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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: February 16, 2010, 09:11:53 PM »

I have just ordered a 100-knot prayer rope.  the man I ordered it from told me it would loosly wrap around my wrist three times.  this got me to thinking, am I supposed to wear it round my wrist?  do you?
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 09:29:31 PM »

no
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 10:47:47 PM »

some do, some dont.  in my opinion, unless youre using it, it shouldnt be seen.
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 10:48:24 PM »

Monastics do this, but, from what I've seen, laymen are dissuaded from doing so, as it may come across as ostentatious. I don't know. Maybe ask your spiritual father?
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 11:09:53 PM »

We've been taught to wear it on our wrists, but I tend to wear it on my belt, which is more inconspicuous and out of the way from harm when I'm drawing, typing, cutting, etc...

Most of our parishoners wear it on the wrists while at church, I do so also, but outside of church I keep it on my belt.

When in doubt, ask your Priest!
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 11:38:52 PM »

I never wear one anywhere, because I rarely if ever use one.  Only take it around with you if you're actually using it, and even then be discreet.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 01:30:58 AM »

Based on my experiences, I would recommend you never use your prayer rope in church.  When in church, you're there to participate in the prayers of the community, not to carry on your own individual prayers, which the prayer rope represents.
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 09:04:49 AM »

Based on my experiences, I would recommend you never use your prayer rope in church.  When in church, you're there to participate in the prayers of the community, not to carry on your own individual prayers, which the prayer rope represents.

Actually, many saints recommend the Jesus Prayer even during services, especially when one is distracted. According to them, the prayer doesn't distract from the liturgical prayers, but augments them.
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 09:14:42 AM »

We've been taught to wear it on our wrists, but I tend to wear it on my belt, which is more inconspicuous and out of the way from harm when I'm drawing, typing, cutting, etc...

Most of our parishoners wear it on the wrists while at church, I do so also, but outside of church I keep it on my belt.

When in doubt, ask your Priest!

I keep mine wrapped once around my belt loop down into my pocket with very little shown.   
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 10:02:29 AM »

Monastics do this, but, from what I've seen, laymen are dissuaded from doing so, as it may come across as ostentatious. I don't know. Maybe ask your spiritual father?

Yes, we were also told that only monastics should wear it on their wrists.  I also have an Old rite prayer rope, but since its made out of leather, I just attach it to my belt.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 02:46:46 PM »

Based on my experiences, I would recommend you never use your prayer rope in church.  When in church, you're there to participate in the prayers of the community, not to carry on your own individual prayers, which the prayer rope represents.

Actually, many saints recommend the Jesus Prayer even during services, especially when one is distracted. According to them, the prayer doesn't distract from the liturgical prayers, but augments them.
But do they recommend that one use a prayer rope to guide their use of the Jesus Prayer in church?  It's not so much the prayer itself that I'm talking about, since even I use the Jesus Prayer in church when I need to recapture my attention and focus it on the prayers of the community.  The kind of prayer I'm objecting to in church is that individualistic prayer that counts on a prayer rope the number of times one has repeated the Jesus Prayer.  This is fine when you're at home, but in church it can be a distraction to those around you.
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 04:53:45 PM »

Based on my experiences, I would recommend you never use your prayer rope in church.  When in church, you're there to participate in the prayers of the community, not to carry on your own individual prayers, which the prayer rope represents.

Actually, many saints recommend the Jesus Prayer even during services, especially when one is distracted. According to them, the prayer doesn't distract from the liturgical prayers, but augments them.
I just found this discussion where the use of the Jesus Prayer in church services is discussed in much greater detail:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25617.msg405700.html#msg405700
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 06:28:47 PM »

I have just ordered a 100-knot prayer rope.  the man I ordered it from told me it would loosly wrap around my wrist three times.  this got me to thinking, am I supposed to wear it round my wrist?  do you?

Wear it around your wrist in order to remind you to keep the Divine words:

1Th. 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2010, 06:28:47 PM »

some do, some dont.  in my opinion, unless youre using it, it shouldnt be seen.

I have heard that it is very bad to be discovered by others when you are doing your prayer rule.

