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Author Topic: can I pray the rosary?  (Read 3303 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: July 15, 2010, 08:27:48 AM »

can I pray the rosary, even though I'm an Orthodox Christian?  when I was trying to find a faith, I would pray the rosary and it helped alot.  I also have lately been feeling like I need to pray more.  and I know that when I said the rosary every day, I no longer had a certain lustful problem I struggle with now.  couldn't I just change the creed to the Orthodox Creed?  this may sound dumb for a new convert to want to pray the prayers of the rosary, but it used to give me such comfort.  and to tell you the truth, I miss the rosary.  I used to take it to school and hold it when being bullied.  my family, on my father's side, has always been strongly Catholic (that ended with my father, a non-practicing Catholic) and I have my great grandmother's rosary that she brought from Poland, that I used to pray, and I hate that it's just sitting in a drawer, taking up space.

what do you think?
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 09:04:43 AM »

couldn't I just change the creed to the Orthodox Creed? 

The Apostle's Creed is an Orthodox Creed. It was used in the Holy Church of Rome even before it went into Schism and it remains a valid expression of the Orthodox faith even though it is not liturgically used in the Byzantine rite services.

As for myself I like the rosary and learnt to venerate the Mother of God through it but I more or less stopped praying it after my conversion since I began to feel uncomfortable with Heterodox devotions. But I can't say whether say should not pray it. I let the more knowledgeable to answer the issue.
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 09:53:40 AM »

I'm not exactly sure of the prayer itself, but why don't you just own a prayer rope? Its similar to the Rosary yet its Orthodox.
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 12:34:57 PM »

One could answer theoretically and generally, but if we are talking about what you, specifically, should pray, I would say it is a question for your spiritual father.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 12:39:09 PM »

Talk to your priest.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 03:43:43 PM »

Is there any part of the Holy Rosary that actually goes against Orthodox teaching? It's a devotion where you venerate the Mother of God and meditate on the life of Jesus and Mary. There's nothing in it that an Orthodox Christian would find heretical is there?
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 04:14:15 PM »

There are lots of Orthodox devotions to the Mother of God, why not use one of them?  I was originally RC, but now that I am Orthodox I prefer to use Orthodox forms of prayer.  But, again, when  unsure ask your priest, but don't be surprised if he says, "No.".
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 04:27:59 PM »

There are lots of Orthodox devotions to the Mother of God, why not use one of them?  I was originally RC, but now that I am Orthodox I prefer to use Orthodox forms of prayer.  But, again, when  unsure ask your priest, but don't be surprised if he says, "No.".
Why would a Priest say no? Simply utilizing a devotion that happens to be popular in the west doesn't mean you cease to be Orthodox, does it? I'm Catholic but I still pray the Jesus Prayer, and I'm 99% sure that if I told my Priest that I sometimes pray the Jesus Prayer that he would not be opposed to it at all.
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 06:06:00 PM »

There are lots of Orthodox devotions to the Mother of God, why not use one of them?  I was originally RC, but now that I am Orthodox I prefer to use Orthodox forms of prayer.  But, again, when  unsure ask your priest, but don't be surprised if he says, "No.".
Why would a Priest say no? Simply utilizing a devotion that happens to be popular in the west doesn't mean you cease to be Orthodox, does it? I'm Catholic but I still pray the Jesus Prayer, and I'm 99% sure that if I told my Priest that I sometimes pray the Jesus Prayer that he would not be opposed to it at all.

It's possible that one would simply take the premise that its composition was not enlightened by life in the Church and therefore it would be more spiritually beneficial to pray legitimately orthodox prayers.
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 06:34:06 PM »

^ what Alveus and Shanghaiski said.

It's worth noting, though, in a general way, that St Seraphim of Sarov prayed a version of the 'rosary' and recommended it to others.

