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Icons in the bathroom


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#1 Algernon

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:59 AM

I understand that icons are not supposed to be displayed in the bathroom, but I don't understand why not. Can someone please explain it to me?

 

Thanks,

A



#2 Olga

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 11:04 AM

Algernon, the word bathroom has a variety of meanings, depending on the country. Please elaborate. :)



#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 11:52 AM

Indeed - it's meaning in England means a room where one showers or has a bath. But then icons are still not appropriate: try a few prints of Degas's pastel drawings instead.



#4 Lakis Papas

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 12:11 PM

Do you keep photographs of loved ones in your bathroom?

 

I have never seen any kind of family photographs in bathrooms. 



#5 Loucas

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 01:31 PM

The decree at the counsel did not state any particular rooms as ok or not. That icons are to be displayed in homes and work places and on the road sides. I don't see icons now days in work places or roadsides. The purpose is prayer and contemplation. One normally will set a private area aside and create a table or Icon stand or wall. Remember Christ told us to go into a closet and close the door and pray in secret/private. SO, to Lakis point, we don't go into the bathroom/watercloset or whatever you want to call the room for prayer and contemplation. On the other hand, having an Icon displayed in every room in the house so we are always reminded of who we are can help to avoid stumbling blocks in our day by day activities, and still have a special place set aside for prayer .



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 04:34 PM

Re icons in work places: these were commonly seen in workplaces (eg banks) in Greece when I used to go there a lot, and I have seen them in work places in Russia though not so commonly. I had icons on a shelf in my office and no one ever complained.



#7 Loucas

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 05:27 PM

yes, my reference was the ecumenical counsel and not to offer an innovation to tradition but to suggest that icons are for prayer, contemplation and veneration and to view them helps us to stay on track. So one will most likely not go into the Kitchen, bathroom etc. to pray, but having a small icon there to keep oneself in touch with our faith, may...or may not be accepted.



#8 Algernon

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 05:46 PM

Do you keep photographs of loved ones in your bathroom?

 

I have never seen any kind of family photographs in bathrooms. 

 

No. But neither do I keep photos of loved ones in my car. Or my kitchen, or dining room, or garage, etc....

As Loucas says above, we ought to have "an Icon displayed in every room in the house so we are always reminded of who we are," and to help us "avoid stumbling blocks in our day by day activities." So why not the bathroom/restroom/WC/lavatory/loo?



#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:49 PM

Re post #7, there ought to be an icon in the kitchen. Many Orthodox homes I have been in over the years and monasteries I have visited (and the one here in Essex) have an icon of St Euphrosynos the Cook in the kitchen.



#10 Algernon

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 10:11 PM

Re post #7, there ought to be an icon in the kitchen. Many Orthodox homes I have been in over the years and monasteries I have visited (and the one here in Essex) have an icon of St Euphrosynos the Cook in the kitchen.

My point was that I have icons in nearly every corner of my house, including places where I don't have photos of family members or other loved ones. So why should I not have icons in the bathroom/restroom/WC/lavatory/loo?

 
Thank you.


#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 10:21 PM

Do you know of any precedents for this? And which icons do you suppose might be appropriate?



#12 Algernon

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 02:01 AM

Do you know of any precedents for this? And which icons do you suppose might be appropriate?

A precedent for what? Having icons in every room? Yes, I do. What I don't know of is anyone with icons in the bathroom, and I have yet to learn why that is.

I don't know of any particular icon that would be specifically appropriate to the bathroom (like St Euphrosynos for the kitchen or the Holy Trinity/Hospitality of Abram for the dining room). But why not an icon of Christ? Isn't that appropriate anywhere?



#13 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 01:17 PM

I meant icons in the bathroom. I would have thought that the reason for not putting any there was clear. I recall that when I was with my late spiritual father, Bishop Irenaeos, on going to the bathroom, he removed his encolpion which I had to hold.



#14 Loucas

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 09:13 PM

I have also seen the specific icons as mentioned above. The point I was making, and I believe Algernon was as well is, Icons as we all know, give us a view of the Holy, Agios, that's why we venerate them. They help us, at least they help ME, to keep my mind on, again the HOLY. I think any icon would be appropriate in the bathroom, maybe your patron saint. I have an Angel, I call it my Guardian Angel icon on the hallway wall entering my bedroom. The icon does not have to be a saint of cooking in the kitchen etc., just an icon to catch you if the Logosmie or temptations are creeping into your mind as you move through the house. Then you see the Holy on the bathroom wall as you go in there, and it helps you cast off the temptation and direct your mind accordingly. My humble opinion.



