. They and I do a quick group prayer, and it is handed over.

It's always fun when the person getting the icon is a child! They get it...we adults talk ourselves out of the Faith too often.
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Offline samkim

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2007, 01:38:37 AM »
Though I was never Catholic, I also pray an "Orthodox rosary" sometimes.

http://www.westernorthodox.com/rosary
주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2007, 01:42:38 AM »
Though I was never Catholic, I also pray an "Orthodox rosary" sometimes.

http://www.westernorthodox.com/rosary
As do I and many other Orthodox Christians.  :)
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Offline Thomas06

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2007, 03:51:31 PM »
My Icon "Corner" (well, at least it faces east!)

Offline Innocent_T

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2007, 03:54:21 PM »
My Icon "Corner" (well, at least it faces east!)

Very nice. Even with an icon of St. John of Shanghai :)
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2007, 04:13:30 PM »
Thomas 06

As a Thomas I think it looks great! I like the icon of St Thomas on the Right.

Thomas
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Offline knotquiteawake

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2007, 08:56:07 PM »
I know this topic is a little old but I thought I would post my picture since I just got my first icons from St. Issac's.  At present I only have little tea candles to put into my votive holder.  So instead of letting my votive candle holder burn all night I alternate between my two 7 day candles.  It is comforting to wake in the middle of the night and see the Cross on my wall and Christ looking down at me.

Offline Carpatho Russian

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2007, 09:51:07 PM »
This is a picture of the "main" Icon Corner in the CR household dining room.  As is traditional. it is in the east corner of the room and the head of the table, where yours truly sits, is closest to the "Beautiful Corner".  On family members' birthdays or name days, they get the honor of sitting closest to the "Beautiful Corner".
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 09:55:24 PM by Carpatho Russian »
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Offline knotquiteawake

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2007, 10:38:08 PM »
This is a picture of the "main" Icon Corner in the CR household dining room.  As is traditional. it is in the east corner of the room and the head of the table, where yours truly sits, is closest to the "Beautiful Corner".  On family members' birthdays or name days, they get the honor of sitting closest to the "Beautiful Corner".

That is so cool, I can't wait to start a family in an orthodox household and have traditions like that.  Although, i'm not really in that much of a rush to start a family... i've got to find a special someone first!

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2007, 10:59:11 PM »
I can't wait to start a family in an orthodox household
I hope you will at least wait until you are married! :D
Christenings of babies are nice, but there's something even nicer when there's been a wedding first! :D
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Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2007, 08:30:03 PM »
Here is my icon corner. It is set up in my room. I plan on adding more icons to my corner soon but this is what it is now, I hope to pretty much cover the wall. I have a brass hanging vigil lamp and I just use beeswax candles. On the top of the shelf I have the Bible, my prayer books, and some holy oil. In the shelf I have various Orthodox books on the lives of Saints, spiritual counsels, liturgical books, etc. Not all of my icons are blessed unfortunately, but I plan on getting them blessed soon.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 08:30:39 PM by Andrew21091 »

Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2007, 08:34:52 PM »
Anyone have one with a kneeler?
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Offline RPConover

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2007, 10:08:18 PM »
Here is my icon corner. It is set up in my room. I plan on adding more icons to my corner soon but this is what it is now, I hope to pretty much cover the wall. I have a brass hanging vigil lamp and I just use beeswax candles. On the top of the shelf I have the Bible, my prayer books, and some holy oil. In the shelf I have various Orthodox books on the lives of Saints, spiritual counsels, liturgical books, etc. Not all of my icons are blessed unfortunately, but I plan on getting them blessed soon.



Beautiful icon corner... I have that same vigil lamp, I love it! I do the usual olive oil with an old-believer style wick holder though, just make the wicking myself.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 10:09:15 PM by RPConover »

Offline Psalti Boy

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2007, 06:20:59 AM »
If you're still looking for a lamp this is the one we have: http://www.monasteryicons.com/monasteryicons/Censers-amp-Lamps_M20/Item_Electric-Votive-Light_495_ps_cti-M20.html

Our icons are on a small desk in my den.  Our wedding crown case is in the center, far back against the wall, The Theotokos and Christ in front of and on either side of that; to the left is St. Barbara (my wife's patron); in the center toward the front of the crowns is the lamp and in front of that is a lead crystal celtic cross that was a gift to my wife by our future daughter-in-law;  on the far right is St. Paraskevi to whom we pray for the healing of my wife's macular degeneration she suffers in both eyes;  all the way in the front, far right is our Bible and the far left are prayer books.