One aspect of Roman Catholic practice vis-a-vis the rosary that I'm a bit wary of is the 'contemplation' of thevarious 'mysteries'. From what I understand, Orthodox prayer of the heart avoids the use of the imagination. If I remember rightly the imaginative or contemplative aspect was absent from St Seraphim's rule. And of course, he used the Orthodox version of the Ave Maria: Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among(st) women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

Before beginning any prayer rule, consult your spiritual father.
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 06:38:49 PM »

As to the beads themselves, I don't see why you couldn't use them. Just get them blessed by your priest first. Traditionally, Eastern Christians use ropes, but in pre-Schism Orthodox England, for example, beads were used. The English word 'bead' is actually derived from the Old English word for 'prayer'!
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2010, 10:46:54 AM »

http://www.westernorthodox.com/rosary.html

They seem to have no problem with Orthodox Christians praying the Rosary.
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2010, 10:19:32 PM »

I too wanted to pray the rosary when I became Orthodox and my priest said it was perfectly okay. Most western rite Orthodox who pray the rosary pray it the way the Catholics did before the Luminious mysteries were introduced. The most common version used is this one here:

http://www.spokaneorthodox.com/

Just look on the right for the link that says "The Rosary"
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2010, 12:54:05 AM »

^ what Alveus and Shanghaiski said.

It's worth noting, though, in a general way, that St Seraphim of Sarov prayed a version of the 'rosary' and recommended it to others.

One aspect of Roman Catholic practice vis-a-vis the rosary that I'm a bit wary of is the 'contemplation' of thevarious 'mysteries'. From what I understand, Orthodox prayer of the heart avoids the use of the imagination. If I remember rightly the imaginative or contemplative aspect was absent from St Seraphim's rule. And of course, he used the Orthodox version of the Ave Maria: Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among(st) women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

Before beginning any prayer rule, consult your spiritual father.

There's nothing like lectio divina in Orthodoxy?

M.
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2010, 01:29:05 AM »

I second what Alveus Lacuna said: speak to your priest about praying the Rosary.  I have heard from RC's who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and were given permission from their priests to go ahead and continue the practice.  I've also heard from former RC's that they were told not to pray the Rosary, so it really depends on your priest/spiritual father or mother. 
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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2010, 02:53:13 PM »

^ what Alveus and Shanghaiski said.

It's worth noting, though, in a general way, that St Seraphim of Sarov prayed a version of the 'rosary' and recommended it to others.

One aspect of Roman Catholic practice vis-a-vis the rosary that I'm a bit wary of is the 'contemplation' of thevarious 'mysteries'. From what I understand, Orthodox prayer of the heart avoids the use of the imagination. If I remember rightly the imaginative or contemplative aspect was absent from St Seraphim's rule. And of course, he used the Orthodox version of the Ave Maria: Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among(st) women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

Before beginning any prayer rule, consult your spiritual father.

There's nothing like lectio divina in Orthodoxy?

M.

I wouldn't say that. But generally the East is suspicious of any thing involving imagination.
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2010, 03:41:28 PM »

^ what Alveus and Shanghaiski said.

It's worth noting, though, in a general way, that St Seraphim of Sarov prayed a version of the 'rosary' and recommended it to others.

One aspect of Roman Catholic practice vis-a-vis the rosary that I'm a bit wary of is the 'contemplation' of thevarious 'mysteries'. From what I understand, Orthodox prayer of the heart avoids the use of the imagination. If I remember rightly the imaginative or contemplative aspect was absent from St Seraphim's rule. And of course, he used the Orthodox version of the Ave Maria: Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among(st) women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

Before beginning any prayer rule, consult your spiritual father.

There's nothing like lectio divina in Orthodoxy?

M.


