Eastern Slovakia
Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn Genealogical Research

Eastern Christian Prayer Beads

While many people are familiar with the Roman Catholic Rosary, not as many area aware of the Eastern Christian Chotki. The Orthodox and Eastern Catholics have the Chotki, a prayer rope of 25, 33, 50, 100 or 103 beads, used to focus one's thoughts on the "Jesus Prayer".

As the Eastern Christian posture of reverent prayer is standing, so the chotki may be said standing with bows, prostrations or making the sign of the cross.

The prayer ropes (Komboskini in Greek, Chotki in Rusyn) are used in saying the Prayer of the Heart also known as the Jesus Prayer.

The traditional prayer of the prayer beads is an adaptation of the prayer of the publican who cried out, "O God, have mercy on me, a sinner." (LK 18: 9-14) The Lord said that this man went home from the Temple "justified."

Early Christians made several variations of this prayer which became know as the Jesus Prayer. It has come down to us in three forms:

The Jesus Prayer is said on each bead.

For special intentions, you substitute the name of another who is sick or in need of special prayers.

When this prayer becomes somewhat automatic the next step is to move the prayer from the head to the heart. One does this by trying to focus the prayer on their heart.

The prayer itself is an act of humility calling out for God's merciful help.

The tassel at the end is to to dry one's tears.

The tradition of the prayer ropes dates back to the 7th century.

We have wooden Chotki hand crafted in the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe with 33 beads available.

No two are alike as each is hand made.

To order a hand crafted wood bead Chotki, send email to chotki@iarelative.com with your mailing address and we will get a Chotki out to you along with an invoice for $4.95 plus $2.00 shipping per order. Specify light or dark wood.

For more information on the Jesus Prayer, visit Fr. Serfes on the Jesus Prayer and On The Teachings Of Father Agapit On The Jesus Prayer.

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