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Author Topic: The Rosary - strictly Roman?  (Read 5289 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 12, 2009, 05:42:18 AM »

I do like praying the Rosary. I have noted, however, that the Orthodox way seems to be to recite the Jesus prayer using a prayer rope. I ran across this online, which puports to be an Orthodox variant of the Rosary. http://www.westernorthodox.com/rosary.html

Will I find it necessary to forgo my lovely Rosary and begin to use a plain rope for my prayers? Is there justification for an Orthodox Rosary? This is not to say that I prefer Mary over Jesus, by any stretch of the imagination!! The Jesus prayer is a bit terse, and well suited for monastic purpose, but not ideal for my devotions at home.
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2009, 09:19:25 AM »

I think St. Seraphim of Sarov prayed a version of the Rosary w/ his prayer rope. (or was it a Lestovka at the time?)
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2009, 09:22:29 AM »

I do like praying the Rosary. I have noted, however, that the Orthodox way seems to be to recite the Jesus prayer using a prayer rope. I ran across this online, which puports to be an Orthodox variant of the Rosary. http://www.westernorthodox.com/rosary.html

Will I find it necessary to forgo my lovely Rosary and begin to use a plain rope for my prayers? Is there justification for an Orthodox Rosary? This is not to say that I prefer Mary over Jesus, by any stretch of the imagination!! The Jesus prayer is a bit terse, and well suited for monastic purpose, but not ideal for my devotions at home.

The Rosary is perfectly Orthodox in form.  The WRO use it.  Myself, I say the Angelus, another Western devotion, although I am totally Eastern.

Btw, I've seen prayer ropes that were beads, and rosaries that were knotted rope.
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2009, 11:56:19 AM »

I do like praying the Rosary. I have noted, however, that the Orthodox way seems to be to recite the Jesus prayer using a prayer rope. I ran across this online, which puports to be an Orthodox variant of the Rosary. http://www.westernorthodox.com/rosary.html

Will I find it necessary to forgo my lovely Rosary and begin to use a plain rope for my prayers? Is there justification for an Orthodox Rosary? This is not to say that I prefer Mary over Jesus, by any stretch of the imagination!! The Jesus prayer is a bit terse, and well suited for monastic purpose, but not ideal for my devotions at home.

It's best to talk with your priest and/or spiritual father about it. You'll receive all sorts of opinions online but the only one that matters is that of your priest.
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2009, 03:34:45 PM »

The thing about the prayer rope w/ the knots, is that it's silent, and the knots don't make noise as you pray.
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2009, 06:54:48 PM »

According to both my priest and bishop, the Catholic version of the Rosary is perfectly find. There's no doctrinal differences or hang-ups, however. Whatever helps you pray most easily is what you should use. Coming from a Western upbringing, I find it to be a beautiful prayer.

As always, however, consult your local priest for his opinion.
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 01:04:22 PM »

You said you had a beautiful rosary, but if you did ever want a knotted rosary, that's the form of rosary that rosaryarmy.com is giving away now (it used to be the plastic ones).
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 02:50:12 PM »

I also find the Rosary to be entirely Orthodox when used appropriately. The fact that most WRO use it shows by itself that this piety is good.
Anyway, I had a talk next Thursday with a friend of mine - a good RC friend who was in seminary from 11 to 18. Since we were both feeling urgency to pray something, we said some prayers together. Then, I told him of how the Rosary is also being used in Orthodoxy. He answered: "The Rosary is a good piety, but after I tried the Jesus Prayer I found it better". He told me that, while still RC, he daily prays the Jesus Prayer with a prayer rope he somehow obtained. You can imagine how beautiful sounded these news to me!

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 03:24:01 PM »

Alexander,

I also have some Catholic friends whose devotions include the Jesus Prayer.

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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 09:07:47 PM »

I don't see the rosary as un-Orthodox.  I don't pray the rosary daily, but sometimes I pray it when in an uncomfortable situation.  It keeps my mind directed towards God. 

As far as the propriety of the rosary in an Orthodox context, I have only three concerns. 

1) The addition of the luminous mysteries affects the traditional understanding of the rosary as the layman's psalter.  The monks would pray the 150 psalms, the laypeople 150 Ave Maria's--or Pater Noster's as was initially the case.  The luminous mysteries themselves are good (who can contend with the Transfiguration Smiley ), yet I wonder about the ramifications of moving away from traditional associations.

