Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another Russian Style

The next few pictures are of another form of 100 knot Russian style prayer rope. I learned about this style in a footnote in Archimandrite Lev Gillet's book The Jesus Prayer. If you're interested in looking up the reference, it's on page 72 of the book. In it Fr. Lev says that the division of this rope into four parts is supposed to represent the four parts of the daily office: Vespers, Compline, Matins, and the Typica. The total number or knots, if you include the beads, is actually 107. Fr. Lev does not give a reason for this numbering. But he does mention in more detail the liturgical connection to this form of the prayer rope. If one is unable to make it to the celebration of the Hours in one's parish or monastery, it is customary to pray the Jesus Prayer instead. The equivalents are: Vespers = 500, Compline = 200, Matins/Orthros = 500, and the Typica = 700. So total one would pray the Jesus prayer 1900 times in order to replace the Hours, at least in the Russian/Slavic tradition. The Greek tradition is somewhat shorter: Vespers = 150, Compline = 100, Matins = 300, and an additional 50 for each of the "Lesser/Little Hours," giving us a total of 750 Jesus Prayers (there are four Lesser/Little Hours).

Enjoy the pictures. Again, these are all available and ready for shipping. :)

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