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Prayer Corner Suggestions

Ian Lazarus

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, 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.
 

Heorhij

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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]
 

Serge

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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.
 

Fr. George

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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).
 

Serge

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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.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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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.
 

samkim

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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?
 

Innocent_T

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samkim said:
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.
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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Innocent_T said:
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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Innocent_T said:
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.
 

Innocent_T

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Orthodox11 said:
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.
 

TinaG

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Jibrail Almuhajir said:
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!)
 

Thomas

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Innocent_T said:
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
 

chris

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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.
 

Innocent_T

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FrChris said:
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?
 

chris

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Innocent_T said:
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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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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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.
 

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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".
 

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Carpatho Russian said:
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!
 

ozgeorge

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knotquiteawake said:
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
 

Andrew21091

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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.

 

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Andrew21091 said:
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.
 

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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
 

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Psalti Boy said:
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
 

Schultz

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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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TinaG said:
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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Might this be the site?

http://www.christiandecor.com/IcSt.html
 
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