Icon corner

http://catechism-orthodox-christianity.blogspot.com

CATECHISM – ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

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

http://orthodox-heart.blogspot.com

http://africaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AFRICA OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX HEART

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Die Sondag van die Ortodoksie

https://afrikaansortodoks.wordpress.com

https://afrikaansortodoks.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/die-sondag-van-die-ortodoksie/

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.

Faith and miracles – Blessed Elder Joel Yannakopoulos of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

http://ex2x2lettersfromgreece.wordpress.com

EX 2X2 LETTERS FROM GREECE

Faith and miracles

Blessed Elder Joel Yannakopoulos

of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

Once, when Fr. Joel was traveling on a train, a rumor spread at one provincial station that a miracle had occurred in the church in the neighboring village—an icon was weeping! All of the passengers immediately left the train and rushed to see the miracle—everyone, that is, except Fr. Joel, who continued reading his book.

When the passengers returned, touched, the man sitting right across from Fr. Joel couldn’t hold back his indignation at the priest’s calmness and said, “Father, I see you don’t believe!”

“I believe,” Fr. Joel replied, “and therefore I’m not surprised by miracles. But you don’t believe, and so you ran to see the miracle and believe, didn’t you? So tell me—do you believe now?”

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/115308.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994), the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old & the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

http://easternorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com

EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

NZ-38220

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Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994)

the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old

& the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

From the age of eleven [says Saint Paisios], I would read the lives of the Saints, I would fast and keep vigil. My older brother would take the books and hide them, but that didn’t stop me. I would just go into the forest and keep reading there.

Later, when I was fifteen, a friend of my brother named Costas told my brother, “I’ll make him willingly give up all this nonesense.” He came and explained to me Darwin’s theory of evolution. I was shaken by this, and I said, “I’ll go and pray, and, if Christ is God, He’ll appear to me so that I’ll believe. I’ll see a shadow, hear a voice—He will show me a sign.” That’s all I could come up with at the time.

So, I went and began to pray and make prostrations for hours; but nothing happened. Eventually I stopped in a state of exhaustion. Then something Costas had said came to mind: “I accept that Christ is an important man,” he had told me, “righteous and virtuous, Who was hated out of envy for His virtue and condemned by His countrymen.” I thought to myself, “since that’s how Christ was, even if He was only a man, He deserves my love, obedience, and self-sacrifice. I don’t want paradise; I don’t want anything. It is worth making every sacrifice for the sake of His holiness and kindness.”

God was waiting to see how I would deal with this temptation. After this, Christ Himself appeared to me in a great light. He was visible from the waist up. He looked at me with tremendous love and said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, even if he dies, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25). He was holding the Gospel in His left hand, open to the page where the same words were written.

With this event, the uncertainties that had troubled my soul were overcome, and in divine grace I came to know Christ as true God and Savior of the world. I was convinced of the truth of the God-man, not by men or books, but by the very Lord Himself, who revealed Himself to me even at this young age. Firmly established in faith, I thought to myself, “Come back now, Costas, if you want, and we’ll have a talk.”

Source:

http://saintpaisios.wordpress.com

SAINT PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS