The Iconography Guild of St. Theodosia was formed January 2012
for the Glory of God.
We study and practice together the sacred ancient Christian art of painting/writing the Divine Light, the Image of God in Man, in the Byzantine-Russian tradition.
As students of iconography we are responsible to convey prayerfully and correctly the scriptural truth within the icon, according to the canon established by the church.
We've had a busy year so far in 2018, continuing our projects, building our lending library, and hosting another successful icon workshop week with Fr. Igumen Mefodii. Please see our parish calendar pages for dates and changes to our meeting schedules. Other activities include: inviting another guild to visit, practicing the application of gold leaf assist.
Schedule: Note the deviations from "First-Saturdays".
Sat. Oct. 13: Meeting 12:30 - 4:00 p.m. Continuing projects
Sat. Nov. 3: Drawing Part 1: Practicing proportions of the face.
No meeting in December! Enjoy the Holy Days!
Sat. Jan. 12: Olifa day. 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Pack your lunch and work on other projects in between oiling sessions. We may do Drawing Part 2, if you wish.
February/March/April: to be announced.
May: possibly inviting Fr. Mefodii for the day to lead a mini-workshop. Architecture.
June/July: to be announced.
August 5 - 10: Our annual icon workshop week! See the iconography workshop page.
This year's projects will be exciting. Besides sharing our experiences and discoveries we will begin an on-going study of the process of painting iconic faces. We usually meet on the first Saturday of each month (see parish calendar). Arrival time: 12:30 and you may stay as long as you wish until 4:00. Pigments and palettes are available to use, but you will need your own brushes and may purchase practice boards. Another project this year includes a mini-workshop regarding the practice and the symbolism of landscape elements in icons. A future project will be the application of fine lines of gold leaf, called assist. Contact us to join our email list and also see our parish Face Book page: St. Herman of Alaska Russian Orthodox Church: https://www.facebook.com/StHermanOrthodoxStaffordVA/?ref=bookmarks.
Fr. Igumen Mefodii, Master Iconographer of the Prosopon School of Iconology led us in May, 2017 in a one-day workshop that focused on the landscape elements that symbolize our spiritual ascent. Our icon guild invites him to give these short studies as well as the week-long annual one in September. Contact Mat. Joanna if you are interested in pursuing this enlightening path. firstname.lastname@example.org
For our June 2016 meeting we prepared our boards for next month's mini-workshop. Fr. Igumen Mefodii will be visiting our guild for a private day-long lesson in garment highlights. He'll return for the annual week-long workshop Sept. 12-17th that is open to the public.
Young people are encouraged to come to our iconography guild meetings. Since we work quietly, prayerfully for several hours, the youngest set will have to wait a few years to join us! Our young ladies and men who do come, enjoy this time with their mom/dad and the group.
These events are open to the public:
On Monday, August 6, 2018 our parish will host our Annual Iconography Workshop, a week of immersion into both the practice and theory of finishing an icon according to the teachings of the Church. It will be led by Fr. Igumen Mefodii of the Prosopon School of Iconology. See: http://sthermanorthodox.org/iconographyworkshop.html for more information.
To join our iconography guild's email list for updates and workshop information, contact Mat. Joanna: email@example.com.
Our first meeting was held at our parish. Fr. Mefodii brought the icon
of St. Theodosia he had written.
The article below was published in The Prospopon Journal, The Journal of the Prosopon School of Iconology, Issue No. 10, July, 2012, p. 135:
"Our Lord must have inspired the formation of our guild, as we witnessed the sudden explosive interest in coming together. Three of us at Christ the Savior Orthodox Mission planned to meet to practice the steps of writing icons, which we had learned in Fr. Igumen Mefodii’s classes. Upon learning of our plans several of his students from other parishes wished to join us, followed soon by an Orthodox catechumen and others who have not yet lifted a brush. We are beginning with twelve members, drawn together through our love of icons and the One who stands behind them.
Both Fr. Mefodii and our parish priest, Fr. Alexander Webster, blessed us to form this iconography guild named for St. Theodosia, martyr, and defender of the veneration of holy icons.