The Orthodox are advised to pray to the Holy Spirit (O Heavenly King...) before studying the scriptures, the practice closest to Lectio Divina that I have participated in.
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2010, 01:06:13 AM »

As some have already said, the Holy Fathers of Christ's Holy Orthodox Church have tended to reject/warn against the idea of creating mental images.  From my admittedly limited reading of the Holy Fathers on prayer, creating mental images is a crude form of prayer at best and a sure path to spiritual delusion at worst.  With that said, the best advice given here is to consult with your spiritual father or priest.  And of course, if he blesses its use, do your best to not create mental images, although that is very difficult for those of us are at the first stage of prayer.  
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2010, 01:15:06 AM »

As some have already said, the Holy Fathers of Christ's Holy Orthodox Church have tended to reject/warn against the idea of creating mental images.  From my admittedly limited reading of the Holy Fathers on prayer, creating mental images is a crude form of prayer at best and a sure path to spiritual delusion at worst.  With that said, the best advice given here is to consult with your spiritual father or priest.  And of course, if he blesses its use, do your best to not create mental images, although that is very difficult for those of us are at the first stage of prayer.  

Even images that are similar to icons?

What if one were to imitate an icon that they had seen in a church in their mind?
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2010, 01:24:20 AM »

As some have already said, the Holy Fathers of Christ's Holy Orthodox Church have tended to reject/warn against the idea of creating mental images.  From my admittedly limited reading of the Holy Fathers on prayer, creating mental images is a crude form of prayer at best and a sure path to spiritual delusion at worst.  With that said, the best advice given here is to consult with your spiritual father or priest.  And of course, if he blesses its use, do your best to not create mental images, although that is very difficult for those of us are at the first stage of prayer. 

Even images that are similar to icons?

What if one were to imitate an icon that they had seen in a church in their mind?


First, it must be said that I know little of the prayer of the heart.  I haven't acquired the prayer of the heart and so my knowledge is completely of the mind and insufficient.  From what I understand, imitating an icon in the mind, while not condemned, is seen as a more crude form of prayer precisely because it is prayer of the imagination and/or mind, not prayer of the mind in the heart.   A hesychast has no use of such images because the prayer is in the heart.  Of course we're not all going to be great hesychasts, but we should recognize that there are levels of prayer and some are more safe and effective than others. 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 01:35:10 AM by Seth84 » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2010, 12:36:33 PM »

^ what Alveus and Shanghaiski said.

It's worth noting, though, in a general way, that St Seraphim of Sarov prayed a version of the 'rosary' and recommended it to others.

One aspect of Roman Catholic practice vis-a-vis the rosary that I'm a bit wary of is the 'contemplation' of thevarious 'mysteries'. From what I understand, Orthodox prayer of the heart avoids the use of the imagination. If I remember rightly the imaginative or contemplative aspect was absent from St Seraphim's rule. And of course, he used the Orthodox version of the Ave Maria: Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among(st) women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

Before beginning any prayer rule, consult your spiritual father.

There's nothing like lectio divina in Orthodoxy?

M.

I wouldn't say that. But generally the East is suspicious of any thing involving imagination.

In the Philokalia there is a distinction made between the contemplation of holy things and fantasy.

Do Orthodox in general make that distinction?

M.
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2010, 11:07:17 PM »

The problem is that, through demonic beguilement because of pride, the contemplation of even holy things can lead to delusion. My understanding is that no images should be formed in the mind at prayer, if one is trying to be vigilant about it. The holy icon on the wall and the mental image are two very separate things.
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2010, 12:39:18 AM »

You shouldn't because it's not within the tradition and practice of the Orthodox Church.  Orthodox hymnology has more hymns to the Theotokos than you could ever learn.  Try the "Small Supplications to the Most Holy Mother of God," the "Paraklesis," a service Greek (and some Antiochian) Orthodox parishes will be conducting week nights within the week.  "Most Holy Theotokos Save Us."

"Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2010, 04:35:01 PM »

You shouldn't because it's not within the tradition and practice of the Orthodox Church.  Orthodox hymnology has more hymns to the Theotokos than you could ever learn.  Try the "Small Supplications to the Most Holy Mother of God," the "Paraklesis," a service Greek (and some Antiochian) Orthodox parishes will be conducting week nights within the week.  "Most Holy Theotokos Save Us."

"Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

St. Seraphim would  contradict you, albeit I'm unaware of evidence for 150 Angelic Salutations to the Theotokos being common practice prior to the 11th century.
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