Sunday, September 30, 2012

Liturgical Prayer Ropes: Colors of the Byzantine Liturgical Year

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I would like to start offering prayer ropes made in the various colors of the Byzantine liturgical year. Following is a list of the various liturgical seasons and their designated colors according to the Byzantine tradition. As the summit of the liturgical year I will begin with Easter/Pascha and work my way through the liturgical seasons from there.

- Great and Holy Pascha - White

- Pentecost - Green

- Annunciation/Incarnation - Light Blue or White

- Advent - Dark Blue, Purple, Dark Green, Dark Red

- Christmas/Birth of Our Lord - Gold or shades of Yellow

- Epiphany - White

- Transfiguration - White

- Great Lent - Black, Dark Blue, Purple, Dark Green, Dark Red

- Palm Sunday - Green

- Feasts of the Cross (including Great and Holy Friday) - Purple or Dark Red

- Feasts of Our Lord, the Prophets, the Apostles, and Holy Hierarchs - Gold and Yellow shades.

- Feasts of the Mother of God/Theotokos - Light Blue or  White

- Feasts of the Prophets, Apostles, or Holy Hierarchs - Gold or Yellow

- Feasts of the Bodiless Powers (angels) or Virgins - Light Blue or White

- Feasts of Martyrs - Red

- Feasts of Monastic Saints or Fools for Christ - Green

It is my hope that this will generate more interest in liturgical prayer and the connection between our private prayer (particularly the Jesus Prayer in the Eastern tradition, and the Rosary in the Latin tradition) and the prayer of the Church - i.e. the Liturgy. If there are Roman Catholics out there who would like rosaries or any other chaplets made according to the liturgical colors of the Roman tradition, I am more than happy to oblige.

We must always remember that we never pray alone. When we pray truly, it is the Spirit that prays within us because, as St. Paul says, we do not know how to pray as we ought. Prayer is not only our personal dialogue with God, but is above all our entrance into God's eternal dialogue mediated to us through the Body of Christ, the Church, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit teaches us to pray through the mediation of the Church. And it is particularly by being attentive to the Church's rhythm of prayer in her liturgical life that we learn how to pray truly.


  1. I thought I was alone in this idea! I bought knotted rosaries in the liturgical colors of the Roman Rite for exactly the same reason you mention: to visually remind me of the link between liturgical and personal prayer.

    1. This is actually a good image of the similarities between the rosary and the prayer rope. Both were developed with very strong liturgical ties; i.e. for those religious and lay folks who were unable to participate in the celebration of the Hours. In this sense there is more of a similarity between the rosary and the prayer rope than between the rosary and the Akathist to the Mother of God.