Poll

Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?

Yes
18 (81.8%)
No
0 (0%)
Only when it would get damaged
4 (18.2%)

Total Members Voted: 22

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Offline William

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Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« on: August 26, 2013, 05:25:58 PM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline augustin717

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 05:30:32 PM »
only when i do certain things and they'd get in the way

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 05:32:00 PM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?
Who here even has a chotki?
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Offline William

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 05:33:30 PM »
only when i do certain things and they'd get in the way

You're left handed?
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2013, 05:33:54 PM »
Doesn't wearing it get in the way of using it? (no sarcasm intended, seriously asking)  :)
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Offline William

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2013, 05:34:11 PM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?
Who here even has a chotki?

They're pretty common at my parish, maybe that's just an Evangeliochian though.
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline augustin717

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 05:35:35 PM »
only when i do certain things and they'd get in the way

You're left handed?
i wear a pair on both wrists

Offline Ansgar

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2013, 05:37:23 PM »
I have one, but I can't carry it on my wrist, so I just have it at my prayer corner.

Actually, I thought that only monks were supposed to wear a chotki all the time.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 05:37:35 PM by Ansgar »
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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2013, 05:37:49 PM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?
Who here even has a chotki?

They're pretty common at my parish, maybe that's just an Evangeliochian though.

There are maybe 2-3 people at my parish who do this. They are not "Evangeliochian" but it is quite rare. Traditionally layfolk don't generally have prayer ropes visible.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 05:38:06 PM by Iconodule »
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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2013, 05:38:43 PM »
I buy one every time I visit home (I refuse to pay extortionate prices for 'designer' chotkis online) and wear it until it frays. I wear it most of the time but don't get it wet, so it's off for showering and doing dishes.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 05:39:00 PM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?
Who here even has a chotki?

They're pretty common at my parish, maybe that's just an Evangeliochian though.
I'm a member of a parish whose priest sees this as a monastic practice and strictly forbids its use in parish services. (He has nothing to say about those who use a chotki in their private prayers at home.)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 05:40:09 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 05:42:31 PM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?
Who here even has a chotki?

They're pretty common at my parish, maybe that's just an Evangeliochian though.
I'm a member of a parish whose priest sees this as a monastic practice and strictly forbids its use in parish services. (He has nothing to say about those who use a chotki in their private prayers at home.)

In Greece they are extremely popular, worn even by people who have no idea they are used for prayer. Even the Athonite monks who come to church fairs, knot the chotkis there in front of people and put them on buyers with a blessing, don't ask or tell people how to use them. As if wearing them, especially blessed, is enough. Your priest would be scandalised. ;)
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 06:13:42 PM »
I don't wear it, so it's not a problem.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2013, 06:41:50 PM »
I have one, but I can't carry it on my wrist, so I just have it at my prayer corner.

Actually, I thought that only monks were supposed to wear a chotki all the time.

Prayer ropes are for everyone. But not even monks wear them, necessarily. The "sign of unceasing prayer" is unceasing prayer itself.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2013, 10:04:41 PM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?
Who here even has a chotki?

I was given one by a monk.
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Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2013, 10:44:22 PM »
I'm not Orthodox but I carry one in my pocket and pray with it when out for walks etc.  I try not to have it visible.  One time I had a 100 knot prayer rope out as I walking and someone thought it was a leash and I had lost my dog or that I was pretending to walk what would be an invisible dog.  I was really confused and just gave the person an honestly befuddled look.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2013, 10:49:37 PM »
I have one but don't wear it around. Don't use it much either. It seems pretentious to me except when done by some exceptionally holy lay people.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2013, 11:01:47 PM »
I have a 36-knot prayer rope that was made by my godfather, although I've never attempted to wear it and it'd hang awkwardly if I even tried. Also, it's always been my understanding that it's more of a monastic practice.

I don't use it often - I'm not much into the Jesus Prayer as a devotion beyond the occasional use as an ejaculatory prayer.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 11:04:08 PM by Nephi »

Offline augustin717

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2013, 11:07:16 PM »
Quote
ejaculatory prayer
God-words are often used at that moment, it's true. That particular prayer seems kinda long though.

Offline William

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2013, 11:10:29 PM »
I think I'll wear one. Maybe get it water-proof so I can look cool at the pool. Wristbands are in-fashion for my age group so it'll be pretty sweet, bros. Modern culture meets Orthodoxy.