Then again Orthodox Christians should be able to see the spirituality of others in order to obey the words:

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2010, 01:27:00 AM »

some do, some dont.  in my opinion, unless youre using it, it shouldnt be seen.

I have heard that it is very bad to be discovered by others when you are doing your prayer rule.

Then again Orthodox Christians should be able to see the spirituality of others in order to obey the words:

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

I agree. I guess it comes down to a matter of intention. If we carry our prayer ropes to be admired by men, then that is wrong. But if we carry our prayer ropes in order to avoid temptation and to endeavor to pray without ceasing, then our intention is godly and others may be edified and encouraged by what they see us doing. I am always encouraged and strengthened when I see humble but open displays of Christian faith. It inspires me to not be ashamed of the Gospel [Romans 1:16].


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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 12:14:23 PM »

I was told by my spiritual father to wear one around my wrist.
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2010, 01:05:15 PM »

As a participant in the previous dialog on this matter, let me just say that there is little agreement on the topic.  So, here are a few things to ponder:

1) Some saints advocate saying the Jesus Prayer during services, but this seems to be a means of focussing the mind as opposed to an alternative service.

2) We use the Jesus prayer to focus the mind on God rather than a means of escapism (i.e. "I need to stop thinking and start paying attention, so I will say the prayer until I am back in reality again" versus "I don't like this hymn or the sermon, so I will find a 'happy place' rather than be uncomfortable or challenged").

3) Wearing the rope in public can be interpreted as a means of demonstrating one's 'piety' like the Pharisees who prayed on the street corner.

4) Having a rope openly may also engender questions and lead to opportunities for evangelism.

5) A prayer rope should never be a rear-view mirror ornament!  A cross is more appropriate.

6) "To the pure all things are pure."  If you wear the rope to impress others or convince yourself you are a Christian, then it is a sin.  If you wear it because you need it because you are weak, then wear it. 

7) I carry mine in my pocket, and I make sure not to let it be seen.  It is intimate for me.

8 ) Depending on your level of development, the Jesus Prayer serve different purposes.  In the beginning, it is a means of avoiding sinful thoughts.  Then, it becomes a means of focussing on God.  Then, it becomes the only appropriate thing to say.  Most of us never get to the third level.  We do need to know why we have it and what we are using it for.  Sometimes we need to pay attention to the road and to God, and other times to God alone.  Know the difference.

9) Sometimes you may need to not wear the rope depending on others around you, just as you would not wear a swimsuit to a funeral.  If you are determined to go to that "Black Sabbath" concert, please don't bring your prayer rope (though you will certainly need it afterwards)!

10) You can also carry beads in place of a rope.  I made mine from date pits.  On Mt. Athos, some of the monks make then from seeds of a tree they call the 'Tears of the Theotokos.'

11) Take care of your prayer rope like you would an icon.  It is holy.

Anyway, that's my 2¢.
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »

some do, some dont.  in my opinion, unless youre using it, it shouldnt be seen.

I have heard that it is very bad to be discovered by others when you are doing your prayer rule.

Then again Orthodox Christians should be able to see the spirituality of others in order to obey the words:

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

what I meant was that unless you're actually using it, even you shouldn't be able to see it.  it's a tool for prayer, not a piece of jewelry.
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2010, 01:33:40 PM »

According to St. John Chrysostom, the only appropriate thing for a Christian to wear as part of his faith is the Cross or the Scriptures.  The prayer rope was not mentioned, though I am sure it was in existence in his time.
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2010, 03:30:47 PM »

The only people I've personally met who dissuaded the wearing of a prayer rope are Russians, because it is part of the monastic habit, I have been told. Greek monastic spiritual fathers seem to encourage the wearing of the small wrist prayer rope. It reminds one he should be praying regularly. I suppose this is a cultural/local custom issue.

I advise people that ask me about it, that they should wear a wrist prayer rope but certainly not a 100-knot one with a tassel wrapped around their arm several times. That appears ostentatious to me.
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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2010, 03:31:45 PM »

According to St. John Chrysostom, the only appropriate thing for a Christian to wear as part of his faith is the Cross or the Scriptures.  The prayer rope was not mentioned, though I am sure it was in existence in his time.

That is sort of an argument from silence, though.
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