2) Some Latin spiritualities (e.g. Ignatian) advise using the imagination to place oneself within a Biblical scene.  The Eastern Fathers, on the other hand, advise against imagination.  How one meditates on the mysteries may therefore be different.  Which leads to...

3) The question of what should be one's focus while praying the rosary.  When Latin Catholic, I prayed the rosary on a more regular basis than now, and I did not know whether it better to focus on the event and the fruits, or on the words of each Hail Mary, Glory Be and Our Father. 

My Orthodox priest gave me a "pinkie" rosary and explained how the Irish used to pray it concealed up their sleeves to avoid problems with the British.  police

     


« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 09:24:43 PM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 10:21:42 PM »

I don't see the rosary as un-Orthodox.  I don't pray the rosary daily, but sometimes I pray it when in an uncomfortable situation.  It keeps my mind directed towards God. 

As far as the propriety of the rosary in an Orthodox context, I have only three concerns. 

1) The addition of the luminous mysteries affects the traditional understanding of the rosary as the layman's psalter.  The monks would pray the 150 psalms, the laypeople 150 Ave Maria's--or Pater Noster's as was initially the case.  The luminous mysteries themselves are good (who can contend with the Transfiguration Smiley ), yet I wonder about the ramifications of moving away from traditional associations.

2) Some Latin spiritualities (e.g. Ignatian) advise using the imagination to place oneself within a Biblical scene.  The Eastern Fathers, on the other hand, advise against imagination.  How one meditates on the mysteries may therefore be different.  Which leads to...

3) The question of what should be one's focus while praying the rosary.  When Latin Catholic, I prayed the rosary on a more regular basis than now, and I did not know whether it better to focus on the event and the fruits, or on the words of each Hail Mary, Glory Be and Our Father. 

My Orthodox priest gave me a "pinkie" rosary and explained how the Irish used to pray it concealed up their sleeves to avoid problems with the British.  police

     
Like this?  This in an Irish Penal Rosary from the Penal Codes instituted against the Roman Catholics by the Protestant Brits.  This is what I carry around with me at work.



Or this?  This is simply a decade Rosary that's very similar to the Penal Rosary.


Then there's the unique "Credit Card Rosary"
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2009, 11:25:42 PM »

Some links of interest:

Serge (he posts here infrequently - he's an alpaca actually) had a good link on a rosary used in Byzantine Rite Catholic churches:
http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/OldWorldBasic/Rosary.htm

Other links:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Rosary

http://www.westernorthodox.com/rosary

http://www.rosaryworkshop.com/HISTORY-AlexRoman.html

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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2009, 09:59:48 AM »

I don't see the rosary as un-Orthodox.  I don't pray the rosary daily, but sometimes I pray it when in an uncomfortable situation.  It keeps my mind directed towards God. 

As far as the propriety of the rosary in an Orthodox context, I have only three concerns. 

1) The addition of the luminous mysteries affects the traditional understanding of the rosary as the layman's psalter.  The monks would pray the 150 psalms, the laypeople 150 Ave Maria's--or Pater Noster's as was initially the case.  The luminous mysteries themselves are good (who can contend with the Transfiguration Smiley ), yet I wonder about the ramifications of moving away from traditional associations.

2) Some Latin spiritualities (e.g. Ignatian) advise using the imagination to place oneself within a Biblical scene.  The Eastern Fathers, on the other hand, advise against imagination.  How one meditates on the mysteries may therefore be different.  Which leads to...

3) The question of what should be one's focus while praying the rosary.  When Latin Catholic, I prayed the rosary on a more regular basis than now, and I did not know whether it better to focus on the event and the fruits, or on the words of each Hail Mary, Glory Be and Our Father. 

My Orthodox priest gave me a "pinkie" rosary and explained how the Irish used to pray it concealed up their sleeves to avoid problems with the British.  police

     
Like this?  This in an Irish Penal Rosary from the Penal Codes instituted against the Roman Catholics by the Protestant Brits.  This is what I carry around with me at work.



Or this?  This is simply a decade Rosary that's very similar to the Penal Rosary.


