Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Photos Cometh
This is the beginning of the photos that I'll be posting of my work. This prayer rope is a Greek-style rope made out of black nylon-satin. It is divided with a bead every 24th knot. Some Greek-style ropes are divided with a bead every 25th knot. This is really a matter of personal preference. When the bead occurs where the 25th knot would usually take place, then it is counted as a knot and the Jesus Prayer is said on it. If there is a bead after each 25 knots, then it is not counted as a knot and some other prayer is typically substituted for the Jesus Prayer. Most commonly one would pray "Most Holy Theotokos, save us" on the bead.
I like making my prayer ropes out of nylon-satin cord (aka "rattail") because it is both sturdy and ascetically pleasing. To me it also feels better in the hands and fingers than does wool.
Some folks may argue that wool ought to be used because it is the "traditional" material. From everything that I've read, however, folks traditionally used whatever material they had available to them. Stones, leather, wood beads, wool, and whatever else was within arm's reach have been used to make prayer ropes. Although certain materials and colors have been given a sort of allegorical symbolism, the most important thing to remember about the prayer ropes is that they are tools for prayer.