In all seriousness, what would honestly be the problem if I actually used it and didn't just wear it to show off?
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2013, 11:11:56 PM »

In all seriousness, what would honestly be the problem if I actually used it and didn't just wear it to show off?
Then, it would only go from bad to worse.

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2013, 11:15:50 PM »
Quote
ejaculatory prayer
God-words are often used at that moment, it's true. That particular prayer seems kinda long though.

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Offline William

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2013, 11:18:10 PM »

In all seriousness, what would honestly be the problem if I actually used it and didn't just wear it to show off?
Then, it would only go from bad to worse.

Well I know you kind of like to subtly encourage degeneracy on the board, but I think this is the first time I've seen you straight-up say praying is bad.

You should probably shave the neckbeard and get over yourself.
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline augustin717

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2013, 11:23:37 PM »
Quote
but I think this is the first time I've seen you straight-up say praying is bad.
so you can't pray without a ciotchi. that's what you wanna say. it's for silly stuff like this that i come here.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 11:29:53 PM by augustin717 »

Offline jah777

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2013, 08:02:57 AM »
Quote
Once there was a monk from the monastery of St. Paul on Mount Athos, who had gone to the church of St. Gerasimos on the island of Cephallonia.  During the Divine Liturgy, while the chanters were singing, he was sitting in the altar and praying with his prayer rope:  “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.”

That day, there also happened to be a possessed person in the Church who had been brought to St. Gerasimos’ relics with the hope of being cured.  As the monk was saying the Jesus Prayer in the altar, the demon was being seared outside and began to shout:  “Stop turning that rope, you monk!  It’s burning me!”

When the attending priest heard this, he said to the monk:  “Pray with your prayer rope as hard as you can, my son, for God’s creature to be freed from the demon.”

The demon then shouted with even greater anger:  “You rotten priest!  Why are you telling him to pull that string?  It’s burning me!”

The monk then prayed with his prayer rope with even greater effort, and the possessed man was delivered from the demon.  (Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters, pp. 153-154)

Everyone knows that monks use their prayer rope during services.  Why would this be understood as helpful to the monk in his effort to pray but not helpful to the laity in their efforts to pray?  Are the laity less distracted during services than monks?  I would think the laity are in even greater need of using the prayer rope during services.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 08:03:21 AM by jah777 »

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2013, 08:34:23 AM »
I wear a 33 knot rope on my wrist.  When I get a bit slow at work, have a moment of time, or my mind is going idle with odd/evil thoughts, I use it to pray.  After lunch I try to pray too.  Then I nap.  After my evening prayers I use it too.  To me, it's a good reminder to keep my thoughts in prayer.  If I wear it when I go to Church, I'll use it before Matins/DL begins.  During Liturgy, I try to listen and participate as I am able.  If I go to a Protestant church, then that thing is turning in my hands the whole service while I ask God to protect my mind and heart from the things being preached.
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2013, 11:38:42 AM »
Do you ever remove your wrist chotki? Or do you keep it on always as a sign of prayer without ceasing? Or is that only for monks?

Are you talking about a normal wool komboskini, a wool wrist komboskini with normal knots, or one of the small wrist komboskini that has tiny knots and is waterproof?

I bought one of the latter in Greece for a relative, apparently in Greece they wear the waterproof ones so they never have to take them off (but they also don't stretch them, so you need fingernails to use them).
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 11:40:46 AM by 88Devin12 »

Offline William

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2013, 01:28:06 PM »
Quote
but I think this is the first time I've seen you straight-up say praying is bad.
so you can't pray without a ciotchi. that's what you wanna say. it's for silly stuff like this that i come here.

Except that's not what I said.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 01:29:38 PM by William »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2013, 02:06:06 PM »
I heard from a priest once who advised that wearing a chotki in general unless you are a monk is a bad idea because it becomes a symbol of pride for laity.  If you are using one, it is best to keep hidden on your person and use as needed.  To wear it is like the pharisee who prayed loudly in the temple.  I think that is very good advice.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 02:07:05 PM by TheTrisagion »
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2013, 02:10:39 PM »
So anyways...

