OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 02, 2014, 05:05:51 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Coptic Prayer Cross  (Read 1556 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
KostaC
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago & the Diocese of Washington (Orthodox Church in America)
Posts: 183



« on: June 05, 2013, 06:03:37 PM »

Three years ago, when my Mother and Father were visiting Ellis Island, my Mother noticed an Orthodox priest milling about along with the other tourists. She went to kiss his hand, when he pulled his hand away. My Mother was confused, since this is what we do in the Greek tradition, and he jovially explained that he was a priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and that she need not kiss his hand. As he had somehow placed his hand into his raso, his cassock, he pulled it out and placed something into her hand. It was a jet black cross, about seven-and-a-half inches long, made from braided leather strands that came together in circles to form the top and side bars of the cross. She entrusted it to me, and when I got back from Greece, I called the priest to thank him for his gift to us.  He explained that it was hand-made by monks in Egypt and on each of the circles, a prayer is said, and one goes around the 11 edges of the cross thrice to make 33 times, the number of years that Christ was on earth. This, he explained, was like our Church's komboskini. I take it with me when I go on important trips--I've taken it with me to regattas, to college, and to Istanbul and back. I only have one slight problem: I don't actually know what the prayer cross is called. I'll send a picture of it in this post in case I haven't adequately described it enough, but here's hoping that three years of wondering are about to come to an end. This generous priest and I talk all the time, in fact there have been times when I'm more comfortable telling him everything than my own parish priests, since I come from a large congregation and 1,100 souls can really weigh on them, and because this Father is an all-around amazing man. That being said, every time I make the call, it always slips my mind to ask him what his first gift was called. What can I say: I'm really scatterbrained  Cheesy.

Also, as much as I'd like to say the priest's name, I don't know if that's allowed in the rules here over privacy issues. Hopefully I'm not overstepping any potential boundaries by saying that he hails from Egypt and currently serves the community of East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Logged

«Μὴ μεριμνᾶτε λοιπὸν διὰ τὴν αὔριον, διὀτι ἡ αὐριανὴ ἡμέρα θὰ φροντίσῃ διὰ τὰ δικά της πράγματα. Φθάνει ἡ στεναχώρια τῆς ἡμέρας». Κατά Ματθαίον 6:34
IXOYE
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 602



« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 08:08:21 PM »

It is a blessing Cross.  Comparable to the ones used in the Eastern Orthodox Church.  Made of different materials.
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 15,556


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 08:34:55 PM »

I've never seen one of these made of leather, though I've seen other Coptic leather products.  Nice.

A general question to Copts/Ethiopians: is there a tradition of laypeople holding small hand-crosses like this in their own private prayers?  I met an Ethiopian deacon at a local Coptic parish, and he prays with a small hand-cross in his hand.  At first, I thought it was odd because I associated those with priests, but he said it's common.  Is it?  Or perhaps he misunderstood what I was asking? 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Jonathan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 794


WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 08:53:23 PM »

I've never seen one of these made of leather, though I've seen other Coptic leather products.  Nice.

A general question to Copts/Ethiopians: is there a tradition of laypeople holding small hand-crosses like this in their own private prayers?  I met an Ethiopian deacon at a local Coptic parish, and he prays with a small hand-cross in his hand.  At first, I thought it was odd because I associated those with priests, but he said it's common.  Is it?  Or perhaps he misunderstood what I was asking? 

Deacons hold a hand cross up when they say the responses in the Liturgy. The reason is that it is not by their own authority that they say it. When chanters and readers take the place of the deacon they do the same. The priest uses the hand cross to bless. The deacon holds it upright, and is not using it to bless people.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,454


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 09:56:28 PM »

I know a few laity who do hold hand crosses in their private practice.  My priest encourages it, although among the laity, it's also somewhat "mocked" for trying to act like a priest.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 15,556


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2013, 10:41:11 PM »

I know a few laity who do hold hand crosses in their private practice.  My priest encourages it...

That's good enough for me.  I'll start carrying a cross tomorrow morning.  Tongue
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Jonathan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 794


WWW
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 09:23:00 PM »

I know a few laity who do hold hand crosses in their private practice.  My priest encourages it...

That's good enough for me.  I'll start carrying a cross tomorrow morning.  Tongue

You can order one sized for laity here: http://www.orthodoxbookstore.org/handcrossi.aspx
for priests here: http://www.agape-bookstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=256 (can also be used for deacon's role)
or in wood here: http://www.stmosesbookstore.org/index.php/church-items/wooden-hand-cross-style-2-detail (must be wooden for the Liturgy of Baptism)
Logged
Arachne
Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Posts: 3,999


Tending Brigid's flame


« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 05:53:37 AM »

I know a few laity who do hold hand crosses in their private practice.  My priest encourages it...

