What’s this about Superstition and the Orthodox Prayer Rope?
The Orthodox Prayer Rope also called Chotki or Komboskini, does it keep you from harm? Is it a lucky charm? Does it cure illness? This is just a small selection of questions people ask me about prayer rope bracelets and necklaces we offer in our online store.
Well, to answer these questions I will first explain how the Orthodox Prayer Rope is made. These bracelets and necklaces are handmade by monks from Orthodox monasteries. A bracelet has 33 knots and a necklace 100 knots, while tying these knots the monks pray a prayer for each knot they tie. After a bracelet or necklace is made it is blessed. This is what makes these Prayer Ropes so special and why people treat them as holy objects.
Nevertheless, it is supposed to be just a guide when praying. Its official purpose is to help you count the times you say a prayer while running the knots through your fingers. So why make them into bracelets and necklaces? Well, the reason is that people kept forgetting their prayer ropes and started to wear them around the wrist or neck. So finally they were made to be prayer bracelets and prayer necklaces.
In some Orthodox country’s it has become a tradition to give these wonderful objects as gifts to good friends and loved ones. It is a way to say that you want only the best for them and that they are kept from harm. This is when the superstition around these Orthodox Prayer Ropes began and it became a beloved gift.
And know the luck part, I do not know when the superstition around luck started but I heard about a story with someone winning the lottery in the same week as the person started to wear a Prayer Bracelet, naturally, he proclaimed that the bracelet brought him luck. People of course embraced this story and it as a lucky charm, and started to wear them for luck. It was also fueled by the fact that a lot of Orthodox athletes also wear Prayer Bracelets and Necklaces for luck in their match.
So what is the clue, well I can not give you a straight answer, I only can tell you the Prayer Ropes’ official purpose, which has nothing to do with superstition? Just that it is a blessed and a true religious object.
The true importance here is what YOU believe. If someone really believes in something, really truly believes that it brings good fortune, it keeps you from harm, helps you to stay healthy, or whatever, what doesn’t make it so? If it makes you feel good and feel safe why wouldn’t you wear it for that purpose.
For me it brings religion closer, I wear a black Prayer Bracelet all the time. It gives me a good feeling to have something blessed close to me all the time. I also use it for prayer but that is not the exclusive reason why I wear the bracelet.
So the only thing that is important is what YOU believe and how YOU feel about it. It doesn’t matter what others think or say. If it brings good fortune to you and helps you in your day to day life then it just does. If you love to have one close to you all the time, then by all means keep it close. Well, I think you get my drift…..
Tip!: A really fantastic prayer that people use with the prayer rope is the Jesus Prayer.