Measured icons

Mortal life is not only a great happiness in itself but also a great miracle. A delivery of a long-awaited child, being together with your ñlose friends and relatives does not simply change your life but also makes your heart beat faster at the idea that you haven’t done enough to protect them from diseases and the evils of the world.

What is it to be done to save the nearest and dearest from all the terrible dangers? From a cruel reality which is so unpredictable that even the whole society doesn’t dare to stand against it? Your kind and considerate hopes may be reflected in an image which is inspired by divine power and protects your close person from misfortunes and troubles. A measured icon is the very image which is capable of performing miracles.

Since olden days every orthodox Christian had a special image to be worshipped. It was a measured icon of a holy man whose name was given to a person when adopting Christianity. That icon goes under such a name thanks to an old tradition of painting a patron saint on a board whose size was identical to the size of a newborn child. A holy man whose name was given to a child was painted on the icon in full length. A coincidence of the child’s height and the size of an icon was considered to have a special meaning. A measured icon is like a real person: it is unique and inimitable. People tried to make a kind of a close connection between the icon and the child so the patron saint was painted on a board of a child’s size. A measured icon or a birth icon was the first one of a newborn child who was only stepping into his mortal life. It was a tradition to present such an icon to a newborn when adopting Christianity.

A measured icon was thought to be the most considerate expression of love, care and happiness. That icon gave a child the protection of a patron saint. If you pray to that icon you can feel solicitude, love and hope.

No wonder that a tradition to present a measured icon to a person has survived till our days. You can hardly find a more appropriate gift for a child on such a great day of adopting Christianity. But it doesn’t mean that a measured icon can be given only in your childhood. We are all children to God so it is never too late to get that kind of icon. No matter where the owner of that icon is, it always protects him. A person praying for help and advice with all his heart, receives an invisible care and guarding.

Мерная икона в домеWhere is it better to place a measured icon at home? How to fit it into the interior of the house? Previously, the center of a peasant’s cenacle decoration was called the red corner or the God’s corner with icons. This room was called Gornitsa. The name Gornitsa originates from a word related to «gora» (a mountain) which means a high-standing place. In other words, people put their icons onto the most beautiful place closest to the heaven.

So, you should try your best to find some suitable room for a private conversation with God. If it is necessary, you may even have to bring some changings into your house construction but it is certainly worth doing. There is a tradition to put an icon on a small beautiful napkin or on pelena as it is usually called. It may be ornamented with some embroidery, lace or frill.

For a child it is better to place a measured icon so that it could always be within his sight as children usually pray to God in their own particular, childish way. For a grown-up it is necessary to put an icon in such a place where he can be with God privately for his praying. Bedroom is the best room for that purpose.

In any case should you remember to pay attention to some things which surround your icon. It is not allowed to put an icon side by side with any kind of statuettes. It is also awkward to see an icon near a TV set. According to the tradition, which does not allow you to build your house higher than a local church, you should follow one more rule: don’t put any sorts of decorations, such as pictures, photos, clocks, above your icon. All of these should be placed somewhere else at a distance from a holy image.