PB

Offline RPConover

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2007, 03:48:33 PM »
If you're still looking for a lamp this is the one we have: http://www.monasteryicons.com/monasteryicons/Censers-amp-Lamps_M20/Item_Electric-Votive-Light_495_ps_cti-M20.html

Our icons are on a small desk in my den.  Our wedding crown case is in the center, far back against the wall, The Theotokos and Christ in front of and on either side of that; to the left is St. Barbara (my wife's patron); in the center toward the front of the crowns is the lamp and in front of that is a lead crystal celtic cross that was a gift to my wife by our future daughter-in-law;  on the far right is St. Paraskevi to whom we pray for the healing of my wife's macular degeneration she suffers in both eyes;  all the way in the front, far right is our Bible and the far left are prayer books.

PB

...very nice lamp, I have to warn anyone looking to buy from that site though:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/monasteryicons.aspx

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2007, 04:06:46 PM »
Yeah, I'd stay away from Monastery Icons. If your looking for a good lamp, go here: http://www.easternchristian.com/products.cgi/c37/c96. Thats where I got my lamp from.

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2008, 01:07:55 PM »
I was fooling around with our (relatively) new camera and managed to take some snaps of my icon corners at home and at work.  I thought I'd share and maybe kickstart this thread so others can share theirs as well.

My icon corner at home, wedged in between the desk (which you can't see) and the bookshelf (of which you can see the corner).  Someday we'll have a larger place where things won't feel so crowded.  Outside of Lent, an icon of the Resurrection has pride of place on the shelf, but during Lent one of the Ladder of St. John Climacus is displayed.



This is my little prayer space at work.  The icons of our Lord and the Theotokos were my very first and the one of St. Joseph was commissioned after I landed this position which I've been at for nearly 4 years now.  The large Celtic cross hanging is actually a print made on a thin cloth like one would get as a souvenir in the '70s.  A coworker of my sister gave it to her knowing of my love of the artform and she then got it framed for me as a Christmas gift some years back.  I thought it worked well for my office considering all the other Irish/Scottish material I have scattered about the place.
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Offline TinaG

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2008, 02:37:19 PM »
I really like your home icon corner.  It doesn't look crowded to me.  I think the icon stands (?) with votives really make it.   Where'd you come by those if you don't mind my asking?
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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2008, 02:45:58 PM »
I really like your home icon corner.  It doesn't look crowded to me.  I think the icon stands (?) with votives really make it.   Where'd you come by those if you don't mind my asking?

Thanks!  It feels crowded mostly because of the space surrounding it.

As for the icon frames, I made those after seeing one for sale on the internet a few years ago.  I can't seem to locate it now, but it was an Orthodox site that sold stands and whatnot in addition to icons.  The hardest part was getting the onion dome looking right but after fiddling with a compass and graph paper for about an hour I figured out a way to make it symmetrical without making the process too complicated.  They're both made of pine stained with a dark cherry finish.
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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2008, 05:44:35 PM »

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2008, 05:51:27 PM »
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Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2008, 08:16:00 PM »
Wow Schultz, I love your icon corner. The stands are beautiful work.

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2008, 09:18:41 PM »
I can't seem to locate it now, but it was an Orthodox site that sold stands and whatnot in addition to icons. 
Was it these guys: http://www.christiandecor.com/ ?
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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2008, 09:50:46 AM »
Here is the Icon corner at the Phoszoe/Sivi_Sokol household. :) Although you cannot see them, to the left of the Icon corner we keep a small shelf that has prayer books, bibles, incense and candles.  It was not practical to put our icon corner on the east wall, as that has windows.



Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2008, 04:04:10 AM »
I noticed there a few of y'all have some type of prayer shawl draped over your icon's.  You can even see this in some icon's as well like the Mystical Supper... What is this, what's the significance, and where can you get them?
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2008, 09:06:39 AM »
That's a rushnik (towel), a Ukrainian custom going back to paganism. AFAIK like metal covers it's a mark of special honour.
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Offline PhosZoe

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2008, 09:21:52 AM »
I noticed there a few of y'all have some type of prayer shawl draped over your icon's.  You can even see this in some icon's as well like the Mystical Supper... What is this, what's the significance, and where can you get them?

