What is a Chotki?


#1

What is a Chotki?


#2

Maybe you “should ask an apologist” Now I wanna know

Sorry…no help


#3

[quote=Andrew_11]What is a Chotki?
[/quote]

I think it is a type of prayer beads that is used in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, simillar to the Rosary that is used in the Western Catholic Churches.


#4

CHOTKIS are also called Prayer Ropes on which the ‘Jesus Prayer’ is prayed.(see below). They are traditional with the Eastern Orthodox church butr are growing in popularity among all Christians.

store.rosaryworkshop.com/section.php?xSec=60


#5

Chotki is the Russian name of what in Greek is called “Komvoskoini” which literally means “knot string” or “string of knots”. It originated when a monk tied knots in a string to help him keep track of the number of prayers he had said in his prayer rule. Each time he slept though, a demon came and unravelled the knots, requiring him to re-tie them each day. Finally an angel appeared to him and showed him how to tie particular knots which included the form of a cross, which the demon was unable to unravel.

Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!
John.


#6

Oh my Gosh. The best person to answer that is Tammy from

chotkis.com/chotki.htm

She is the original one to sell these Orthodox spiritual beads on the net, at least in the US (I can’t type searches in Greek or Russian.).

I’ll go round her up.

Dianna

Novena Rosary
novenarosary.com
217-963-2850
Wire-wrapped Rosaries and Christian Gifts Handmade from the Heart


#7

While beaded Chotkis are nice, a traditional one of knots tied in wool.

I favorite one is made of wool died red to represent the Blood of Christ. It is a 100-knot one, every 25 knots there is a blue bead to represent the Theotokos.

So on the knots I pray the Jesus prayer, “O Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner” and on the bead I pray, “O Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us.”

They usually come in 33-knots, 100-knots, or 300-knots.

The beaded ones are nice but they do not stretch and can not be wrapped around ones wrist. I ware my chotki to the Divine Liturgy and any other service in Church.


#8

[quote=ByzCath]The beaded ones are nice but they do not stretch and can not be wrapped around ones wrist. I ware my chotki to the Divine Liturgy and any other service in Church.
[/quote]

Actually, I do sell some beaded ones that are made to be worn on the wrist. I have wood bead chotkis on a stretchy cord that are great for a man, and more feminine gemstone chotkis that are strung on memory wire.

More information about the chotki, and the history of using beaded chotkis, can be found here:
chotkis.com/history.htm

Thanks, Dianna, for bringing my attention to this thread!


#9

[quote=mjdonnelly]CHOTKIS are also called Prayer Ropes on which the ‘Jesus Prayer’ is prayed.(see below). They are traditional with the Eastern Orthodox church butr are growing in popularity among all Christians.

store.rosaryworkshop.com/section.php?xSec=60
[/quote]

Prayer ropes are traditionally made of wool and have 100 knots but these ones on the site you list are very attractive - with a slight Tibetan feel!

There is a simple way to use a prayer rope… It is known as the Optina 500.

Using a 100 knot rope you pray:

  1. 300 x “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

  2. 100 x “Most Holy Mother of God, save us.”

  3. 100 x “Holy Father Ambrose, pray to God for me.”

No. 3 changes of course with your baptismal Saint’s name. So it could be “Holy Mother Brigid” or “Holy Apostle Peter.”


#10

Knotted chotkis are traditional in Greece (and now America). Beaded chotkis were the tradition in Russia until they developed the leather lestovka (which isn’t knotted, either). I suppose it all depends on the available materials in a culture.

What bothers me is a rosary maker who chooses to take apart malas and use the beads for chotkis. It seems to me that these beads would be cursed from having been used to pray to demons. She blesses them with holy water. I thought it takes a priest to bless prayer beads, and certainly to exorcise anything.

I try to buy my materials from Catholic sources first, Orthodox second, and Protestant third. I would never buy from a professed pagan if I could help it. Although I must admit that I don’t always know what religion my supplier is. I just would rather be helping the business of fellow Catholics whenever possible.

Of course, buying your prayer beads from a monastery does that, too! This is part of the reason I don’t sell knotted chotkis. Many monasteries make them for additional income, and I don’t want to take away business from them.


#11

[quote=Tamelyne]Knotted chotkis are traditional in Greece (and now America). Beaded chotkis were the tradition in Russia until they developed the leather lestovka (which isn’t knotted, either). I suppose it all depends on the available materials in a culture.
[/quote]

I have to admit that I did not know about the use of beaded chotki. Live and learn. :slight_smile: Our tradition is that an angel showed the holy monk Pachomios -a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great- the rather complicated way to tie the knots which form the individual beads of a prayer rope (chotki.) This is the tradition from the 3rd and 4th centuries of monastic life.
I would be interested to learn more of the Russian use of beads if you have some information handy.


