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Making Sun-catcher Icons for the Triumph of Orthodoxy

A very long time ago, in the history of the early Church, there were two groups of people;

the Iconophiles, who loved their holy icons and often used them in their worship of God, and

the Iconoclasts who thought that icons were evil idols and that they should be eliminated completely from all homes and churches to keep those who venerate them from the sin of idolatry.

These groups argued among themselves so much that the Patriarch of Constantinople asked the Empress Irene to call an emergency meeting of all the Bishops of the Church, the Seventh Ecumenical Council, held in Nicea, where they would settle the matter once and for all and restore peace to the Church. All the bishops of the Church were invited. Since Pope Hadrian could not attend the council, he decided to send a letter, stating that the Church viewed articles such as icons simply as objects of veneration and honor, but not of real worship. Worship is reserved for God alone, he said, and any affection or veneration given to an icon is to be understood to be transferred to the person who is depicted. The council overwhelmingly agreed and issued a proclamation that all the icons were to be restored to their rightful place in the Churches and homes and no one was to ever question whether the use of them was idolatry again.

The first Sunday of the Great Fast is known as the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy where we in the Eastern Church celebrate the anniversary of the triumphant procession of all the holy icons that were brought back into the church of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople in the year 843 AD. Do you use icons in your home to help you focus during prayers or to remind you of your patron saints? Today would be a wonderful day to have a procession with them and display and decorate them proudly!


Suncatcher Icons

Here is a simple and fun craft you can do to make an icon. These icons can be used as suncatchers to help you remember that the light of Christ shines through them to YOU! You will need:

A set of markers

A lid from a plastic “clam shell” container,

... the kind that you get when you buy berries at the grocery store or take-out from a restaurant

{ Note: Be sure that it is #6 plastic. (You can see a mark on it that looks like a little triangle with a number 6 inside)}

Your favorite icon for tracing

7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Cut the lid off of the clamshell container. The raised edge makes a perfect picture frame, so you can opt to leave it, or cut it away, as you like.

Using a black marker, place the plastic lid on top of your favorite icon and trace the image.

Turn the plastic tray over, and color the image according to the icon’s specifications.

Punch a hole in the top of the plastic so that you can hang your icon when its finished.

6. Place your plastic icon onto a baking tray and place it into the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes and watch it shrink! It will curl up a lot and look like it might not flatten out all the way at first, but be patient! It will!

Place a loop of yarn or ribbon through the hole in your tiny icon suncatcher and hang it up in a sunny window to enjoy!

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