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Author Topic: Icon Corners  (Read 4079 times) Average Rating: 0
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Arystarcus
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« on: April 26, 2004, 05:51:53 PM »

Greetings all!

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with setting up an icon corner. I have several icons right now (but am always looking for new additions!) and I would like to set them up in the traditional manner in an icon corner.

How would I go about doing this?   Huh

Is there a specific way one should arrange them? Also, on what wall should they be placed and what direction should the icons be facing?

Any and all info or links you might be able to provide would be very much appreciated.

Thanks a bunch and God bless!

In Christ our Risen Lord,
Aaron
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MsGuided
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2004, 06:08:40 PM »

I've got very few (and very small) icons myself but I'm interested in this question as well, so I did a little googling and didn't come up with much except:

Quote
The holy icons are therefore not just a reminder, but a constant indication that the Saints are watching our progress through this life, praying for us and bidding us on, like those who have run their part in a relay race and have passed the baton on to us. In the homes of the Orthodox it is a traditional and pious custom to set up ‘an icon corner’. This might range from a couple of images fixed to a wall where the family recite their daily prayers, to a considerable item of furniture with folding panels, bearing several icons; Christ, his Mother and the family’s patron saints.


This coming from: http://www.antiochian-orthodox.co.uk/windows_into_heaven.htm

Another site also says to put an icon corner against an eastern-facing wall, but I don't know if this is "mandatory".

Kim
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2004, 06:28:07 PM »

the way I was taught is that one should "face the east" whenever possible while saying prayers.  Thus it would be to put the Icons on an eastward facing corner/wall.  Also I have found that while almost all of my Icons are up on the wall, it also helps to have a small table.  My table has two shelves, the top you can put prayerbooks, the hand-censor, prayerrope etc. and on the second shelf I put my candles, matches, lampada oil, etc.

Joe Zollars
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2004, 07:19:58 PM »

Icon corners, I think, can be done just about any way you want.  For instance, the only place in my room where I could put one up is a) not in a corner and b) facing West.  I'd prefer East, but it's the best I can do, and I don't worry about it.   I don't have all that many "actual"  icons, so I have some prints on the walls for the time being, and the nicer prints I am progressively buying frames for.  I have a table that I have set up similar to an altar (candles, cross, etc.) in front of the wall.  Some of the "actual" icons are on the table, most are respectfully displayed leaning on the front of it, and one is on the Eastern wall.  It's steadily grown in prints; I'd like to get more real icons, though, and start putting nails in my wall and hanging them up, but we'll see (can't put holes in the wall yet).  The important thing is not how you set it up (to an extent, it is an individual thing), but that you do, and you pray there.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2004, 09:08:46 PM »

Here are a few resources I found:

Products for Icon Corners from Christian Decor

An Article on Ukranian Icon Corners by Dr. Alex Roman

An older webpage Serge made on his icon corner

A relevant excerpt from Jim Forest's book, Praying with Icons

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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2004, 10:06:21 PM »

I set up my icon corner to be sort of like a mini Iconostasis mounted on the wall to give the feel of being in church even in my room.  I dedicated my "chapel" to Saint Nektarios (of course!) and recently made a little "side altar" to Saint Kosmas.  Your icons do not have to be anything fancy, most of mine are computer printouts.  My two prized icons were given to me by a friend, one of Saint Nektarios from Aegina and another is a big print of the "Sweetly-kissing" Mother of God icon at Philotheou monastery from the Holy Mountain.   Build something that is conducive to prayer and hang the icons so it is easy to venerate them.
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2004, 10:26:21 PM »

Nektarios,

I believe I remember seeing a photo of your icon corner somewhere...if available, could you repost it?

Also, while on a pilgrimage to Sts. Mary and Martha Monastery I bought a copy of the life of St. Nektarios (pub. by St. Nektarios Press) which came with a small paper icon print.  I added it to my icon corner today.  

Here's a thought...I've never printed an image of an icon to be used for veneration before.  Perhaps you or another member who does this would be willing to do a short writeup of where you found icon jpgs of the necessary size, did you use any special papers etc.  We could do an article on setting up an inexpensive icon corner for students and catechumans.
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MsGuided
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2004, 10:44:25 PM »

I for one can vouch that some of the "prints" that Mor Ephrem is referring to come from St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church bulletins, specifically the Eastern Christian Bulletin Service. They're usually of a very nice quality Wink
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2004, 11:37:31 PM »

as far as i know you can set up an icon corner anyway you like. i mean it should preferably be facing east but its not mandatory. its doesnt have to be a big thing either. i have a few icons set up in a particular corner in my room, just as a place for prayer.....
i mean from what i have read icon corners actually came from pre-christian slavic homes regarding the main corner a room as sacred/spiritual space. that was eventually with the spread of orthodoxy decorated with icons, and became a place where the family would gather in prayer. so some people could view these corners as an ethnic tradition.
But i myself sometimes  think people get a little too wrapped up in having a perfect icon corner with lampadas and incense burns that you miss the real reasons why you have one at all...
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2004, 11:43:23 PM »

As with any "small-O" tradition, it can be carried to extremes, but lampadas and incense can help instill a "still silent" space for prayer amidst bustling modern lives.  It doesn't have to be expensive, if one tries it out, I've seen students and others use paraffind vigil candles found in hispanic markets with stick incense.  Probably not what most of us would use, but you can get vigil lights and incense for less than $5 for those on a very tight budget.  I would say that these externals are definately helpful in my prayer life.
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2004, 11:46:53 PM »

David,
I have changed things a little since this was taken and added the "side altar" on the other side of my room so this isn't up to date but here it is http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/nektarios14/album?.dir=/New+Icon+Corner&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/nektarios14/my_photos

One of the best sources for good sized icons is the OCA's website under the feasts and saints section.  I don't say any special prayers, only the Jesus Prayer printing it and then mounting it on cardboard.  For a little smaller of an icon the schismatic Holy Transfiguration Monastery http://htmadmin.phpwebhosting.com/  has a good selection.  The icon of Elder Joseph in my icon corner is a printed off digital picture of my friend's icon of him that he had painted on the Holy Mountain.  

