So, coming late to this thread you’ve probably worked all this out by now, but in case not:
The knots should go at the back of your body, where your loins are, since that was clasically believed to be the seat of sexual desire. Apart from that you can wear it how you like.
I wear mine in two different ways:
either I fold it in half so that the knots are doubled up and then I tie the ends in the same way I would tie a cincture if I were serving Mass with an extra knot to secure, the ends meet slightly to my side.
or I keep it flat against my back and then wrap both ends once more around my body so that the ends meet in the middle of my back, then double knot.
Both ways the loose ends below the knot wrap themselves around the main cord after you’ve had it on a few hours so there are no bits hanging down, this happens naturally and there’s nothing you need to do about it.
- It helps to tie a knot in each end before you do anything else, just to keep the ends from fraying.
- You have to tie it tight enough that it won’t come off, double knotting helps (I have lost one which wasn’t tied tightly enough, it just came off while I was trying on clothes in a shop and I didn’t realise until later) but not so tight that it cuts in to you - my Spiritual Director told me that some of the older friars remember people whose cord was cut into their flesh, that is NOT the way to wear it. Bear in mind that it gradually tightens for a little while after you have tied it and then stays about the same for the rest of the time. As a woman, I tie mine relatively tight across the lower part of my stomach, knowing that it will then sit quite loosly but securely higher up on my waist.
- Remember that you must wear it continuously. I tend to wear both the cord and the medal in the daytime, but take the medal off on occasion e.g. for swimming, and always take it off at night. If you’re not wearing both continuously, then remember to put the medal on when you have to take the cord off to wash it. You can get away with washing it infrequently since it gets washed with you in the shower etc., but there does come a time when it has to be taken off and boil washed.
Hope this helps. And welcome to the Confraternity, it is a fantastic blessing in my life and I hope it will be in yours too!