Then there's the unique "Credit Card Rosary"


Yes, like the first one.   
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 10:00:28 AM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2009, 12:43:14 PM »

A credit card Rosary? I hadn't seen that one before.
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2009, 12:50:54 PM »

I also pray the Rosary and am still Orthodox! Cheesy

The only thing I don't do is the "imagination" stuff, but I too think it's perfectly fine to pray the rosary. The Jesus prayer is good as well, but I don't think there is anything wrong with the Rosary at all. The only advice I've ever been given is to not do the imagination thingy, other than that, the words of the prayers are perfectly Orthodox.

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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 08:42:45 PM »

I also pray the Rosary and am still Orthodox! Cheesy

The only thing I don't do is the "imagination" stuff, but I too think it's perfectly fine to pray the rosary. The Jesus prayer is good as well, but I don't think there is anything wrong with the Rosary at all. The only advice I've ever been given is to not do the imagination thingy, other than that, the words of the prayers are perfectly Orthodox.



Hmm...I wonder, when we pray the Rosary, should we pray for the conversion of Russia? 
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2009, 01:01:14 AM »

I'm sticking with my little prayer rope and the Jesus Prayer. It's simple but then so am I. And the fact is... I have all I can do to remember to pray this simple prayer. Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2009, 01:49:57 AM »

I also pray the Rosary and am still Orthodox! Cheesy

The only thing I don't do is the "imagination" stuff, but I too think it's perfectly fine to pray the rosary. The Jesus prayer is good as well, but I don't think there is anything wrong with the Rosary at all. The only advice I've ever been given is to not do the imagination thingy, other than that, the words of the prayers are perfectly Orthodox.



Hmm...I wonder, when we pray the Rosary, should we pray for the conversion of Russia? 

 Cheesy

The conversion of the world would be better, but whatever you want to do with your spare time is your business!
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2009, 11:25:06 AM »


Hmm...I wonder, when we pray the Rosary, should we pray for the conversion of Russia? 

I'm assuming you're being argumentative, and so my responses are in response to that assumption. Since you're post is rather cryptic I'm forced to assume, so if your intention was a legitimate question, I apologize for my upcoming thoughts.


1.) Where does the actual prayers of the Rosary ask for the "conversion" of Russia?

2.) You are aware that the "hail Mary" (ie: O Theotokos and Virgin, REJOICE O MARY FULL OF GRACE the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast born the savior of our souls) prayer originated in the East? it's the same prayer used in the Dominican Rosary, just the Latin version is somewhat shorter, and asks for Mary's intercessions which can never be wrong, even if it is "western".

3.) Considering the reference I believe you're referring to (one of the Western Marian apparitions in the early 20th century I assume, as I've never paid that much attention to those nearly as much as many Orthodox seem to do) took place when "Holy Russia" really wasn't all that "holy" anymore, so sure, we should have been praying for the "conversion" of Russia. Why not? and why not pray for the conversion of all peoples even those in so called "Orthodox nations". Just because a nation has it's official religion as Orthodox Christianity, doesn't mean the people are in any less need a conversion of heart. I personally don't accept some ultra-traditionalist Catholic interpretations of those apparitions, (that Mary said Russia had to become Roman Catholics) but if you want to, feel free. Cheesy

4.) The Rosary predates said Marian apparitions by many, many centuries, and the prayers themselves go back to pre great schism time. No Catholic is bound to accept those apparitions so why would an Orthodox Christian pay attention to them?


5.) A famous Russian saint prayed the Rosary, with the eastern version of the hail Mary, so what's the big deal? A Hail Mary, an Our Father, the Apostles Creed, and a couple closing prayers? These are all completely Orthodox prayers and Creeds. If one is uncomfortable with "hail holy queen", just substitute "it is truly meet to call thee blessed"...which I often do because I know that prayer by heart.

One can pray the Rosary in the same way we pray the Akathist, & the Paraklesis etc...we don't have to accept Catholic theology or apparitions that even Catholics aren't required to accept, so I just don't get the problem other than some unfounded fear or some "eastern good", "western bad" mentality.

I know a lot of people who DON'T pray the Rosary and that's cool. It's a personal devotion like the Jesus prayer (no one is required to pray that either, and as is often said, no one "chooses" the Jesus prayer, but people are called to it.)

