Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Prayer rope 2

I love to learn about the meaning of the things - the actions, symbols etc - of the Orthodox Church. There is such a richness here that can lead us deeper into faith.  It is as we learn the meaning of things that those meanings bring us a deeper sense of life. Take the prayer rope used for saying the Jesus Prayer. An Orthodox prayer rope carries many meanings. Many Orthodox Christians carry around a black prayer rope. Here is what one monk from Mount Athos says it means:

“Let us pause for a moment just to look at a little prayer rope, like this one made of black wool on Mount Athos. It is a blessing from a holy place. Like so much that we have in the Church, it is a blessing prepared and given to us by a brother or father in Christ, a living witness to living tradition. It is black, the color of mourning and sorrow, and this reminds us to be sober and serious in our lives. We are taught that repentant prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer, can bring us what the Holy Fathers call joy-creating sorrow—in Greek “Harmolipi”.”
The Prayer Rope:Meditations of a monk of the Holy Mountain.
So to start with even the colour of the rope has a meaning as it remnids us to take both sin, and the means to defeat it, prayer, very seriously.

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