Icon corner

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Icon corner

The icon corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. (Acts 2:46, Acts 20:7-12, 1 Corinthians 16:19, etc.) This tradition of the “House Church” continues to this day in Eastern Christianity. The home is considered to be a microcosm of the Church. The parents (both the husband and the wife) are the “clergy” of the house church, and the children are the “laity”. The wedding ceremony (“crowning”) is analogous to Ordination, and the house is blessed with a rite that is based upon the Consecration of a Church. Once a year, the priest will come to bless the house with Theophany Water.

An Orthodox Christian is expected to pray constantly. According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, “In Orthodox spirituality, there is no separation between liturgy and private devotion”. Thus the house, just like the Temple (church building), is considered to be a consecrated place, and the center of worship in the house is the icon corner.

An icon corner is normally oriented to face east. It is often located in a corner to eliminate worldly distractions and allow prayer to be more concentrated. Here is where the icons that the family owns should be located, normally including at least icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and the Patron Saint(s) of the family. An oil lamp normally hangs in front of the icons. The careful trimming of the lamp to keep it burning at all times is interpreted as symbolic of the attentive daily care faithful Christians should take over their souls. Relics of saints (if the family possesses any) and a Gospel Book and a blessing cross would be kept there, as well as incense, holy water, palms and pussywillow from Palm Sunday, candles from Pascha (Easter), and other sacred items, as well as a personal Commemoration Book (containing the names of family and loved ones, both living and departed, to be remembered in prayer).

Ideally, the icon corner is located so that it is visible when one first enters the house from the main entrance. Traditionally, when first entering the house, an Orthodox Christian would venerate the icons before greeting the members of the house.

A traditional Orthodox family will gather together every day for morning and evening prayers. Sometimes, at the end of the prayers, the head of the household will take the hand censer and cense the icons and all of the members of the household.

Often, in addition to the icon corner, a family will hang a small “portal icon” (usually of the Virgin and Christ Child) by the door, which is venerated by family and guests whenever going in or out of the house.

Source: Wikipedia

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Die Sondag van die Ortodoksie ╰⊰¸¸. •¨* Afrikaans

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Die Sondag van die Ortodoksie

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BEDEHUIS BETHANIË

Verlede Sondag het ons die Sondag van die Sege van die Ortodoksie gevier. Hier is ‘n uittreksel uit ons bisdomlike blad oor dié fees.

Vandag, op die eerste Sondag van die Groot Vastyd, gedenk ons die oorwinning van die Ortodoksie oor die kettery van die ikonoklasme. In die agste eeu is die Kerk uitmekaar geskeur deur hulle wat beswaar gemaak het teen die verering van die ikone, en in 787 het die Tweede Konsilie van Nicea daarop gereageer deur die rol van ikone in die Kerk te bevestig en te verklaar dat “Wanneer hierdie voorstellings beskou word, dit hulle wat daarna kyk hulle prototipe sal laat gedenk en liefhê .” Die Konsilie het onderskei tussen aanbidding, wat God alleen toekom, en die verering wat ons aan ikone gee, en verklaar dat wanneer ons ‘n ikoon vereer, ons eintlik die werklikheid vereer wat dit verteenwoordig.

Selfs na die Konsilie het die ikonoklasme voortgeduur totdat die keisering Theodora in 844 die Ortodoksie opnuut gevestig het met ‘n plegtige prosessie en verering van die ikone op die eerste Sondag van die Vastyd. Dit was die begin van vandag se fees en vier die sege van die ware leer oor kettery.

Die sege van die Ortodoksie wat ons vandag vier, staan in volledige samehang met die vroeëre stryd vir die Ortodokse geloof, want wat op die spel was, was nie bloot die geldigheid van die verering van die ikone nie, maar juis die werklikheid van die Vleeswording van Christus, wat die Kerk in vroeëre eeue geworstel het om te bely. Omdat God in Christus volledig mens geword het, is die stoflike self geheillig en het dit ‘n geskikte medium geword om Sy beeltenis weer te gee. Soos Sint Johannes van Damaskus geskryf het: “As ‘n mens eers verstaan dat die Onliggaamlike vir jou mens geword het, is dit vanselfsprekend dat jy Sy menslike beeld kan weergee.”

Onomskryfbare Meester, in u goddelike natuur, en in die laaste tye vlees geword, het dit U behaag om omskryfbaar te word; want deur vlees aan te neem, het U ook al die eienskappe daarvan aangeneem. Wanneer ons daarom die vorm van u gelykenis weergee, gee ons dit ‘n relatiewe verering en word ons verhef tot liefde vir U, en in die navolging van die tradisies van die apostels, verkry ons daaruit die genade van heling.

Uit die Vespers vir die Sondag van die Ortodoksie

Uittreksel uit Evangelion. ‘n Bulletin van die Ortodoks-Christelike Geloof, 4 Maart 2012.