For our inaugural meeting in January, Fr. Mefodii, our mentor, led us in prayer and introduced a quote from Paul Evdokimov’s book, Orthodoxy, which distills in one short paragraph the essence of this sacred art, saying, “The inner rhythm of the iconographic tradition keeps closely in step with the liturgy, which is our living experience of the transcendent, and accompanies our soaring thoughts, then surpasses them, to reveal what is hidden and express what can not be uttered.”
Our charter expresses our goals: to strive for a high level in executing each of the twenty-one steps taught by the Prosopon School in writing icons, and learning to incorporate the spiritual symbolism that allows the Uncreated Light of God to shine through them. For each meeting we plan to practice and study one step, from the beginning.
At the same time our focus will be to live in His will and to develop our spiritual growth within the guidelines of the Orthodox Church in order to enable the light of His image to shine through us.
We will pray for and encourage one another, sharing our resources, struggles and insights, and also reach out to the community, to educate and evangelize with what we have learned. After all of this, when we are given the blessing to do so, we will humbly write icons for others."
--Mat. Joanna Laymon
Dates/Times: We plan to meet monthly, usually the first Saturday of each month, 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. The date may vary, so see our parish calendar: (http://sthermanorthodox.org/schedule.html).
Place: St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church's Christ the Savior Fellowship Hall.
For directions: http://sthermanorthodox.org/directions.html.
Activities: Beginning about 12:30 we meet and pray the Iconographer's Prayer. This is followed by a lively "show and tell" where we bring all things related to iconography, such as books, icons and stories of our travels and experiences. Then we settle down to practice what we have learned, work on our icons, and helping new members begin a practice icon. We also take field trips and plan other activities.
Our parish Face Book page and Event pages have more photos and updates. Visit and "Like" us! https://www.facebook.com/StHermanOrthodoxStaffordVA/
Our workshop page: http://sthermanorthodox.org/iconographyworkshop.html.
If you wish to attend our guild or workshops and would like more information, email: Matushka Joanna Laymon: firstname.lastname@example.org to join our email list.
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18
Our guild sponsored a mini-workshop in order to do a study of the face, both in practice and with lectures led by Fr. Mefodii. We began with the symbolic meaning of "mask" as we painted the first highlights. We progressed to the "face" of the image, the soul lights of the second highlights. Finally we revealed the "countenance" wtih the third highlights, where the divine light of God touches and transfigures us.
Your lamb Theodosia, O Jesus, / Calls out to You in a loud voice: / I love You, O my bridegroom, / And in seeking You, I endure suffering. / In Baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, / And died so that I might live with You. / Accept me as a pure sacrifice, / For I have offered myself in love. / By her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.
Through your striving, O venerable Theodosia, / You inherited a life of peace. / By shedding your blood, you vanquished the enemy of the Church of Christ. / As you rejoice now in His presence, ever pray to Him for us all!
Lord Jesus Christ our God, uncircumscribed in your divine nature, having become inexpressibly incarnate for the salvation of man ultimately by the Virgin Mother of God, Mary, has become worthy of circumscription. Who, having imprinted the sacred features of thy immaculate face on the holy veil, and through healing the illness of the governor Abgar and bringing about the enlightenment of his soul into the full knowledge of our true God, and who, through thy holy spirit brought wisdom to the holy apostle and evangelist Luke to depict the form of thy most innocent mother, who carried thee in her arms as a child and said ''May the grace of Him who was born of me, through me be imparted to them'', the same, o God and master of all things, enlighten and bring wisdom to the soul and heart and mind of thy servant and direct these hands for the irreproachable and excellent depiction of the form of thy person and of thy immaculate mother and of all thy saints, to the glory and to the splendour and beautification of thy holy church, and the remission of the sins of those worshiping in regard to the church and devoutly kissing and so referring honour to the prototype, redeem him from all harm inflicted by the devil, as he diligently follows all the commands of the ministers of thy immaculate mother, of the holy and illustrious apostle and evangelist, Luke, and of all the saints. Amen.
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