A prayer rope (Greek: κομποσκοίνι, komboskini; Russian: чётки, chotki (most common term) or вервица, vervitsa (literal translation); Romanian: metanii / metanier; Macedonian and Serbian: бројаница, broyanitsa; Bulgarian: броеница, broyenitsa) is a loop made up of complex knots The prayer rope is part of the habit of Eastern Orthodox monks and nuns and is employed by monastics (and sometimes by others) to count the number of times one has prayed the Jesus Prayer or, occasionally, other prayers. Historically, the prayer rope would typically have 100 knots, although prayer ropes with 50 or 33 knots can also be found in use today. Hermits in their cells may have prayer ropes with as many as 300 or 500 knots in them. The prayer rope is symbolizing the flock of Christ though in modern times other materials are used also. The traditional color of the rope is black (symbolizing mourning for one's sins), with either black or colored beads. The beads (if they are colored) and at least a portion of the tassel are traditionally red, symbolizing the blood of Christ and the blood of the martyrs. In recent times, however, prayer ropes have been made in a wide variety of colors. When praying, the user normally holds the prayer rope in the left hand, leaving the right hand free to make the Sign of the Cross. When not in use, the prayer rope is traditionally wrapped around the left wrist so that it continues to remind one to pray without ceasing. If this is impractical, it may be placed in the (left) pocket, but should not be hung around the neck or suspended from the belt. The reason for this is humility: one should not be ostentatious or conspicuous in displaying the prayer rope for others to see.
During their tonsure (religious profession) Eastern Orthodox monks and nuns receive a prayer rope, with the words: Accept, O brother (sister) (name), the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17) in the everlasting Jesus prayer by which you should have the name of the Lord in your soul, your thoughts, and your heart, saying always: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner." Orthodoxy regards the prayer rope as the sword of the Spirit, because prayer which is heartfelt and inspired by the grace of the Holy Spirit is a weapon that defeats the Devil.
Prayer rope with 33 thin knots in black color with black cross.
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