It's called a Rushnyky or "ritual towel".  These "towels" are often seen in Ukranian and Russian homes. We purchased ours at a church bazaar. I found this online,
http://www.ukrainian-n-things.com/rushnyky.htm

Although, I'm sure you can find something nice on Ebay.  :)

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2008, 12:42:15 PM »
Young Fogey, PhosZoe-

Thanks for info y'all.  And thanks for the website PhosZoe.

That's a rushnik (towel), a Ukrainian custom going back to paganism. AFAIK like metal covers it's a mark of special honour.

I didn't realize it was Ukrainian only as I've seen them in Bulgarian and Romanian homes as well.   
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2008, 12:50:00 PM »
It spread but came from the Ukraine.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2008, 01:05:25 PM »
I see, thank you.  There appear to be several icons with these as part of the depiction.  The Mystical Supper icon I have has a type of clothe draped over the church where the Christ and Apostles are sitting.  Also, I have a few icons of St. Gabriel the ArchAngel in which he has what looks like a Jewish prayer shawl in his hair.  I just wonder if these two depictions are related to the rushnyky?  It does seem as though the covering of religious objects has it's beginnings in the Middle East.
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2008, 01:33:55 PM »
It spread but came from the Ukraine.
I don't think that there is any proof that this custom originated in Ukraine, as it is too widespread all throughout Eastern Europe to have originated in a specific area.
Every East European nation, whether Orthodox or Catholic knows of these ritual towels.
In Romania they are also handed out to the people present at a burial, either wrapped around a taper or bound around one's arm or bound to the crosses at the top of the banners or the processional Cross.
http://www.aacurrier.org/Ritual%20Towels.htm

Offline SiviSokol

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #48 on: March 07, 2008, 02:24:26 PM »
I don't think that there is any proof that this custom originated in Ukraine, as it is too widespread all throughout Eastern Europe to have originated in a specific area.
http://www.aacurrier.org/Ritual%20Towels.htm

I don't have anything other than informal observation to back this up, but I think that Augustin717 is right.  Slavic culture, generally, attached a ritual importance to linen and towels.  Towels are an important gift in Serbian culture, and folk songs of the area are full of references to the washing of linen.  Towels (now sashes) are worn by the best man (kum) and stari svat at a Serbian wedding.  It might be a pan-Slavic custom that then influenced neighboring peoples.  I know of Catholic Hungarian homes where towels were hung on pictures of the Sacred Heart, etc.

I see, thank you.  There appear to be several icons with these as part of the depiction.  The Mystical Supper icon I have has a type of clothe draped over the church where the Christ and Apostles are sitting.  Also, I have a few icons of St. Gabriel the ArchAngel in which he has what looks like a Jewish prayer shawl in his hair.  I just wonder if these two depictions are related to the rushnyky?  It does seem as though the covering of religious objects has it's beginnings in the Middle East.

The object you see in Gabriel's hair is a ribbon, which is also a standard element of the iconography of any Archangel.  It's upturned ends signify the spiritual hearing of the angel, always attentive to the commands of God.

The cloth that you see in the icon of the Mystical Supper has a different origin.  Such a motif has its origin in Roman decorative painting (do a Google image search on "Boscoreale" or "House of the Vettii" and you can see what I mean). Icon painting's "visual vocabulary" is most indebted to Late Antique style.  Drapery hung in the opening of windows and doorways is one such motif (if you are interested in the development and use of this, look through some of the fresco images from Pompeii, and then do a search on the illustrations of the "Vergilius Vaticanus" and "Vergilius Romanus" manuscripts.  Both are late Antique copies of Virgil's Aeneid.  Do a search then for the mosaics of San Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, the consular Diptych of Flavius Felix, the procession of Empress Theodora in the Basillica of San Vitale, and finally on the iconography of the four evangelists as they are writing their gospel.)

That's not to say it might not have a more "spiritual" meaning.  Depending on the prototype, one could also argue that it probably references the veil of the Jewish temple as well as the curtain in front of the altar.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 02:39:50 PM by SiviSokol »

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #49 on: March 07, 2008, 11:26:31 PM »
augustin717 and SiviSokol,

Thank you both for the very helpful and enlightening info.  I really appreciate it!! ;)
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Offline Bono Vox

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2008, 12:30:15 AM »
I was fooling around with our (relatively) new camera and managed to take some snaps of my icon corners at home and at work.  I thought I'd share and maybe kickstart this thread so others can share theirs as well.

