Slideshow image

If you're new to Orthodoxy or just trying to start your icon corner, the best advice is to go simple. A simple shelf or a table with an icon of Christ and a cross is a great start. Next, try adding an icon of the Mother of God. If you have a wall facing the East for your icon corner, great! We look to the East because of the Scriptural references throughout the Old and New Testament of the Lord coming from the East - it's our way of keeping our eyes focused. The veil and mercy seat in Moses' tent, Judah's camps, Ezekiel's vision of the gate the Lord would enter, and the Gate of the Lord in the temple of Solomon all faced east. 

As time goes on, add other icons that help you spiritually - incorporate your patron saint and the patron saints of those in your family, look to saints who you feel drawn to, add the icons of the feasts (we have a spot on our wall where we switch out the icon for each of the feasts of the Church year.) 

You'll also want to keep your prayer book here to recite the prayers and a Bible for the daily readings. Many people keep their baptismal and wedding candles and wedding crowns here and a reminder of the Mysteries. A simple candle to light during prayers and a censor for incense are nice to have as well.

Bring the holy items you get at church as well. Keep your holy water from Epiphany, palm branches from Palm Sunday, bay leaves from Holy Week, your rope and 12 knots from Holy Thursday, and flowers from the bier of Christ here. It's also good practice to write down your commemorative lists, the lists of people you pray for. We have a list of our family members, godparents, godchildren, and friends to remember in prayer. I also keep those I have served with over the years. You should also have a list of those who have fallen asleep in the Lord to remember. 

We as Orthodox Christians pray morning and evening prayers. These are found in any prayer book and are included in the red Antiochian service book we use at the parish. If you don't have a prayer book, you can always go online for them at sites like the Orthodox Prayers page on the Antiochian Archdiocese site or Liturgy.io, which gives you the updated prayers for the time of the day with all of the hymns for the saint or feast of the day.

Fr. George also recommends that if you cannot attend Divine Liturgy, join the livestream and watch from your icon corner while standing and praying along. 

The important thing about your icon corner, and your daily prayer rule, is to start somewhere.