Marian prayers and rosary beads

prodromas

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I read somewhere on a forum that the prayers used with the rosary beads about Mary literally came from the Theotokos herself can someone confirm this.
 

minasoliman

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prodromas said:
I read somewhere on a forum that the prayers used with the rosary beads about Mary literally came from the Theotokos herself can someone confirm this.
Well, I thought it was based on the words of the Archangel Gabriel.
 

prodromas

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sorry no I meant the concept of that particular prayer and how important it is in prayer life not the actual words sorry for the confusion.
 

Deacon Lance

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Pious legend ascribes the Dominican Rosary to St. Dominic, but this is most probably to the Domincans promotion of this devotion among the laity.  It is a fact of history that monastics unable to read the Office were given option to recite Our Fathers in place of the Office.  The original Rosary was 150 Our Fathers in place of the 150 Pslams.  (This is not unlike the Athonite practice of assigning a number of Jesus Prayers for a missed communal Office.)  Later laity took up this simple practice.  Even later did the Hail Mary take the place of most of the Our Fathers. Later still were the Mysteries joined to the Rosary.

Using the Orthodox versions of the Nicene Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be I don't see what could be objectionable in an Orthodox using this devotion.  And the oft cited "one is required to use their imagination with the  Mysteries" is a bunch of bull.  One is instructed to meditate on the Mysteries much as one is instucted to meditate with Icons.  Never has the teaching of the Church on this prayer been to "fantasize" about being at the Nativity, Crucifixion, etc.  That is not to say some ignorant people have taught this, but their bad example should not invalidate the form.

Fr. Deacon Lance
 

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I have asked this before and not gotten a very good explanation, but I'd like to have a step by step guide to praying the "Orthodox" rosary.  I've seen links to some Western Rite OC rosary sites, but they assume that the reader has a basic understanding of how to pray the Rosary to begin with.  I was raised Lutheran, so even though Martin Luther might have continued the practice, it's use certainly didn't filter down into his spiritual descendents 400 years later.  Would I have to buy a RC basic book on the Rosary and change some things or substitute others? 

What I do now seems so much simpler or self-explanatory - pray the Jesus prayer but at the 11th knot large bead say the Rejoice O Virgin Theotokos prayer.  I've always been curious about the Rosary, however, and more than 17 years ago, had the idea as a searching Lutheran to make my own rosary / prayer rope with clay beads and do a kind of Lutheran prayer rule.  It was at least 6 months before I knew anything about the Orthodox Church, and was trying to resolve my feelings about Luther's purpose in not abolishing the Catholic Church, but reforming it.  So I figured there was something purposeful in a Rosary type prayer.  Once I found Orthodoxy, I dropped my interest in the Rosary as being to Catholic and not Orthodox.  I've only recently found a little bit of renewed interest in it.

 

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Deacon Lance said:
And the oft cited "one is required to use their imagination with the  Mysteries" is a bunch of bull.  One is instructed to meditate on the Mysteries much as one is instucted to meditate with Icons.  Never has the teaching of the Church on this prayer been to "fantasize" about being at the Nativity, Crucifixion, etc.  That is not to say some ignorant people have taught this, but their bad example should not invalidate the form.
"Again drawing from the Holy Fathers, Fr. Seraphim [Rose] counseled his spiritual children not to trust in or get carried away by their imagination, especially in prayer. Fr. Alexey Young recalls how, when he was still a Roman Catholic preparing to become Orthodox, he was given an important lesson by Fr. Seraphim: “I asked Fr. Seraphim about meditation, which my wife and I, still under the influence of our Roman Catholic background, had made part of our regular routine of morning prayer. We did not yet realize that the Orthodox understanding of meditation is quite different from the Western Christian view. In conversation, Fr. Seraphim explained that the use of imagination in Western spiritual systems of meditation—viz., while saying the Rosary, reciting the Stations of the Cross, or doing the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, etc.—was not compatible with Orthodox spirituality and was forbidden because imagination came into use only after the fall of Adam and Eve; it is one of the lowest functions of the soul and the favorite playground of the devil, who can and does use human imagination in order to deceive and mislead even well-meaning people.”  http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/fsr_84.aspx
 

Deacon Lance

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I thought I was very clear in my post that some do teach wrong methods of meditation.  What I was taught (and what the Church teaches) was exactly like what I have read and heard Orthodox decribe as appropriate meditation before Icons.  In any case it does not invalidate the saying of the Rosary as a devotion or rule of prayer other than wrong use of the Jesus Prayer invalidates that form.
 

prodromas

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I was just wondering not to sound a bit protestant but do you think there is to much emphasis on mary in Catholic view of prayer life?
 
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Deacon Lance said:
I thought I was very clear in my post that some do teach wrong methods of meditation.
You were, and a better rebuttal would have been a quotation from some official RC source. Until that source, if it exists, is brought forward I see no reason why you should not be given the benefit of any doubt.
 

Deacon Lance

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Tina,

The simplest thing to do would be to use a Chotki and say the Eastern Hail Mary on the small knots and the Our Father on the large knots

Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, 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 borne the Saviour of our souls.