#15 Angie

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 10:15 PM

The reason is they are holy and blessed.  I know we are not allowed to have icons in the bathroom, out of respect.  Its in appropriate and very disrespectful.

 

An icon is clean, blessed and must stay that way.  The toilet is no place for an icon,  any icon, you can ask your priest, and he will say the same thing.

 

There is nothing wrong, and I would actually encourage you to have icons in your home, but not the toilet. 


Edited by Angie, 16 March 2016 - 10:16 PM.


#16 Algernon

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 12:21 PM

The reason is they are holy and blessed.  I know we are not allowed to have icons in the bathroom, out of respect.  Its in appropriate and very disrespectful.

 

An icon is clean, blessed and must stay that way.  The toilet is no place for an icon,  any icon, you can ask your priest, and he will say the same thing.

 

There is nothing wrong, and I would actually encourage you to have icons in your home, but not the toilet. 

I think I understand your objection because of the bodily functions that take place in the lavatory. However, though they may be unpleasant, there is nothing sinful about them, is there? Far more sinful activities take place--or potentially could take place--in every other room in the house where there are, or should be, icons. So I still don't get why it's objectionable to have icons in the bathroom.

 

Pardon my coarseness, but, while we're on the topic, is it wrong to read the Bible or another holy book while one is sitting on the toilet? I'm not trying to offend anyone with this question; I'd really like to know.

 

Thanks

A



#17 Loucas

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 12:56 PM

Seems the objections are personally based instead of based on,,stumbling block or sinfulness or unfaithfulness or scripture or tradition or....., just like someone saying getting a tattoo is against Christianity or other personal gripes. I have stated why I feel it is not an issue, and the Proverb reading today states not to rely on your own faith, hang the commandments around your neck , write them on your heart,,so I want to see the Holy Icon in every room and not rely on my faith but be continuously reminded, reminded, reminded. And here I go, YES, actually I don't have a Bible in the bathroom, however, I have and do read lives of Saints or Hymns ect. sometimes while using the toilet. Please, this is Orthodoxy, the true living God and that same God, when here on Earth rebuked the Priests for quoting the law letter for letter but not living as God's own. Each will do as they see fit, I assure you I will always find a way to remind myself of what I believe, unlike others, temptation and the passions attack me, and I will use all the Church has given me to fight back.



#18 Olga

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 01:58 PM

I think I understand your objection because of the bodily functions that take place in the lavatory. However, though they may be unpleasant, there is nothing sinful about them, is there? Far more sinful activities take place--or potentially could take place--in every other room in the house where there are, or should be, icons. So I still don't get why it's objectionable to have icons in the bathroom.

 

The fact that bishops remove their panagias before entering the toilet should be quite enough evidence that hanging an icon in that room is not a good idea. Priests of traditions where a pectoral cross is worn also remove them before entering.

 

 

Pardon my coarseness, but, while we're on the topic, is it wrong to read the Bible or another holy book while one is sitting on the toilet? I'm not trying to offend anyone with this question; I'd really like to know.

 

Your questions are straying too close to the line of provocation. If you'd really like to know the answer to this question, please speak to your priest about it. He is in the best position to guide you.



#19 Algernon

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 05:08 PM

The fact that bishops remove their panagias before entering the toilet should be quite enough evidence that hanging an icon in that room is not a good idea. Priests of traditions where a pectoral cross is worn also remove them before entering.

It may be evidence that people object to having icons in the restroom. I already knew this. I'm trying to find out why.

Or perhaps there is a more practical reason for not wanting jewels and precious metal dangling from one's neck while using the toilet. 

 

Your questions are straying too close to the line of provocation. If you'd really like to know the answer to this question, please speak to your priest about it. He is in the best position to guide you.

Olga, I'm afraid you'll just have to believe me when I say I'm not trying to offend anyone. I don't think there is anything inappropriate about my questions. I did ask my priest and his answer was something like "some people are okay with it, some people think it's anathema."



#20 Lakis Papas

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 06:16 PM

The Church sanctifies the world. But there are things that are not capable to accept the blessing of the Church. For example, water becomes Holy Water, yet garbage are not capable to become Holy.

Remember:Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Let me emphasize, there is a reason for not putting Holy Icon in inappropriate places.

Fpr personall reasons only, you can carry a small icpn with you when you go to bathroom and take it with you as ypu leave the bathroom and put it in a honorable place.




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