#12

[quote=Tamelyne]What bothers me is a rosary maker who chooses to take apart malas and use the beads for chotkis. It seems to me that these beads would be cursed from having been used to pray to demons.
[/quote]

I would say that just about everything can be redeemed and turned to Christ, as our ancestors did with the pagan temples where demon worship took place, or the monks who settled in the desert in the deserted ruins where the demons dwell.

I would not encourage any Orthodox parishioners to buy and use a Tibetan mala as a prayer rope, even though they can be very beautiful. So I agree with you on that point, but then I would not encourage anybody to use a prayer rope which had not been made by another Orthodox Christian.

That said, twenty years ago I had a friend who was a serious Buddhist and he converted to Christianity… he brought his much loved mala and asked, what to do with it. We stood in front of the icons and prayed and it came to me that it was no more an object of demonic worship than his own lips and mouth which once prayed to the demons and murmured Tibetan mantras. Just as his lips could be redeemed for Christ, so could his prayer rope. So we placed it in the Altar for 40 days for God to hallow it in His presence and after that he took communion on a Sunday morning and we then blessed the mala and signed it with the Cross of Christ.


#13

how come Chotki crosses don’t have a corpus on them?


#14

[quote=starrs0]how come Chotki crosses don’t have a corpus on them?
[/quote]

Because traditionally a Chotki is make of wool with knots. The cross is made with knots out of the wool, no additionaly cross is added.


#15

I have two chotkis which I use for the Jesus Prayer. One is a Russian Orthodox wood chotki with cross, 3 x 10 beads, and 3 tiny cross separators, which gives a total of 33 and is handy when time is short.

My second, and favorite, is a Rosewood Mala :bigyikes: It has 108 beads, but since there are 3 additional separator beads this gives a total of 111 and I feel that the 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 honors the Holy Trinity.

It was new when I bought it on eBay :eek: , came almost certainly from India, was much cheaper than a 100-bead regular chotki, looks and feels lovely, and I doubt it was involved with demons - but to be on the safe side I sprinkled it with holy water anyway before starting to use it. I also attached a tiny copper Catholic medal depicting Christ on one side, with the inscription ADVENIAT REGNUM TUUM, and with the Pentecost scene on the other, and later had it blessed.

I hope, despite my precautions, that I’m not in danger of damnation. :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=Fr Ambrose] So we placed it in the Altar for 40 days for God to hallow it in His presence and after that he took communion on a Sunday morning and we then blessed the mala and signed it with the Cross of Christ.
[/quote]

But you’re a priest. You have privileges and powers that laypeople don’t have, including the power to confect the Eucharist, exorcise demons, and bless icons and other sacramentals.

My concern was a layperson who thinks that if she sprinkles a little holy water on a mala she has removed any curses on it. Then she sells it to unsuspecting laypeople, who may or may not take it to their priest and get it blessed.

[quote=romano] to be on the safe side I sprinkled it with holy water anyway before starting to use it. I also attached a tiny copper Catholic medal depicting Christ on one side, with the inscription ADVENIAT REGNUM TUUM, and with the Pentecost scene on the other, and later had it blessed.
[/quote]

I’d say that if you had a priest bless it, you’re ok.


#17

[quote=Fr Ambrose]II would be interested to learn more of the Russian use of beads if you have some information handy.
[/quote]

The best person to talk to would be Dr. Alexander Roman at unicorne.org/orthodoxy/. He is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic, a sociologist, and a history buff when it comes to Slavic nations and Catholic/Orthodox traditions.

He is fascinated by the religious traditions of his homeland, Ukraine, which of course are very similar to those of Russia since they once were the same country. He is quite a collector of prayer beads from around the world, and he has been a great source of information for me. He is the one who told me that the Slavic countries used beaded chotkis until our global marketplace made the woolen ones from Greece available, and I’m sure he can give you more information. He will probably tell you all about the Russian Lestovka, too. :wink:


#18

[quote=Tamelyne]He will probably tell you all about the Russian Lestovka, too. :wink:
[/quote]

Lestovki I am well acquainted with since my parish has had several Old Believer families since the 1950s when the Labour Government gave them asylum in New Zealand. Some of the monks in one of the monasteries of the diocese use them also. But it is the beaded Russian chotki which interest me.

PS: I’ve drawn to the attention of the people in the Eastern Orthodox section of the Forum your message about Eastern Catholic parents communing their children. Four messages so far.


#19

Unless there are demons lurking in Toys R Us, it would be quite easy to obtain a child's bead set and make your very own curse-free bead band to your own specifications!


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