Rules for Iconography

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/1. As you approach the work, make the sign of the cross, and pray silently to forgive all who have offended you.

2. Work deliberately, taking care with every detail of the image, as if the Lord himself stood with you, for he does in fact stand with you.

3. Keep praying, to strengthen yourself physically and spiritually, avoiding useless words, honoring silence, into which you must enter.

4. Pray especially to the saint whose image y ou are writing. If you keep your mind from distractions, the saint will assist you toward a true likenes.

5. When choosing a color, stretch your hands within, seeking to touch the Christ who live in your heart, and ask for his leading.

6. Do not covent your neighbor's work but rejoice in it: his success is your success, too, and the Lord's as well.

7. When you icon is done, offer sincere thanksgiving to God for his mercy in granting you the grace to write the holy images.

8. Bring your icon to be blessed, putting inton the altar, as the first ot pray before passing it to others.

9. Never forget the joy of spreading holy images in the world, the joy of laboring in icon-writing, the joy of using your accomplishments to offer each saint the ability to shine through his icon, nor the joy of being in union and communion with the saint whose face you are writing. /  

Source: Cairns, S. (2006) "On making the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp" (41). Zaleski, Philip (Ed.). The best American spiritual writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

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