My icon corner at home, wedged in between the desk (which you can't see) and the bookshelf (of which you can see the corner).  Someday we'll have a larger place where things won't feel so crowded.  Outside of Lent, an icon of the Resurrection has pride of place on the shelf, but during Lent one of the Ladder of St. John Climacus is displayed.



This is my little prayer space at work.  The icons of our Lord and the Theotokos were my very first and the one of St. Joseph was commissioned after I landed this position which I've been at for nearly 4 years now.  The large Celtic cross hanging is actually a print made on a thin cloth like one would get as a souvenir in the '70s.  A coworker of my sister gave it to her knowing of my love of the artform and she then got it framed for me as a Christmas gift some years back.  I thought it worked well for my office considering all the other Irish/Scottish material I have scattered about the place.
ons


Wow Schultz, what a beautiful icon corner! I have tried using corner shelves in the past, but have always had trouble making them level.   I will post a picture of my prayer corner when I can figure how to edit the picture to the right size to upload.
Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!

Offline Bono Vox

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2008, 12:32:28 AM »
Schultz,

BTW, I noticed you have an icon of st. Seraphim. As an Eastern Catholic, do you recognize Orthodox saints?
Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!

Offline The young fogey

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2008, 10:19:23 AM »
As I wrote in another thread yesterday, at home you can venerate anyone including people on 'the other side'.

St Seraphim of Sarov and the other post-schism Orthodox saints aren't in the Ruthenian or Ukrainian Greek Catholic liturgical books so they're not commemmorated/venerated in church there.

But they are in the books of the tiny Russian Greek Catholic Church: Rome believes that born Orthodox are not personally guilty of schism and thus get the benefit of the doubt.

BTW the Russian Greek Catholic Church began in the late 1800s when a few Russian intellectuals converted on their own to Rome, which decided to pick it up and try and run with it. Essentially it was a plan to convert the Russian Orthodox that failed. (It had a tiny following in the intelligentsia and then the Communists killed it.) Today it's a handful of churches, some in Russia again made up of people who converted on their own (the Vatican does not allow proselytism of the Orthodox) and some in America - New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco - consisting of born Roman Catholics who love everything Russian Orthodox but don't want to leave Rome.
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Offline Cassiel

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2008, 01:48:52 PM »
As I wrote in another thread yesterday, at home you can venerate anyone including people on 'the other side'.


Hey, I hope I don't derail the topic, but can you say something more about being able to venerate "people on 'the other side'" - including, as you wrote in that previous post, late protestant grandparents?  Because I've heard it explained that what you do to an icon is what you do to the person depicted, and it was explained to me by way of this example: that you would kiss the photograph of a person distant from you or who was passed away, and that is like what we do to icons.  By that logic I've placed a small drawing of my deceased mother's portrait near to my icon corner but not quite in it, and I do kiss it, but probably not with as much faith that it does anything like venerating an icon.  Am I wrong about that? 
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2008, 01:55:15 PM »
Sounds right to me.
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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2008, 02:54:47 PM »
Hey, I hope I don't derail the topic, but can you say something more about being able to venerate "people on 'the other side'" - including, as you wrote in that previous post, late protestant grandparents?  Because I've heard it explained that what you do to an icon is what you do to the person depicted, and it was explained to me by way of this example: that you would kiss the photograph of a person distant from you or who was passed away, and that is like what we do to icons.  By that logic I've placed a small drawing of my deceased mother's portrait near to my icon corner but not quite in it, and I do kiss it, but probably not with as much faith that it does anything like venerating an icon.  Am I wrong about that? 
Actually, the best way to ask a question such as this--excellent question, BTW--without derailing an existing thread is to start a new thread with your question.
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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2008, 04:27:01 PM »
Schultz,

BTW, I noticed you have an icon of st. Seraphim. As an Eastern Catholic, do you recognize Orthodox saints?

As tYF pointed out, there's no problem with an Eastern Catholic (or a Latin Catholic for that matter) venerating an Orthodox saint.  St. Seraphim of Sarov was the first Eastern saint, Orthodox or Catholic, I became interested in and through which I eventually found myself in in a Ruthenian parish, much like how St. Therese of Lisieux was instrumental in my coming back to the faith at all.  They both hold a special place in my heart and a special one in my corner.  Were I Ukie or Rusyn, I would have rusnyk on both of them!*

* yes, I know I still can, but it would feel like I was trying to be something I'm not as I see rusnyky as a cultural thing.  Us Kraut-Scot hybrids don't have anything like that.  All we have is an efficient frugality ;)
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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2008, 04:29:08 PM »

Wow Schultz, what a beautiful icon corner! I have tried using corner shelves in the past, but have always had trouble making them level.   I will post a picture of my prayer corner when I can figure how to edit the picture to the right size to upload.