I didn't get into the custom of wearing a prayer rope for a few different reasons. First, because I don't like jewelry or things "on me" period; I didn't even wear my wedding ring most of the time, and when I owned a watch it was a pocket watch. Second, I had to take it off to use it anyway, thus my question in my first response in this thread; do other people use prayer ropes while still on their wrists? Third, I never found the prayer ropes that I owned matched my chubby fingers; the knots were just too small to be of use, and I would thus be distracted trying to keep track whether I was skipping a knot or had needed to move on and such. And fourth, I just never found them helpful generally. When I did, sometimes/rarely, have a prayer rope, and take it out, I'd just keep it in my pocket. But generally I just said the Jesus prayer, or whatever else, without using one. Or as was more likely, tried to say prayers, get distracted, and then stop, in which case using a prayer rope to pray for 45 seconds would have bit of overkill anyway. Obviously my own experience is probably different than that of most people. But then this thread is about each of our experiences, right? :)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 02:12:35 PM by Asteriktos »
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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2013, 02:20:28 PM »
I heard from a priest once who advised that wearing a chotki in general unless you are a monk is a bad idea because it becomes a symbol of pride for laity.  If you are using one, it is best to keep hidden on your person and use as needed.  To wear it is like the pharisee who prayed loudly in the temple.  I think that is very good advice.

Surely, there is a difference between a person who wears a 500-knot rope, spending time adjusting it during liturgy, and never prays as opposed to someone who wears a small one on the wrist, does not fiddle with it, and never prays.  If you don't use it to aid in your prayer life, you are right, it can be a symbol of pride and a stumbling block.  Even those who don't wear or use one for whatever reason, it's more important that they pray as well.  I'm about the furthest thing from being a monk, but the rope is merely a tool for me.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2013, 02:25:34 PM »
I heard from a priest once who advised that wearing a chotki in general unless you are a monk is a bad idea because it becomes a symbol of pride for laity.  If you are using one, it is best to keep hidden on your person and use as needed.  To wear it is like the pharisee who prayed loudly in the temple.  I think that is very good advice.

Surely, there is a difference between a person who wears a 500-knot rope, spending time adjusting it during liturgy, and never prays as opposed to someone who wears a small one on the wrist, does not fiddle with it, and never prays.  If you don't use it to aid in your prayer life, you are right, it can be a symbol of pride and a stumbling block.  Even those who don't wear or use one for whatever reason, it's more important that they pray as well.  I'm about the furthest thing from being a monk, but the rope is merely a tool for me.
I would guess that he was speaking from his experiences in hearing confessions and the like. I certainly don't think there should be a blanket condemnation or exaltation of chotkis and I'm sure that the priests that have been referenced so far do not intend it in that way. There job is to help us find the balance in our lives to best live like Christ.  They may each have different thoughts on how that may best be demonstrated.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2013, 10:42:36 PM »
Personally, I'm wary of advising folks who aren't used to using the prayer rope all the time to use it during the Liturgy.  It can be a tool to help focus one on the prayers if it is already a useful tool to focus one on something other than the Jesus Prayer... If you're still in the learning stages, getting used to the cycle and rhythm of the prayer of the heart, then that will become your focus instead of the Liturgy.  Once it becomes a more regular part of your practice, then it can be useful.  Don't fret - St. John Chrysostom's anaphora (or St. Basil's, St. James', etc.) is uplifting enough!
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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2013, 10:44:13 PM »
Don't fret - St. John Chrysostom's anaphora (or St. Basil's, St. James', etc.) is uplifting enough!

Alas!  It is not read aloud so often.  ;)
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2013, 11:10:03 PM »
When I used it more frequently I usually took it off in the day and used it in the morning and evening.

Offline Seraphim98

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2013, 11:21:18 PM »
When I first became Orthodox I wore a small prayer rope all the time…until it just broke. Then I got another, and later another. Over those years I noticed, that to get it on my hand I had to stretch it out, but that left it sort of floppy on my wrist. The longer I had it and used it (pulling it on and off at various times like to bathe) it got longer and floppier and at work I was having to tuck the loose bits under my watch band lest it snag on something…it also looked odd just drooping there at work.  After the third one, I stopped wearing them and am not sure I even have a 33 knot one anymore. I do have a 100 knot one for use near my icons, but that's the only one I use now (not nearly enough to be sure). Maybe it's just force of habit, but wearing a short chotki on my wrist out and about just feels a wee bit pretentious…for me at least. If I ever got another I would probably keep it in my pocket…I just don't like it when it gets all stretchy and floppy and in need to being secured under my watchband.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2013, 11:00:32 PM »
My understanding is that when we are in liturgy it is meant to be *corporate* worship, not individual worship. So if you are standing there, praying alone and using a prayer rope you miss out on the corporate aspect. I have seen people in our parish use a prayer rope during the preparatory prayers right before communion, and during Matins. Otherwise I haven't seen it much at our parish. There could be some people doing it that I haven't seen of course. But for the most part the prayer ropes are put away during liturgy at our parish in my observations.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2013, 11:20:03 PM »
I do have a couple general thoughts on the private/corporate point that Quinault mentioned:

1) For those that can't understand the language of the Liturgy, and thereby can't participate fully, wouldn't it make sense to pray something instead of just standing there watching everything as a spectator? At least it's within the context of corporate worship, even if not the same prayers being said.

