Prayer on rope with knots (chotki) - Eastern "rosary"

Catholic in one “thread” asks if Orthodox, Eastern Christians use rosary. In Ukraine/Russia prayer numbering device called chotki. Chotki consists of little knots (zernishki) separated by bigger knots (zerna). Pray any prayer but usually Isusova molitva (O Lord jesus Christ, son of God, mercy me a sinner). On zerna usually prayer the Our Father or Rejoice Virgin Mother of God. Zernishki may number up to 1000 (for monks). At end of number of prayers that person prayering has chosen, one recites the Dostoino Est’ (prayer to Mother of God from Divine Liturgy.

This is very helpful. Any prayer can be prayed on zernishki and zerna.

Chotki can be bought or made from little bits of rope - very inexpensive.

Do Western Catholics ever pray on Chotki?? have heard of Chotki???

I’ve never heard of it but it sounds essentially the same as the Rosary or the Chaplets used in the Latin Church. I’ve seen rosaries fashioned out of thin rope with knots. :thumbsup:

I have never heard of Chotki before now. This is very interesting, thank you for sharing this with all of us.

Western Catholics do not use Chotki, we have the Rosary, so there really isn’t much point. The Rosary is often used to pray prayers other than the “Rosary” prayers. There are other smaller groups of prayers that are prayed on the beads of the rosary, they are called Chaplets. Also some do use the beads of the Rosary to pray other prayers of their choice. I don’t know how many Catholics use their Rosary in this fashion, but it is perfectly acceptable.

I wonder if Eastern Roman Catholics ever use Chotki. Is there anyone here who knows?

Yes, I do possess a couple of them. One is on the wrist and this I carried to the pilgrimages I have made to Israel, Greece and Rome. The other was given as a gift to me from Russia which is a longer one. These are very holy to me. I say the Jesus Prayer on all of them. The reason I am made much aware of this is because my spiritual director is bi-ritual.


I have two, the younger Byzantine Catholics in my area will use the Chotki. In fact it is very common to see the the people under 30 with them. The older ones had rosary’s pressed into their hands when they were young.

I am old, but Byzantine Catholicism is relatively new to me so I feel young, I was raised a Roman Catholic and I have not put in for a canonical transfer, which I could have done a couple of years ago. Technically I am still a Roman Catholic even after some years.

So (1) I am a Roman Catholic who uses the chotki and (2) I live as an Eastern Catholic who uses the chotki! :smiley:

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