Friday, January 7, 2022

Winter Ordinary Time 2022: Icons and Eastern traditions...


Hi friends, and welcome back to blog following the 2021 holiday season! :) I've decided that what I'd like to do on this blog going forward is to post with seasonal themes as regularly as I am able. This time of year, I am often inspired by Winter Ordinary Time, in this space between the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent. Each post will feature something that I'm feeling particularly inspired by this year as we journey through winter towards Ash Wednesday. As ever, I delight in hearing what you're working on during these seasons in your own life down in the comments! 

One of the devotional items that has really captured my imagination this year is Eastern style iconography. I first learned a bit about Easter Orthodox spirituality via reading Facing East, by Frederica Mathewes-Green, a number of years ago. Since that time, one of my good friends joined a Byzantine rite Catholic parish, and this has really captured my fascination to learn more about the Eastern traditions within our faith. She shared a photo with me of her home prayer corner, and the icons truly fascinated me. I went on a bit of a research and shopping expedition of my own over at Legacy icons (a beautiful Orthodox company) and have added a bit to our home artwork:


Gorgeous set of Christ and the Theotokos 😍

I also purchased a small icon of the Baptism of the Lord, called Theophany in the Eastern tradition, as my and Mike's wedding anniversary right near that feast each year:

They had a sale recently, and I picked up a few others for my office. ;-) A smaller Christ and Theotokos (means Mother of God/God bearer) set for my desk, and a large icon of all the Great Feasts: 

  • Nativity of the Theotokos, 
  • Exaltation of the Cross, 
  • Entrance of the Theotokos, 
  • Nativity of Christ, 
  • Theophany, 
  • Presentation of Christ (Candlemas), 
  • Annunciation, 
  • Palm Sunday, 
  • Resurrection of Christ, 
  • Ascension of Christ, 
  • Pentecost, 
  • Transfiguration of Christ, 
  • Dormition (falling asleep) of the Theotokos.

I have to say, I am quite fascinated by the Eastern tradition, and I absolutely LOVE icons. Just looking at the Christ and Theotokos set in our bedroom makes me feel so comforted and happy. Icons are artistic representations of our family of faith in heaven, and their presence is such a solace to me. 

I am also loving learning more about the Eastern side to our faith. Given my attachment to our Latin rite traditions, I don't see myself ever officially changing rites, but continuing to learn more is bringing me a lot of joy, and I plan to attend a Divine Liturgy for the very first time this month! 

Have you ever attended an Eastern Divine Liturgy? Do you own any icons? Or are there other devotions you're focusing on this winter? I would love to hear about it in the comments!


  1. I recently bought an Icon of Irish Saints. I am interested in the Jewish religion, I have read a few books and have some Jewish holiday books. I have a friend and a relative who converted to Judaism. I like the Latin rite. Wishing you and yours a happy and Healthy New Year.

    1. Hi Marilyn! ooo, Irish saints, that one sounds great. :) I too love learning about all religious faiths, your reading on the Jewish faith sounds fasciating! Happy New Year!

  2. It's so fun that you got some icons! We only have one icon in our home, but someday I'd love to get more-I am a huge fan of the Transfiguration icon, so perhaps someday I'll splurge for that one. I also recently discovered the icon of the Conception of the Theotokos, and I think it's a beautiful piece that ponders the gift of married love (it features Sts. Ann and Joachim embracing, fully clothed, by their bed).

    I too love learning about the Eastern Christian traditions (I have a soft spot in my heart for Maronites and Melkites/Byzantine Catholics in general), and I think it has really helped me grow in my love of being a Roman Catholic-a bit of the "breathing with both lungs" that we like to talk about but rarely seem to implement. I hope you enjoy your time at Divine Liturgy! I do not often get to attend Divine Liturgy (there are ZERO Byzantine Catholic churches here in Oklahoma), but last spring, a biritual priest who lives a couple hours away came to my area to celebrate a Divine Liturgy (and I had been a couple times in the past). And last summer, while visiting Arizona, I attended a Melkite church for Divine Liturgy and loved it (it was the same divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, but the chants had more of a Syriac and Middle Eastern influence, as opposed to a Slavic influence).

    Also, if you are looking to expand your library, my Orthodox friends gifted me with a copy of Unseen Warfare (written by Lorenzo Scupoli, edited by Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, and revised by Theophan the Recluse) and it was absolutely amazing; I highlighted about half the book haha. It's a book on the spiritual life originally penned in the post-Reformation by a Roman Catholic, then a Greek orthodox monk adapted it for the monks of Mount Athos, and then later it was revised and expanded by a Russian Orthodox bishop. It's a wonderful piece of ecumenism. Another reading recommendation is Catherine Doherty-she moved from Russia (where she was Russian Orthodox) to North America and became Roman Catholic, and her writings are a wonderful bridge between the Christian East and West. I highly recommend starting with her book Poustinia (I actually was given some of her other books for Christmas, so I'm planning to dive into those soon!). Oh, and not a book, but my current favorite podcast is What God is Not, by Fr. Michael and Mother Natalia-a Byzantine Catholic priest and a Byzantine Catholic nun. It's REALLY good, and I love it.

    Sorry about leaving you a novel in the comments! I just get excited about the various traditions and richness of the Church ;)

    1. oh my gosh, I don't know where to start, there is so much good stuff in here. :-0 I immediately pounced on your book suggestions, lol! The first two are currently in my cart for Lent! (my initial search for Unseen Warfare turned up a different book that just didn't seem to fit, I had to add additional keywords, ha ha!). Great stuff! In fact, my Byzantine Catholic friend just read and recommended Poustinia as well! It's sooooo fun to see that I'm not the only one who nerds out to this stuff. :-0


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