A cheap pocket level purchased at your local hardware store and a pencil are your friends :)
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2008, 04:29:05 PM »
I use this method, which only requires a measuring tape and a pencil. Hold your measuring tape so one end is perpendicular to the ceiling. Make a mark with your pencil where one corner of your icon will be, a certain number of inches from the ceiling. Then move the tape to the other corner (e.g. if you chose top left, go to the top right; if you chose bottom right, go to the bottom left). and mark the same number of inches from the ceiling. Hang your icon, and it will be level! You can use a level to verify, but I've never found this method to fail.
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Offline Paisius

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2008, 04:35:44 PM »
Wow Schultz, what a beautiful icon corner! I have tried using corner shelves in the past, but have always had trouble making them level.   I will post a picture of my prayer corner when I can figure how to edit the picture to the right size to upload.
You may already be familiar with the site.

http://www.imageshack.us/

You can upload and resize images there.


Yours in Christ
Paisius
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 04:36:11 PM by Paisius »

Offline Bono Vox

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2008, 07:39:39 PM »
You may already be familiar with the site.

http://www.imageshack.us/

You can upload and resize images there.


Yours in Christ
Paisius

Thanks for the help.

OK, Here is my icon corner (you might want to click on it because it is kind of hard to see). The icons on the bottom are for my kids. This has been a great tool in teaching them how to pray. They look forward to venerating the icons the most when we do the prayers together.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 07:44:03 PM by Orthodox Bagpiper »
Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!

Offline Thomas

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #61 on: March 13, 2008, 08:34:41 AM »
When our children were small we had laminated paper icons low enough in each of their rooms so they could venerte them and have a small icon corner of their own.  Now that they are adults they have mainatained them in their own homes much higher up, one of them now has some of those icons framed and in her own  icon corner today.

Thomas
Your brother in Christ ,
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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #62 on: March 13, 2008, 11:01:26 AM »
The icons on the bottom are for my kids.



That is great!

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #63 on: March 13, 2008, 12:14:35 PM »
Here's my little corner.  I took this pic w/ my cell phone.
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Offline Cassiel

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2008, 12:21:42 PM »
I really like the little corner table.  I just have a little corner shelf with a square bedside table beneath it.  The drawers are convenient for storage but its squareness impedes access to the icons somewhat. 

Which icons would you all consider indispensible?  My first two were of the Theotokos and of Christ, and I now have one of my patron saint (but I keep her in the kitchen - I'm there a lot, and it's Saint Anna, so being as I lost my own mother recently it's nice to have a motherly presence in the kitchen where it feels like a mom belongs).  I also printed out a photograph of St. John of San Francisco (the smiling one - he was the first Orthodox saint I fell in love with).  I think I should get St. John the Forerunner and I also am drawn to St. Herman of Alaska.  I'm still only a catechumen, though, so the number is growing slowly.
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Offline Bono Vox

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2008, 01:00:44 PM »
Here's my little corner.  I took this pic w/ my cell phone.

Did you and Nacho blow off the dust that has accumulated on it over the past year?  :D

Just teasing ya!
Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!

Offline TinaG

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #66 on: March 13, 2008, 01:08:54 PM »

I now have one of my patron saint (but I keep her in the kitchen - I'm there a lot, and it's Saint Anna, so being as I lost my own mother recently it's nice to have a motherly presence in the kitchen where it feels like a mom belongs). 

That's a very nice thing to do!  I feel the same way about St. Anna, but more as an intercessor for mothers and their children.  I think she is a real comfort to me at least.

I'd go slow on the icon collecting until you have a clear idea of what saints speak to you.  It's easy to want to have one of everything, but as someone else observed, your icon corner becomes too cluttered and you lose focus rather than gain it.  You will also find that most converts have an extra set of icons, usually the smaller size, that they acquired as catechumens, and that wind up in storage somewhere.  They later upgraded to bigger sizes (often when they felt more comfortable with icons as  a whole) or got hand written icons and their first icons are shelved.  It's a nice gesture to pass on those first icons to the newly chrismated  (no selling them on Ebay or at your church bookstore since they have probably been blessed and that would be simony), 
On the spiritual path somewhere between the Simpsons and St. Theophan the Recluse, but I still can't see the Springfield city limits sign yet.

