Shrine

The shrine of the Hodegetria at the Assumption Cathedral in Smolensk, Russia, photographed by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky (1912).
The Shrine, Oil on canvas, by John William Waterhouse (1895).

A shrine ( Latin: scrinium "case or chest for books or papers"; Old French: escrin "box or case") [1] is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon, or similar figure of awe and respect, at which they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idols, relics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated. [2] A shrine at which votive offerings are made is called an altar. Shrines are found in many of the world's religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion, Shinto, and Asatru as well as in secular and non-religious settings such as a war memorial. Shrines can be found in various settings, such as churches, temples, cemeteries, or in the home, although portable shrines are also found in some cultures. [3]

A shrine may become a focus of a cult image.

Types of shrines

Chinese Taoist household shrine 1850–1860, Bankfield Museum

Temple shrines

Many shrines are located within buildings and in the temples designed specifically for worship, such as a church in Christianity, or a mandir in Hinduism. A shrine here is usually the centre of attention in the building, and is given a place of prominence. In such cases, adherents of the faith assemble within the building in order to venerate the deity at the shrine. In classical temple architecture, the shrine may be synonymous with the cella.

Household shrines

Historically, in Hinduism, Buddhism and Roman Catholicism, and also in modern faiths, such as Neopaganism, a shrine can commonly be found within the home or shop. [4] This shrine is usually a small structure or a setup of pictures and figurines dedicated to a deity that is part of the official religion, to ancestors or to a localised household deity. [5]

Small household shrines are very common among the Chinese and people from South and Southeast Asia, whether Hindu, Buddhist or Christian. Usually a small lamp and small offerings are kept daily by the shrine. Buddhist household shrines must be on a shelf above the head; Chinese shrines must stand directly on the floor.

Yard shrines

Small outdoor yard shrines are found at the bottom of many peoples gardens, following various religions, including historically, Christianity. Many consist of a statue of Christ or a saint, on a pedestal or in an alcove, while others may be elaborate booths without ceilings, some include paintings, statuary, and architectural elements, such as walls, roofs, glass doors and ironwork fences, etc.

In the United States, some Christians have small yard shrines; some of these resemble side altars, since they are composed of a statue placed in a niche or grotto; this type is colloquially referred to as a bathtub madonna. [6]

Other Languages
čeština: Svatyně
Cymraeg: Creirfa
euskara: Santutxo
français: Sanctuaire
Frysk: Skryn
Bahasa Indonesia: Tempat ziarah
Kiswahili: Patakatifu
Limburgs: Sjrien
lumbaart: Santüari
Nederlands: Schrijn
norsk: Skrin
norsk nynorsk: Skrin
português: Santuário
русский: Святилище
Simple English: Shrine
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Svetište
svenska: Skrin