"The whole trouble is that -- literally -- we do not know what is good for us; and what makes the trouble still worse is that we think we do. We have our own plans for our happiness, and too often we merely regard God as somebody who will help us to accomplish them. The true state of affairs is just the opposite. God has His plans for our happiness, and He is waiting for us to help Him to accomplish them. And let us be quite clear about it: We cannot improve on God's plans." This Tremendous Lover, M. Eugene Boylan, O.C.R.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Creating an icon corner in your home

As we enter Great Lent, it is the perfect opportunity to re-focus our families around prayer. St. John Chrysostom called the home “the domestic church.” One way your home can reflect this is with an icon corner. Typically, a family will choose a corner which faces east. The family can collect their sacred objects there. The icons of Christ and the Theotokos, the holy cross, and icons of the patron saints of each family member are most common, though many people also include holy water or oil, relics, and other blessed items. Pray with your family at the icon corner each day. If possible, read Bible stories, light candles for the sick, and bring flowers to place before the icons together there.

Our family prayer space (at the old house)

The icon corner should be a place to come for prayer and reflection. You may choose to have an icon corner in your own room, or an icon corner for your children set up near the floor for their bedtime prayers. This encourages the family to grow closer to God, and builds family unity. The icons do not have to be elaborate or expensive. The intention is to bring the family together, and to be more focused on our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father.

Prayer space in the girls' room

If you need a quick, easy way to create additional icons, here are the instructions!

First, purchase an inexpensive, plain wooden plaque. Something like this is perfect.

Second, spray paint the edges with gold spray paint and allow this to dry thoroughly.

Next, print off the icon that you wish to use. You can find these online or I use old bulletin covers. Trim the icon to fit the plaque perfectly.

Finally, take Mod Podge and coat the wooden plaque. Apply the icon on top, then apply another coat on top of the icon. Allow to dry, and you're done!

The Prodigal Son Icon...all finished!

I have made icons this way on many occasions with the Sunday school classes at church. The two icons bottom/center in the girls' room pictured above were made this way. It is simple and they turn out great!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful icon corners, Jocelyn! I teach at a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium (a Montessori approach to catechesis) and last year, our 9-12 year olds learned about icons and the significance of the colors used in them. They decided to create a "beautiful corner" in the room, filled with icons! I haven't created one in our home yet but each of the kids have their patron saint icons in their rooms.