I personally find the idea made popular in some theological/mystical circles that the Jesus prayer is "the best" prayer for everyone a bit strange. I find the idea that a few Catholics say the Rosary is "the best prayer" for everyone a bit strange as well. But the question was simply is the Rosary itself acceptable? Considering even in Catholicism there are various versions of the Rosary (not just the Dominican Rosary we're all familiar with) I don't see why an Orthodox Christian cannot change this or that thing they might not be comfortable with if they so choose.

I personally love the Akathist Hymn (it's one of my favorite services in fact) but I cannot memorize the entire Akathist and pray it before bed, or in bed, or if trouble comes...but I can pray a hail Mary and a short decade of the Rosary, by heart. I can do the same with the Jesus prayer as well, but to me, these things are 2 different types of prayer. One is intercessory in nature, the other is a means of drawing closer to Christ, a way of inner transformation. They both have their purposes in my spiritual life, though neither holds a big place in it.

I know there is a lot of theological opinion built around the Rosary, much of it I'm uncomfortable with, but the prayers themselves are just as Orthodox as anything in a "eastern" prayer book. So to me, and obviously many others, including St. Seraphim of Sarov, it's just not that big a deal. It is to others, and that's fine too. Just don't pray it. And as Douglas said, its best to ask your spiritual father and see what he says, after all, he'll know you better than anyone.

NP

 


« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 11:27:22 AM by NorthernPines » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2009, 12:23:49 PM »

You know... you've opened my eyes to a few things, NP. Thanks.  Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2009, 12:47:36 AM »


Hmm...I wonder, when we pray the Rosary, should we pray for the conversion of Russia? 

I'm assuming you're being argumentative, and so my responses are in response to that assumption. Since you're post is rather cryptic I'm forced to assume, so if your intention was a legitimate question, I apologize for my upcoming thoughts.


1.) Where does the actual prayers of the Rosary ask for the "conversion" of Russia?

2.) You are aware that the "hail Mary" (ie: O Theotokos and Virgin, REJOICE O MARY FULL OF GRACE the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast born the savior of our souls) prayer originated in the East? it's the same prayer used in the Dominican Rosary, just the Latin version is somewhat shorter, and asks for Mary's intercessions which can never be wrong, even if it is "western".

3.) Considering the reference I believe you're referring to (one of the Western Marian apparitions in the early 20th century I assume, as I've never paid that much attention to those nearly as much as many Orthodox seem to do) took place when "Holy Russia" really wasn't all that "holy" anymore, so sure, we should have been praying for the "conversion" of Russia. Why not? and why not pray for the conversion of all peoples even those in so called "Orthodox nations". Just because a nation has it's official religion as Orthodox Christianity, doesn't mean the people are in any less need a conversion of heart. I personally don't accept some ultra-traditionalist Catholic interpretations of those apparitions, (that Mary said Russia had to become Roman Catholics) but if you want to, feel free. Cheesy

4.) The Rosary predates said Marian apparitions by many, many centuries, and the prayers themselves go back to pre great schism time. No Catholic is bound to accept those apparitions so why would an Orthodox Christian pay attention to them?


5.) A famous Russian saint prayed the Rosary, with the eastern version of the hail Mary, so what's the big deal? A Hail Mary, an Our Father, the Apostles Creed, and a couple closing prayers? These are all completely Orthodox prayers and Creeds. If one is uncomfortable with "hail holy queen", just substitute "it is truly meet to call thee blessed"...which I often do because I know that prayer by heart.

One can pray the Rosary in the same way we pray the Akathist, & the Paraklesis etc...we don't have to accept Catholic theology or apparitions that even Catholics aren't required to accept, so I just don't get the problem other than some unfounded fear or some "eastern good", "western bad" mentality.

I know a lot of people who DON'T pray the Rosary and that's cool. It's a personal devotion like the Jesus prayer (no one is required to pray that either, and as is often said, no one "chooses" the Jesus prayer, but people are called to it.)

I personally find the idea made popular in some theological/mystical circles that the Jesus prayer is "the best" prayer for everyone a bit strange. I find the idea that a few Catholics say the Rosary is "the best prayer" for everyone a bit strange as well. But the question was simply is the Rosary itself acceptable? Considering even in Catholicism there are various versions of the Rosary (not just the Dominican Rosary we're all familiar with) I don't see why an Orthodox Christian cannot change this or that thing they might not be comfortable with if they so choose.

