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Author Topic: Using a prayer rope  (Read 2355 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cassiel
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« on: February 17, 2008, 12:50:06 PM »

My spiritual father recommended I get one, so I picked one up yesterday.  He instructed me in using it, but I still have a question or two so I don't screw anything up seriously.  For instance, I see people in church wearing them on the right wrist.  Should I do that?  I grew up Roman Catholic and we were always told not to wear rosaries.  While I know the prayer rope is different, it's similar enough to make me wonder.  If it's proper to wear them this way, how and where is it proper to wear them?  What should I know about using the prayer rope, that I might not be aware of?
Thanks!
-Anna
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2008, 01:23:56 PM »

My spiritual father recommended I get one, so I picked one up yesterday.  He instructed me in using it, but I still have a question or two so I don't screw anything up seriously.  For instance, I see people in church wearing them on the right wrist.  Should I do that?  I grew up Roman Catholic and we were always told not to wear rosaries.  While I know the prayer rope is different, it's similar enough to make me wonder.  If it's proper to wear them this way, how and where is it proper to wear them?  What should I know about using the prayer rope, that I might not be aware of?
Thanks!
-Anna

I was instructed by my SF to wrap it around my left wrist, so you can still cross yourself with your right.  Also, he said to never wear it around your neck since it isn't a piece of showy jewellery.

What you should know about it?  Use it often.  Tongue  It is a great tool.
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Cassiel
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 12:16:43 AM »

Thanks - though it seems like most sources I've seen suggest to wear it on your right wrist.  I've seen either at my church.  Significance?

Also, mine has a red bead at the center.  Is there a different prayer to say on this bead or is it just a marker?  What about the cross?  A different prayer?
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Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!


« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2008, 12:21:33 AM »

Cassiel,

Truly, these questions--essentially, 'what prayers should I recite at this point in the prayer rule?'---should be directed to your spiritual father, since he is the one who prescribed this for you.

Please contact him and ask for clarifications. I am reasonably certain he knows what spiritual challenges you have and crosses you bear, and therefore what is needed, more so than us.
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2008, 12:46:39 AM »

every Serb (or most every Serb) i know wears one on their wrist. we usually get them from Monasteries in Serbia and Montenegro. not that this answers your question other than that it can be worn on your wrist.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2008, 11:16:17 AM »

Very good; I will ask him.  Thanks.   Grin
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2008, 12:36:54 PM »

I have always been told that your spiritual father assigns the prayer rope to you, teaches you how to do it, and then processes and gudies you through its spiritual practices.  i have been told in the past that one is NOT to take up the prayer rope without spiritual direction as it can come to bad use otherwise.  Use your spritual Father/Director.

Thomas
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2008, 12:18:56 AM »

Oh, I was definitely instructed to do it, there were just a few technical questions I have.  I am still having difficulty acclimating to having a spiritual father, to be honest.  In the Roman Catholic parishes I grew up in, priests never had time to talk about anything or even answer questions.  When I ask my spiritual father for anything, I feel like a pest (which, to be sure, is not any of his doing at all - he has been nothing but helpful).  But I will go to him with this.
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Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!


« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2008, 04:56:46 PM »

When I ask my spiritual father for anything, I feel like a pest (which, to be sure, is not any of his doing at all - he has been nothing but helpful). 

Please don't feel like a pest...truly, conversations with people with which I have a spiritual relationship make my day, and I know I'm not the only priest who feels this way.

Look at it from your priest's viewpoint: which would you rather do: help someone grow closer to the Lord (and maybe even help yourself through this conversation), or fill out even more paperwork for the Parish accountant (or any other mundane administrative chore that needs to be done to take care of the buildings)?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 07:19:52 PM »

This may sound off-collar but I'm going to ask it anyway.  Father Chris, is it appropriate to wear a prayer rope during a communal service (matins, akathists, vespers, hours, compline, Divine Liturgy...)?  I ask this because the prayer rope is a private devotion. As a community participating together as one in public we should not be focused on private prayer. One could argue that the mere existance of a prayer rope danging from a wrist does not connotate private prayer is ongoing in a public prayer service.  But does the prayer rope dangling from one's wrist during a communal service display an outer sign that shows disunification in the community that is to be gathered as one? 
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Cassiel
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2008, 07:52:58 PM »

Please don't feel like a pest...truly, conversations with people with which I have a spiritual relationship make my day, and I know I'm not the only priest who feels this way.

Look at it from your priest's viewpoint: which would you rather do: help someone grow closer to the Lord (and maybe even help yourself through this conversation), or fill out even more paperwork for the Parish accountant (or any other mundane administrative chore that needs to be done to take care of the buildings)?  Roll Eyes

Thanks.  That perspective helps a lot.   Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2008, 10:56:46 PM »

This may sound off-collar but I'm going to ask it anyway.  Father Chris, is it appropriate to wear a prayer rope during a communal service (matins, akathists, vespers, hours, compline, Divine Liturgy...)?  I ask this because the prayer rope is a private devotion. As a community participating together as one in public we should not be focused on private prayer. One could argue that the mere existance of a prayer rope danging from a wrist does not connotate private prayer is ongoing in a public prayer service.  But does the prayer rope dangling from one's wrist during a communal service display an outer sign that shows disunification in the community that is to be gathered as one?
This is, in fact, how my priest views the subject of prayer ropes in church--he forbids their use during parish services--but Fr. Chris may have a different opinion.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2008, 12:45:46 PM »

In a book detailing the life and counsels of Elder Porphyrios ("Wounded by Love") he states that during the services, it helps him simply to run the prayer rope through his hands while paying attention to the service.  He describes that the feeling of the rope, or feeling the cross at the end pass through his fingers, often re-focuses the mind during the service when it gets distracted by worldy concerns.

I've found this method helpful. Of course, this may be a hindrance to others.  As the others suggested, always do what your spiritual father directs you to do.

In Christ,

Michael
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