||On the South Side of the Church, just beside the altar
rails, there is space reserved for private Prayer. Three icons to
aid prayer (see below), and one extra icon for the season on the
pillar to the left (eg Christmas and Easter). There is a Prayer Tree
(to the left) and a candle stand where people can light a votive
candle which will continue to burn after they have left the church.
At the bottom
of the Prayer Tree on the left is a notice which reads:
The Prayer Tree
Choose a card and write a
prayer on it. The prayer can be for yourself, someone you
love, for peace in a troubled world, for any one or anything
you think is important.
Hang the card on the tree.
The Prayers will be read
out at the Tuesday Evening Prayer Service for the next six
Icons in Binham Priory
The icons of the Mother and Child ‘Odegitria’ and Christ ‘Pantocrator’ are
full size replicas of icons in the Stavronikita Monastery on Mt Athos
painted by Theophanes of Crete in the 16th C. Both icons are classic
examples of the highest icon art, the figures manifest an absence of
sentiment, while through this stillness they emanate authority.
The title ‘Odegitria’ means ‘Showing
the Way’. Although the Mother is the larger figure, the whole focus
of the icon is upon the Child emphasised in the way the Mother inclines
her head towards Him and indicates, or ‘offers’ Him with
her right hand.
The title ‘Pantocrator’ means ‘Ruler
of All’, reflecting the spiritual status of the figure. But who
is he? The answer lies in the two names on the icon. The ‘internal’ name
appears as the Greek letters Ο ω Ν within the triple
rays of the halo. ‘O’ is the definite article ‘the’,
meaning that what follows in the ‘only one’. ωΝ is
the present participle of the verb ‘to be’, indicating that
this is not just ‘a’ something or someone who is, but ‘the’ dynamic, ‘BEING’,
that which is the very essence of all that exists. The second, ‘external’,
name appears in the upper corners of the panel. The Greek letters IC
and XC, refer to Jesus Christ. Thus the icon denotes the two natures
in the one person.
The third icon is a reduced replica of a 14th century
Constantinople icon of the Crucifixion. True icons avoid the horror by
which Western art tends to represent this theme. Note how the gentle
curve of the crucified figure seems to emanate life, as opposed to the
stiffly standing human witnesses, Mary and John, at the foot of the cross.