I'm glad to hear Saint Nektarios is now in your icon corner :-D
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2004, 12:07:05 AM »

Thanks Nektarios!

In reference to Holy Transfiguration Monastery...

I needed a mounted icon print of St. Tamar of Georgia for a friend for a party yesterday(Apr 25).  I called HTM on saturday April 17th and requested three day shipping so that it would have plenty of time to arrive.

I hadn't received it by friday, and called HTM again.  It turns out that there was a server error and my order hadn't been processed yet!  After the representative ascertained that I needed this item in two days(on a sunday no less) he offered to send it next day air with saturday delivery free of charge.  

So on an order of $26.00, they spend $38.00 to ship it to me.  They are schismatic ecclesiastically, but I admit that they have wonderful customer service and produce fine icons and translations.
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2004, 12:20:29 AM »

Why is Holy Transfiguration Monastery schismatic?
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2004, 12:22:47 AM »

oh its HOCNA...never mind
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2004, 12:47:50 AM »

Also HTM produces some very good translations, I simply posted what I did as a warning that some of their stuff may be a little "off."  FWIW ROAC puts out some good translations and books....but that is a whole seperate issue!
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2004, 05:18:30 PM »

My icons.

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Arystarcus
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2004, 07:42:56 PM »

Nice icon corner Bogo!  Cheesy

Now that I have an idea as to how to set one up I can't wait to do so.  Thank you so much everyone for your help!

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2004, 09:52:40 PM »

Also, for anyone that is just starting and doesn't have any icons, I highly reccomend buying a selection of icon cards.  There's a gentleman from Estonia on eBay who is selling an 8 pack of icon cards(with slavonic prayers on the back) for $5.  Alternatively, you can print them out, but that seems a bit odd to me.
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2004, 09:59:20 PM »

I have a good amount of icon prints, and am "low" on actual icons that you could hang on a wall, display on a shelf, etc.  Does anyone have any tips on how to mount these prints or get them mounted by someone inexpensively?  I tried going to Kinko's once and seeing what they could do, but as I recall the prices they cited were, I thought, outrageous for what they offered to do.  I've settled for putting them in frames seasonally, but if I could have them mounted on wood or something so that they are suitable for hanging or otherwise displaying, I would like to do this.
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2004, 11:20:21 PM »

For a few of my paper icons on card type ones that I do not wish to mount, I just display them on the little table I have in my icon corner during thier feastday.  

I know though that monasteries and other icon sources actually make cases and feastday icons for this, does anyone know where I could get one and how much such a thing costs?
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2004, 11:27:02 PM »

Here's one option:

http://www.christiandecor.com/IcSt.html
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2004, 12:20:50 AM »

Personally I have mostly prints off of the OCA website.  I print it in color on cardstock paper (I was given a big pack of it).  Personally, I can't afford to do much else, what with chronic seasonal unemployment (of at least 9 months out of the year), depts, etc.  One thing I was told about such things once is "we must always be in obedience to our circumstances."  

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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2004, 01:25:52 PM »

Mor,

I'd recommend going to a building supply store and buying yourself a sheet of MDF.  It's basically really heavy, thick cardboard - a particle board made of very fine dust.   The stuff actually weighs a ton if you buy a sheet of it. Smiley  If you have access to a table saw, great, but most building supply stores will cut down material to your specific measurements (for a fee, obviously.)  While you could go with more expensive sheeting like birch plywood or something similar, finishing the edges is a pain, and while the plywood has nice properties that'll help it not warp, MDF will not warp either (and is actually more rigid.)

I've mounted several icons for myself and others on the stuff, and the results were pretty good, IMHO.

I'd suggest you print your icons on thick paper (or card stock), and mount them on the MDF with something like rubber cement (or perhaps something stronger... just make sure it won't eat through the paper.)  Afterwards, I'd put several coats of clear, water based varnish (the finish doesn't matter...depends what you like I suppose) over the whole thing (print, all of the exposed MDF surfaces, etc.)

Before mounting the actual icon print onto the board, however, I'd suggest taking some sand paper to the edges.  MDF sands very nicely, and it's actually pretty easy to create nice, rounded edges on a piece of MDF if that's what you want.  I also painted the MDF backings on the icons I mounted with "liquid plastic" paint (red).  MDF is pretty easy to paint, but keep in mind it is basically just super dense card board - so if the paint eats at paper, don't use it on MDF.

Seraphim
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« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2004, 02:52:44 PM »

Wow! thanks for the suggestions Seraphim.  I'll have to try that when I get some money.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2004, 05:54:33 PM »

Interesting, Seraphim.  Many thanks.  I'm usually not one to try this sort of thing, but I'll see how it goes.  I don't have prints from the internet that I want to mount; I have prints that I have purchased--don't know if that makes a difference.
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« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2004, 02:54:16 PM »

Mor,

Quote
Interesting, Seraphim.  Many thanks.  I'm usually not one to try this sort of thing, but I'll see how it goes.  I don't have prints from the internet that I want to mount; I have prints that I have purchased--don't know if that makes a difference.

I wouldn't think it would make a difference.  If anything, depending on the quality of the print, the results might be better.  For the ones I did, they were inexpensive prints done on card stock that I was able to buy for a song.

Seraphim
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