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #67 on: March 13, 2008, 01:57:47 PM »
(no selling them on Ebay or at your church bookstore since they have probably been blessed and that would be simony), 

Forgive me, but that seems a bit of a stretch from Webster, in which simony is defined as "the buying or selling of a church office" (i.e. episcopal authority).  Does Orthodoxy really prohibit the sale of blessed objects?  ???  If so, I guess I'd better never sell my house.

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #68 on: March 13, 2008, 02:24:36 PM »
Forgive me, but that seems a bit of a stretch from Webster, in which simony is defined as "the buying or selling of a church office" (i.e. episcopal authority).  Does Orthodoxy really prohibit the sale of blessed objects?  ???  If so, I guess I'd better never sell my house.

I certainly see what you mean by the house, but I'm going by what my first priest told me and it seemed to make sense at the time - giving away was fine, but selling was not.  Anyone out there - is the selling of blessed icons truly simony and where do you draw the line?
On the spiritual path somewhere between the Simpsons and St. Theophan the Recluse, but I still can't see the Springfield city limits sign yet.

Offline Joseph-James

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #69 on: March 13, 2008, 06:37:12 PM »
Photos of deceased family members that are especially beloved can also be an important addition to a prayer corner. When I pray before the various icons there, I also pray for and to some special loved ones. It's a two-way street, you know, and a way to ease grief at the loss of a parent, etc. by continuing the connection.

Our corner also includes pussy-willows and palm fronds from the last Pascha.
Jim

Offline Dyhn

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #70 on: July 07, 2011, 09:21:40 AM »
I am trying not to begin a new thread on a regular topic, i hope that's okay. I thought I'd resurrect this one to make my comment.

I have just put up a few icons in the corner of my room, nothing elaborate, plain white frames, three in total. I still don't feel entirely comfortable with having an icon corner but i do like to sit and ponder the images during times of reflection, it does help focus my thoughts.

Some of the snaps of icon corners posted above, are lovely.

Has anyone else originating from a protestant faith found this particularly difficult?

~ Dyhn

Offline Stepan

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #71 on: December 30, 2011, 12:16:41 PM »
we received icons of our patron saints when were Chrismated and my wife and I have been discussing setting up a prayer corner. I was thinking in the corner o our dining room but my wife wants to place it in the living room right over the fireplace mantel which is the most prominent wall in our house.

Does the height really matter & would this be too high? I had thought his would be good since we could use the mantel to place a standing vigil lamp on as well as prayer books and bible.

Offline HouseOfGod

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #72 on: June 12, 2012, 11:07:51 PM »
I really like your home icon corner.  It doesn't look crowded to me.  I think the icon stands (?) with votives really make it.   Where'd you come by those if you don't mind my asking?

Thanks!  It feels crowded mostly because of the space surrounding it.

As for the icon frames, I made those after seeing one for sale on the internet a few years ago.  I can't seem to locate it now, but it was an Orthodox site that sold stands and whatnot in addition to icons.  The hardest part was getting the onion dome looking right but after fiddling with a compass and graph paper for about an hour I figured out a way to make it symmetrical without making the process too complicated.  They're both made of pine stained with a dark cherry finish.
Wow, you made those? Incredible. :) They're quite beautiful.
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Prayer Corner Suggestions
« Reply #73 on: June 13, 2012, 12:21:51 AM »
Has anyone else originating from a protestant faith found this particularly difficult?

Not Protestant, other than cultural affiliation, but I did struggle with it for a time.  I felt that the prohibition on graven images/idols was pretty clear-cut and saw that the other two Abrahamic faiths largely follow this.

Among other things, St. John of Damascus' treatises, On the Divine Images helped me understand why iconography is acceptable and an appropriate form of worship. 
Reading the treatises simultaneously cemented my disdain for visually representing God the Father. It flies in the face of St. John's arguments (and those accepted by the Church). [Different subject though, not intended to derail].

Back to suggestions, along with many converts, I was pretty deliberate about my selections (as an affordable variety is available).  People can make fun of that all they want, but finding images that a. were not theologically iffy and b. resonated with me, was an important step towards incorporating them.
North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).