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Russian Rosary

Russian Rosary

Q: What is a Russian Rosary?

A: Called Chotki, the Russian rosary is a version slightly different from the Byzantine rosary, dating back to the seventh century. It has one hundred knots and is usually made of wool. Each group of ten knots is separated from the next group by a special knot. The cross at the end is usually also made of knots. It is said that Saint Basil had used a similar "rosary."

Each knot corresponds to a pious ejaculation called the "Jesus Prayer." In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector or publican (Luke 18:9-15), the latter humbly stood in the back of the Temple and prayed, "Lord have mercy on me, a sinner." He went home justified, says Jesus in the parable. This promise, but also the explicit reference to the "Lord" gave the prayer the name Jesus Prayer. The invocation used for each knot may vary. The Russian rosary uses the following Jesus Prayers:

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, son of God, by the prayers of Our Lady, have mercy on us.
Most Holy Lady, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.

1) The Russian rosary begins with the Invocation of God's Mercy:

O God, cleanse me, a sinner (three times)

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 (three times).

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 are holy visit us and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake. Lord, have mercy on us (three times).

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 Lord and God.

2) It is followed by the recitation of either Ps. 50 (Miserere) or Ps. 129 (De Profundis)

3) Next comes the Profession of Faith

4) Most important is the Prayer of Jesus (one hundred times)

5) The conclusion is an expression of praise addressed to Mary, and the Trinity:

It is indeed proper to bless thee, Mother of God, the eternally 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 unto ages of ages.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
By the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord, have mercy on us.

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