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Author Topic: "Fake" icons  (Read 3418 times) Average Rating: 0
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Specs
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« on: November 18, 2007, 06:28:41 PM »

You know, the ones that aren't actually painted but mass produced or large scale colour copies stuck onto wood. Can they be used? How can they be used? Are they suitable for public veneration or only private use?
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2007, 06:31:27 PM »

I don't see why they couldn't be used.  As long as the image depicted is correct, and one's usage of it (I'm assuming) is correct, then there shouldn't be a problem.  Have it blessed before use if you're unsure. 
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2007, 10:43:35 AM »

All Icons should be blessed before use if at all possible. If an iconographer is utilizing traditional spiritual practices, the Jesus prayer and other appropriate prayers are being said throughout the painting of the icon. As an icon takes approximately 40 hours to paint from start to finish that is a lot of prayers attached to blessing it and the priest's blessing  is the capstone preparing it for service as a window to heaven. Likewise depending on the source of the mounted or print icons, many places like monasteries, often say the Jesus prayer as they mount the icon print.  A printed Icon should be presented to a priest for blessing prior to use if at all possible.

When I paint an icon as a gift, I was taught to start with a trisagion, followed by the prayer to St Luke the patron of iconographers, and follow that with the prayer to the Saint represented on the Icon, and then start the Jesus Prayer. I usually say a Jesus prayer each time my brush touches the board, eventually I am lost in the prayer and the icon is painted, sealed and I say a general Thanksgiving prayer and I give the icon to the person it is intended for.  Other iconographers may have their own prayer rule they use.  This is the one I was taught.

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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007, 12:40:13 PM »

You'll find that most mission parishes have what could be considered mass produced icons (laminated icon prints over wood boards).  The cost of hand written egg tempera or acrylic icons is prohibitively expensive for small parishes and they often have to make do with these less expensive icons.  I've heard stories of several saints (I think it was St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. John Maximovitch) who prayed before paper icons, and there was a well-known laminated board weeping icon (She Who is Quick to Hear) that was kept at the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension (Resaca, Georgia). 
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2007, 02:59:00 PM »

My parish in Athens, actually handed out little mass-produced icons on one - at least - occasion, on Orthodoxy Sunday three years ago. So people who had not brought their own icons to be blessed - like me - had the opportunity to participate  to the ceremony and take a blessed icon back home. This is actually the only icon I have taken with me abroad as well as a couple of laminated business card - sized, paper ones, also given to me in church. I think this very fact shows they are blessed. Still, I stick with the fact that it is not the icon I pray to but the person depicted and as far as mass-produced laminated prints are concerned, they are usually copies of well known and valid icons, so I think there is little margin for an inadequate representation of the persons portrayed.For my part, I know I feel uncomfortable when looking at western - style or Catholic icons because I remember quite a bit of what I was taught about the symbolism of Byzantine Christian iconography which is the opposite of the afore-mentioned style. I think, though, this discomfort of mine has more to do with being brought up as Greek Orthodox in Greece. Back to the original question though, I have seen laminated prints on wood in churches especially on the days of less known saints, where a hand - made icon is not readily available.
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2007, 03:14:49 PM »

The question, while not without merit, overlooks something more fundamental; the icon, or image, of the saint represented.  Imagine a person walking their dog and then pointing at the moon and saying, "Fetch me the moon!"  The dog would confuse the finger for the moon, which is sometimes what we have a tendency to do with icons, or any of the Churches traditions; we overlook the point of them, which is to always point us towards our Heavenly Father.  So, regardless of whether it's a laminated print or an ornate written icon, it's still the same.  I hope I didn't come off as callous or facetious.  Wink

 Gabriel   
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2007, 09:32:24 PM »

Hello,

I have only these "fake" icons. But, they are not fake to me. They are as real as anything and a true Window into Heaven. I couldn't even think about buying even a single hand painted icon - I'm just a poor boy trying to get an education  Wink. So, those icons that are printed and then mounted onto wood are a true gift to allow those less financially affluent to be able to partake of icons. Of course, I get all my icons (as well as all other sacramentals) blessed by a Priest.
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2007, 09:52:37 PM »

There are numerous accounts of how 'mere papaer icons' have served others quite well. One account in Mountain of Silence describes how a paper icon, was accompanied the next day by a visit from St. Michael to thank the monastic who went to the trouble to save the icon.