If using a Latin Rosary You would start with the Nicene Creed, then an Our Father on the 1st large bead, then 3 Hail Marys, then an Our Father on each large bead and Hail Marys on each set of 10 little beads finishing each decade with Glory to the Father... you can conclude the Rosary with:

The door of compassion open unto us, O blessed Theotokos, for, hoping in thee, let us not perish; through thee may we be delivered from adversities, for thou art the salvation of the Christian race.
or
It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever-blessed and most blameless and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.
or
To thee, the Champion Leader, we thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos; but as thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride Unwedded!



 

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prodromas said:
I was just wondering not to sound a bit protestant but do you think there is to much emphasis on mary in Catholic view of prayer life?
I don't think that the Roman Catholic Church comes even close to the Orthodox Church's devotion to Mary.  Check out how many days of the year are dedicated to the commemoration of one of her many wonder-working icons.  How about the Akathist and Paraklis?  And, how many of our litanies (Great, Little, Litany of Supplication, etc.) end with the petition " Commemorating our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever virgin Mary..."?  Our morning, evening, and post-Communion prayers all have at least one prayer to Mary.
Most Holy Mother of God, save us!
 

Deacon Lance

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From the Catechism:

http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt4sect1chpt3.htm#art1

And before someone jumps on the use of the owrd imagination in the text, and I think this has been discussed here before, that which is translated as imagination is probably better translated as fantasy.  For example if when we pray we do not have an icon an instead think of an icon we have used our imagination but we have not fantasized which is something different and that is what the Fathers wanted people to guard against.
 

ozgeorge

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Perhaps a suggestion might be to use actual Icons of the events to be meditated on? Perhaps they could be in book form?

One of the important aspects of Orthodox Liturgy and Spirituality is the immediacy of the events of the Gospel, not simply as historical events, but present today. At Christmas we sing: "Today the Virgin comes to the cave....". At Pascha we sing "It is the Day of Resurrection..........Today Hades cries out groaning......". On the Feast of the Annunciation we sing:"Today is the beginning of our salvation...."
In a similar way, Icons make present ("re-present") the Hypostases and events they depict. Perhaps the use of such styalized Icons may be of benefit, especially in the avoidance of fantasy.
Anyway, that just a thought. Now we just need someone to design the Icons.....How are you at Iconography Deacon Lance? ;)
 

ozgeorge

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Didymus said:
Sorry but what is a Chotki?
A Chotki (Russian) or Komboskini (Greek) is a set of either knots or beads (or both) on a circular cord used in the Eastern Orthodox Churches for the recitation of the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.")
An example of a knotted one is here: http://www.orthodoxbooksanditems.com/sprgrbl.JPG
 
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The Coptic term for prayer rope is Mequetaria. Given that the existence and use of the prayer rope originated in Coptic monasticism (via St Pachomious), it should be no surprise that it is part of Coptic tradition. In contrast to the EO, however, the primary use of the prayer rope is to recite the standard 41 Kyrie Eleisons (a significantly shortened "version", you could say, of the Jesus Prayer--which nevertheless remains part of Coptic worship, though no less powerful, as various traditions within our Church demonstrate). Coptic Mequetarias are sold on the following website:

http://www.chotkis.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=24&osCsid=fd6c945c7144af4f45609f45dc9990bd


 
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I've seen both forms at a range of monasteries, but they appear to be more abundant and popular in beaded form.
 

prodromas

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not to divert the thread (which I started) was the prayer rope after the split between EO and OO and if so doesn't this show another clear example how the holy spirit worked through these churches allowing for the same Holy Tradition?
 

minasoliman

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Dear Prodromas,

The prayer rope I feel is nothing more than cultural.  The first time I saw a "chotki," I thought it was Islamic, simply because in my youth when I was in Egypt, I used to see men with those beards and no mustache and the whitest cloaks with a huge bruise on their forehead use it before I also realized that it was really Arabic more than Islamic (before I realized later it is probably something a universal Church uses).  For me, I wouldn't place much importance on the prayer rope whether it was before or after Chalcedon.  When I say the 41 Kyrie Elayson's, I have no prayer rope.  I use the divisions on my fingers as one priest taught me.
 

Deacon Lance

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ozgeorge,

Alas someone has beat me to it. 
http://www.traditions-monastiques.com/product_info.php?products_id=171

Conversely if one were using a five decade Rosary (the most common) one could use the Great Feasts of the Mother of God for meditation of which there are 5: Her Nativity, Presentation, Annunciation, Dormition and Protection for an even more Eastern approach.

Fr. Deacon Lance
 

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EkhristosAnesti said:
In contrast to the EO, however, the primary use of the prayer rope is to recite the standard 41 Kyrie Eleisons (a significantly shortened "version", you could say, of the Jesus Prayer--which nevertheless remains part of Coptic worship, though no less powerful, as various traditions within our Church demonstrate)
Each of the hours in the Byzantine Horologion (Agpia) also contain a set of 40 (one less) Kyrie Eleisons, but are not related to the practice of the Jesus Prayer.

It would be interesting to explore the origins of the Jesus Prayer and the extent to which it is connected to the shorter repetitions used in the Hours.
 

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There is a Benedictine Monastery in New Mexico that makes prayer ropes, in fact have one ordered...

james
 
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