That's good enough for me.  I'll start carrying a cross tomorrow morning.  Tongue

I have an olivewood 'comfort cross' that I keep in the icon corner and carry with me when travelling away from home. They can be found even on Amazon, and very cheaply too.
Logged

'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 15,556


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2013, 10:24:04 PM »

You can order one sized for laity here: http://www.orthodoxbookstore.org/handcrossi.aspx
for priests here: http://www.agape-bookstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=256 (can also be used for deacon's role)
or in wood here: http://www.stmosesbookstore.org/index.php/church-items/wooden-hand-cross-style-2-detail (must be wooden for the Liturgy of Baptism)

Thanks for the links, but you underestimate me.  I have five or six hand-crosses, I don't need to buy any.  Tongue

Arachne, what's a "comfort cross"?  Is it what Google says it is in the first page or so of results, or something else? 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
orthonorm
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,350



« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2013, 10:39:47 PM »

You can order one sized for laity here: http://www.orthodoxbookstore.org/handcrossi.aspx
for priests here: http://www.agape-bookstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=256 (can also be used for deacon's role)
or in wood here: http://www.stmosesbookstore.org/index.php/church-items/wooden-hand-cross-style-2-detail (must be wooden for the Liturgy of Baptism)

Thanks for the links, but you underestimate me.  I have five or six hand-crosses, I don't need to buy any.  Tongue

Arachne, what's a "comfort cross"?  Is it what Google says it is in the first page or so of results, or something else? 

It is probably like a "worry stone". That would be my guess and its how RCs I knew used their "comfort crosses". Perhaps Arachne is talking about something else.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Arachne
Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Posts: 3,999


Tending Brigid's flame


« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 03:01:39 AM »

Arachne, what's a "comfort cross"?  Is it what Google says it is in the first page or so of results, or something else?

Not sure my Google (UK) would bring up exactly the same results as yours. Smiley This one looks a lot like mine, down to the grain of the wood:



Basically, they're slightly irregular and rounded all over, in order to fit in the palm. They are popular with RCs who don't do rosaries, although it is said they were originally designed for hospital patients with limited mobility.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 03:02:01 AM by Arachne » Logged

'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,099


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 03:21:38 AM »

In regards to the OP, that is a beautiful and touching story. Glory to God!

When I was baptized into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, my aunt bought me an Ethiopian hand cross as a gift. She's not Orthodox, but I took her to my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Atlanta, and she saw the cross there and got it for me. So, in my zeal, I decided I was going to carry it with me everywhere I went, as a guard against temptation and as a constant reminder of my new life in Christ. But when I went to meet with my Priest and came in carrying the hand cross, he firmly but kindly rebuked me. He explained that only Priests can carry a hand cross like that publicly. But he said that it was fine for me to use in my private prayers, or even to bless my family and home when we pray.

It was my first temptation to decide whether I was going to trust the authority of the Church or trust in my own opinion. Even my wife (bless her heart) - still influenced by our former evangelical mindset - asked me "where does it say in the Bible that you can't carry a cross?" And I admit, I was troubled and discouraged. I couldn't figure out what in the world was wrong with me carrying around a hand cross. My intentions were not to imitate a Priest, I simply wanted to glorify God and have a tangible reminder of the imperative to "cling to the Cross." But when I submitted myself to the waters of baptism, I asked God to humble me and make me submissive to the Church's teachings and not my own fallible logic.

That hand cross is on our icon shelf, and when times are really difficult I pick it up and kiss it. And sometimes I even sleep with it. So, it has served its purpose well, even if I don't get to walk around with it publicly.


Selam
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 03:22:53 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 15,556


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 10:01:45 AM »

Basically, they're slightly irregular and rounded all over, in order to fit in the palm. They are popular with RCs who don't do rosaries, although it is said they were originally designed for hospital patients with limited mobility.

Interesting...thanks!  That's basically what I pulled up (though now I'll have to search for "worry stone" Tongue).  I've never seen anyone use a cross like this, and I've never met a Roman Catholic who didn't "do" the Rosary in some way, so maybe that explains it. 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Romaios
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Romanian
Posts: 2,933



« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 02:41:03 PM »

though now I'll have to search for "worry stone" Tongue). 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worry_beads
Logged
Arachne
Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Posts: 3,999


Tending Brigid's flame


« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2013, 03:42:55 PM »


No, no, no... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worry_stone

Logged

'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 15,556


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2013, 04:04:37 PM »

Thanks.  Do these things "work", or are they just things to hold that feel nice?   
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Arachne
Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Posts: 3,999


Tending Brigid's flame


« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2013, 04:11:04 PM »

Thanks.  Do these things "work", or are they just things to hold that feel nice?

They work in much the same way that worry beads do, or squishy stress balls - keeping hands busy, as an alternative to fidgeting. Liking the feel is a bonus. Smiley
Logged

'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox
NicholasMyra
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian/Greek
Posts: 5,769


Avowed denominationalist


« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2013, 04:44:55 PM »

We have our own worry beads custom here in the States, which is called "keys".
Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.078 seconds with 44 queries.