I personally love the Akathist Hymn (it's one of my favorite services in fact) but I cannot memorize the entire Akathist and pray it before bed, or in bed, or if trouble comes...but I can pray a hail Mary and a short decade of the Rosary, by heart. I can do the same with the Jesus prayer as well, but to me, these things are 2 different types of prayer. One is intercessory in nature, the other is a means of drawing closer to Christ, a way of inner transformation. They both have their purposes in my spiritual life, though neither holds a big place in it.

I know there is a lot of theological opinion built around the Rosary, much of it I'm uncomfortable with, but the prayers themselves are just as Orthodox as anything in a "eastern" prayer book. So to me, and obviously many others, including St. Seraphim of Sarov, it's just not that big a deal. It is to others, and that's fine too. Just don't pray it. And as Douglas said, its best to ask your spiritual father and see what he says, after all, he'll know you better than anyone.

NP


1) According to Roman Catholics, Our Lady of Fatima requested that prayers specifically be offered for the Conversion of Russia.  Our Lady of Fatima also asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart (the consecrations took place under two Roman popes).  Many Roman Catholics and Orthodox interpret these consecrations and prayers for conversion as not for the return of the Russian people to Orthodoxy, but instead for the conversion of the Russian people to Roman Catholicism.

While the rosary has set prayers, it generally is preceded with the offering of an intention (e.g. conversion of Russia). 

2) Per Latin tradition, Mary presented the rosary to St. Dominic.  Long before St. Dominic's time, prayer beads were used in the West to pray the Our Father, and from what I understand, were themselves called paternosters

3) Yes, Fatima. 

4) I don't see why Orthodox Christians cannot pray the Rosary.

5) I don't see anything wrong with the Western version of the Ave Maria.  Concerning the Hail Holy Queen, I haven't give it much thought.  Although, my initial reaction is that "banished" isn't the best expression of our Christian condition. 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 12:49:44 AM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2009, 07:08:57 AM »

Thanks for all the very illuminating responses!

Looks like my Rosary habit is safe. I tend to focus on the words and meaning of the prayers, with a small interval at the beginning of each decade where I think of the mystery and its significance. No "imagining" going on in my poor logical, linear, and analytic brain. I'll avoid the Luminous mysteries. Even some conservative Roman Catholics don't include those.

I think I can even leave in the Fatima prayer: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen." I see nothing objectionable in there, does anybody else? And the Glory Be prayers.

Perhaps the most significant thing about praying the rosary is that it's quite quick, it really only takes 15-20 minutes to do 5 decades, and serves me well as a solid basis for daily prayer. After a Rosary, I'm in a much better frame of mind for things spiritual. Sort of a warm-up prayer, if that makes sense. My usual intention is whatever need the Blessed Mother prefers.
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2009, 09:00:52 PM »

Thanks for all the very illuminating responses!

Looks like my Rosary habit is safe. I tend to focus on the words and meaning of the prayers, with a small interval at the beginning of each decade where I think of the mystery and its significance. No "imagining" going on in my poor logical, linear, and analytic brain. I'll avoid the Luminous mysteries. Even some conservative Roman Catholics don't include those.

I think I can even leave in the Fatima prayer: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen." I see nothing objectionable in there, does anybody else? And the Glory Be prayers.

Perhaps the most significant thing about praying the rosary is that it's quite quick, it really only takes 15-20 minutes to do 5 decades, and serves me well as a solid basis for daily prayer. After a Rosary, I'm in a much better frame of mind for things spiritual. Sort of a warm-up prayer, if that makes sense. My usual intention is whatever need the Blessed Mother prefers.

Save us from the fires of hell -- material fire necessarily? 
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« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2009, 10:31:26 PM »


Save us from the fires of hell -- material fire necessarily? 

How would I know? And I hope to not find out!
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2009, 04:33:45 AM »

In our Ethiopian Orthodox Church we pray a series of prayers called "The Mequteria." They are similar to the Rosary in that one uses prayer beads or a prayer rope when reciting them. If you are interested in non-Roman prayers of this type, then you may find our Mequteria very edifying. You can learn more about these prayers on this thread (post 13 and following):

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4892.0.html

Selam,

Gebre Menfes Kidus
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