“As the Prophets beheld, as the Apostles have taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers have dogmatized, as the Universe has agreed, as Grace has shown forth, as Truth has revealed, as falsehood has been dissolved, as Wisdom has presented, as Christ has awarded, let us declare, let us assert, let us preach in like manner Christ our true God and honor His Saints in words, in writings, in thoughts, in deeds, in churches, in holy icons — worshiping Him as God and Lord and honoring them as His true servants of the master of all, and offering to them due veneration.”
“This is the Faith of the Apostles! This is the Faith of the Fathers! This is the Faith of the Orthodox! This is the Faith, which has established the Universe!”
Thanks to the determination of the Church and sacrifices of right-believing Christians to keep the holy icons we are still venerating them today. With the restoration of the icons in 843 as a result of the 7th Ecumenical Council called by St. Theodora, the iconoclasts were vanquished. Every year on the first Sunday of Great Lent we commemorate this glorious event by reading the confession of faith and processing with our icons. In cathedrals the anathemas are read by the bishop or metropolitan.
Do we take care to venerate the icons in our home? Do we teach our children to venerate them? Do we care for them and not keep them in dirty places? Do we display them fearlessly? We in the US are living in a time and place where we need not fear prison, fines, mutilation or death for displaying the holy icons. These penalties are not merely historical facts, but harsh realities for Orthodox Christians living in other parts of the world even today, particularly places under Muslim or communist rule. Let us remember our brave and suffering Orthodox brothers and sisters, and not take our precious icons for granted.
O Lord save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Thy cross preserve Thy habitation.
There is a post I wrote five years ago on icons in the home. (It shows what our icon corners looked like then; now we’re renting and can’t put holes in the walls so our icons are largely leaning on shelves and dressers.)