2) The Extraordinary Form of the Mass is a pretty non-participatory liturgy AFAIK. I've heard that Catholics are encouraged to pray the Rosary (etc.) during the EF Mass when they're not currently "involved," for the lack of a better word. I assume pre-schism Liturgies (maybe OO too, if someone can comment) can also range in their degree of how participatory it is. Maybe the WR Liturgy of St. Gregory would fit this category (since I've heard it resembles the Tridentine). Wouldn't it be more reasonable for a person in such a liturgy to perform personal prayers outside those parts of the Liturgy/Mass that involve the parishioners? IDK, just wondering.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 11:21:11 PM by Nephi »

Offline Romaios

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2013, 11:32:43 PM »
I've heard that Catholics are encouraged to pray the Rosary (etc.) during the EF Mass when they're not currently "involved," for the lack of a better word.

I have an old German Catholic prayer book which recommends just that, teaching the faithful what mysteries to ponder on at every moment of Mass. Meßandachten they are called - attributed to Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. Flamboyant pietism!

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2013, 11:52:36 PM »
I don't have a dog in this fight.  All I can say is we wore them in church in both the OCA and ROCOR.  I didn't hear any clergy speaking against them in liturgy.

However, I have heard a discussion of keeping the focus on the Eucharist during the liturgy, and not distractions.

I think the real issue here is if the prayer rope would cause distraction of what is taking place in the liturgy (in private prayer), more so than engaging in worship with the Orthodox Church body.   Despite the name calling this is a rather interesting subject.

I recall praying the Jesus prayer as the Eucharist was placed in my mouth.... Was this a distraction?  Certainly didn't feel like it.   But also the privacy of prayer was interesting, as (of course) I was in communion with the entire world Eastern Orthodox body at the time.

Today my opinion of the prayer rope differs much as many here know, so I'm just putting out memories and don't speak in agreement or authority on the subject.
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Online Mor Ephrem

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2013, 12:12:32 AM »
I assume pre-schism Liturgies (maybe OO too, if someone can comment) can also range in their degree of how participatory it is.

Indians and Copts, in my experience, are very much about congregational chanting, "full participation", etc.  Perhaps the Ethiopians are the same, but I don't know.  I don't know about the Syrians, and the Armenians I've worshiped with seemed more passive in the Liturgy than I'm used to, but many will sing along throughout the Liturgy, and some things everyone will join in. 
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2013, 01:40:19 AM »
I personally don't get the point of a chotki. I have no reason to keep track of how much I say the Jesus Prayer. I simply say it when I need to say it and don't keep track of how many times I say it.
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Offline mike

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2013, 02:15:51 AM »
1) For those that can't understand the language of the Liturgy, and thereby can't participate fully, wouldn't it make sense to pray something instead of just standing there watching everything as a spectator?

Liturgy is taking blead, bread and wine are transformed no matter whether all people present understand the language or not. Snd since over 90% of every DL is the same every time argument about not understanding is rather invalid.

Quote
At least it's within the context of corporate worship, even if not the same prayers being said.

Why not stay at home then?

Offline Nephi

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2013, 02:25:19 AM »
1) For those that can't understand the language of the Liturgy, and thereby can't participate fully, wouldn't it make sense to pray something instead of just standing there watching everything as a spectator?

Liturgy is taking blead, bread and wine are transformed no matter whether all people present understand the language or not. Snd since over 90% of every DL is the same every time argument about not understanding is rather invalid.

Then there's no problem with using a prayer rope while we wait for the bread and wine to be transformed.

Quote
Quote
At least it's within the context of corporate worship, even if not the same prayers being said.

Why not stay at home then?

Didn't realize prayers at home were "within the context of corporate worship."

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Re: Do you ever remove your wrist chotki?
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2013, 08:58:42 AM »
Liturgy is taking blead, bread and wine are transformed no matter whether all people present understand the language or not.

Yes and no.

Quote
Snd since over 90% of every DL is the same every time argument about not understanding is rather invalid.

Yes and no.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:59:56 AM by Mor Ephrem »
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