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Byzantine Rosary, “Chotki” Prayer

January 5, 2008

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Byzantine Rosary, “Chotki” Prayer

Eastern Orthodox Rosary. This Oriental form of rosary is known in the Hellenic Greek Church as Chaplet or String of Knots of Beads, in the Russian Church as Vervitza (string), chotki (chaplet), or liestovka (ladder), and the Rumanian Church as matanie (reverence). Our everyday name of “beads” for it is simply the Old Saxon word “bede” (a prayer) which has been transferred to the instrument used in reciting the prayer, while the word rosary is an equally modern term.

 

The Rosary prayed by the Eastern Orthodox is a string of 33, 100, or 300 beads on a string or knots made of wool; they are not divided into decades. On each bead or knot is prayed the following mantra:

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

 

The modern Chotki, as it is known, calls for a slightly different mantra
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

 

Both this mantra and the Glorious mantra above are derived from the Gospel story of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

 

The following information is taken from

“My Treasury of Chaplets” by Patricia S. Quintiliani

The Russian Rosary
(A slightly different version of the Byzantine Rosary)

 

The Eastern rite rosary dates back to the 7th century, when according to tradition, a saint had an apparition recommending this form of prayer. In Russia, the rosary is called “Chotki.” It is usually made of wool in which there are 100 knots with an extra know between each ten. At the end is a cross also make of knots. St. Basil the Great used a rosary very similar to the type now used.

 

The customary prayer used is the ejaculation of the publican, who stood at the back of the Temple and said: “Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” Our Lord says he went out justified, thus indirectly recommending this prayer. The Russians call this prayer the prayer of Jesus and have several variations of it:

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, by the prayers of Our Lady, have mercy on me.

 

Sometimes they also use:
Most holy Lady, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners.

 

The Russian Rosary Begins:
O God, cleanse me, a sinner (3 X).
O heavenly King, Paraclete, Spirit of Truth, who art present everywhere and dost permeate all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life, come and take up Thy dwelling within us. Purify us from every stain and save our souls, O gracious Lord. Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Deathless One, have mercy on us. (3 X )
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be forever. Amen. O holy Trinity, have mercy on us.
Lord forgive us our sins.
Most Holy God, pardon our transgressions.
Do Thou Who art holy visit us and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake.
Lord, have mercy on us (3X).
Glory be to the Father, etc.
Our Father, etc.v Come let us bow down to Our Lord God.
Come let us bow down and adore Our Lord God.
Come let us bow down and adore Christ Himself, Our Lord and God.

 

50th Psalm, Miserere, or 129th, De Profundis.

 

Credo. I believe in God, etc.
Prayer of Jesus (100 times)

It is indeed proper to bless thee, Mother of God, the eternal blessed and completely sinless one and the Mother of Our God. Higher in honor than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, who without harm to thy virginity didst give birth to the Word of God. Thee we extol, true Mother of God.
Glory be to the Father, and to the son and to the Holy Ghost, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
By the prayer of Our Holy Fathers, Lord, have mercy on us.

 

The Byzantine
The Jesus Prayer

 

This dates back to the 7th century, when according to tradition, a saint had an apparition recommending this form of prayer. In Russia the Rosary is called “Chotki.” It is usually made of wool in which there are 100 knots with a large knot at each decade. St. Basil the Great used a rosary of this.

 

The customary prayer is the “Chotki” is an adaptation of the humble prayer of the publican, who cried out: “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”(Luke 18;9-4) The Lord Jesus said that he went out from his prayer “justified.”

Early Christians adopted this prayer for their own use, and added to it the Prayer of Jesus or The Jesus Prayer and have several variations of it:

 

Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.
or
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.
or
Lord Jesus Christ, by the prayers of Our Lady, have mercy on me.

 

The Byzantine Rosary Begins:
O God, cleanse me, a sinner (3 X).
O heavenly King, Paraclete, Spirit of Truth, Who is present everywhere and permeate all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life, come and dwelling within us. Purify us from every fault and save our souls, O gracious Lord.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Imortal One, have mercy on us. (3 X )
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever. Amen.
O holy Trinity, have mercy on us.
Lord forgive us our sins.
Most Holy God, pardon our transgressions.
Do You who are holy visit us and heal our infirmities for Your name’s sake.
Lord, have mercy on us (3X).
Glory be to the Father, etc.
Our Father, etc.
Come let us bow down to Our Lord God.
Come let us bow down and adore Our Lord God.
Come let us bow down and adore Christ Himself, Our King and God.

Recite the 50th Psalm and Creed.
Recite the Jesus Prayer (100 times)

 

Conclusion

It is indeed proper to bless you, Mother of God, the eternal blessed and completely spotless one and the Mother of God. Higher in honor than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, who without harm to thy virginity give birth to the Word of God.

You do we extol, true Mother of God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the son and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

By the prayer of our holy fathers, O Lord, Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us.

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