I know this doesn't make sense, and the folks on this site who know me directly may very well make fun of me since this is so 'typical' of me, but...my parish publishes bulletins that often have a computer printed icon on it. I can never throw them away, because I always feel sorry for the saint or the icon on the papers if they are put in the trash. I got stuck when I fell into a really big trash can once when I thought I saw some of the bulletins thrown away....that was real dignified, let me tell you!  Roll Eyes



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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 12:57:34 AM »

I know this doesn't make sense, and the folks on this site who know me directly may very well make fun of me since this is so 'typical' of me, but...my parish publishes bulletins that often have a computer printed icon on it. I can never throw them away, because I always feel sorry for the saint or the icon on the papers if they are put in the trash. I got stuck when I fell into a really big trash can once when I thought I saw some of the bulletins thrown away....that was real dignified, let me tell you!  Roll Eyes
My priest has actually been on kinduva campaign on this issue the last few weeks, making it a point to instruct us on the proper way to dispose of our church bulletins because of the icons printed on them and the Scripture passages typed inside.  Burn them and compost the ashes.  Recycling them is OK.  Just don't throw them into the trash.
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2007, 01:07:52 AM »

I got stuck when I fell into a really big trash can once when I thought I saw some of the bulletins thrown away

Oh my goodness.  You still reign supreme as the Spiritual Father and Founder of ISLIP.
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2007, 01:09:11 AM »

Oh my goodness.  You still reign supreme as the Spiritual Father and Founder of ISLIP.
Isn't there a sister group known as FALL?
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Fr. George
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2007, 01:11:22 AM »

Isn't there a sister group known as FALL?

Yes, the FOundation for the Application of Liturgy in Life.  I was the founder of that one.

Once upon a time (in our common seminary days) ISLIP and FALL were a formidable tandem.
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2007, 03:38:55 AM »

In this very thread there is a picture of a mass-produced icon.  Look at Gabriel's picture below his screen name in the thread.  That is a picture of an icon from Sofrino.  Sofrino icons are mass-produced and affordable.  Sofrino is an Orthodox company outside of Moscow.   If you surveyed people on this board I would imaging the majority of us have re-produced icons.  And by re-produced I don't mean hand painted, rather a printed/pressed/etc... version of the original fixed to a sturdy back, usually consisting of some sort of wood or other durable material.   So Specs, mass-produced icons are used and you do get them blessed.
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2007, 10:49:53 AM »

In my parish, we try to collect the Printed icons, bulletin covers, etc. we then Laminate them and give them as gifts to our children, new converts, etc on namesdays, gifts from St Nicholas on St Nicholas Day, and  so forth.  The joy that a small child has when they get one of these laminated icons is wonderful to behold.  They bring them to Church ---look at them, talk to them, reverently kiss them during the Liturgy. They take them home put them over their bed or on their chest of drawer--- they pray to them , talk to them like friends, and reverence them exuding love as they bring it to you to kiss and reverence. What a blessing these "fake" icons  are in our lives.

Thomas
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2007, 11:19:10 AM »

In my parish, we try to collect the Printed icons, bulletin covers, etc. we then Laminate them and give them as gifts to our children, new converts, etc on namesdays, gifts from St Nicholas on St Nicholas Day, and  so forth.
What a great idea!
All the children in one of my Godchildren's Sunday School class had to each make an Icon for The Sunday of Orthodoxy by pasting a paper Icon onto a board which they then carried in the procession at Liturgy. It was beautiful!
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Specs
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2007, 12:03:18 PM »

Thank you all for your answers. It put my mind at ease again.
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