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Monday, August 15, 2005

Hagia Sophia

O God, who hast said "My house shall be called a house of prayer", vouchsafe to cleanse and hallow this house, which hath been polluted and defiled by the abominations of the heathen; so that thou mayest mercifully hear and graciously perform the prayers and vows of them that call upon thee in this place; Through Jesus Christ thy only Son our Lord, Who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, ever one God, now and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes. I don't think it's at all outside God's mercy for The Great Church to be The Great Church again some day. We can all pray for that to happen!

It =can= happen! Look at Christ the Savior, Moscow, and countless other churches in the former Soviet Union that were put to all sorts of vile, base usage during the Communist era, and now they're being restored, reconsecrated, rebuilt and they fill up with people as if they had never suffered like that before.

Pray. The good news is that some of the icons have been restored as much as possible, since it's a historic site and "museum". If I could go there, I would certainly pray inside. It's still a church to me.

Then again, I'm the one who went on a trip to Egypt and surreptitiously said the prayers for the dead over the mummies in the Cairo museum, cos' I felt sorry for them, lying there in glass cases to be stared at by grubby tourists all day. Look at all the beauty they contributed to civilization. How could one not pray for Ramses II and King Tut?

Best wishes,

Leetle M.
Have chotki... will pray.

Mark said...

Leetle Masha,

What's a chotki?

-Mark

Anonymous said...

A prayer rope.

Leetle M.

Mark said...

Sorry, Michael, for this little digression on your blog...

Leetle Masha, how do you pray with a rope? Is it like praying with a rosary?

Michael said...

Similar. The knots operate in the same way as the beads of a rosary. (No need to apologise).

Anonymous said...

continuing the digression...

So do you use specific prayers on each knot (cf the Ave Marias and Paternosters) or what?

kingsfold

Anonymous said...

I use the Jesus Prayer. One could use just about any prayer, though. I have heard of people who just say Jesus' Name over and over as they pray. It being a mental prayer mostly rather than a vocal prayer, there's a great deal of leeway. The Paternosters and Ave Marias would work fine, just as you could use a regular Latin rosary made of beads to say the Jesus Prayer,

I used to know how to tie those knots, and I made a Latin rosary out of wool for a friend of mine years ago. I tied the knots for my friend's "Latin Chotki" in groups the same as you have on a regular Latin Rosary, and put wooden beads where the "Our Fathers" would be. I've forgotten how to tie the knots now, alas.

There's no hard and fast rule about what prayers to use. We don't tend to meditate on "Mysteries" as one does with the Latin rosary, but we could if we wished.

Chotkis come in various lengths. Some have 100 knots, some have 33 (one for each year Christ lived on earth), some have just 10.

Leetle M.

Joe said...

Chotki is the russian name for the greek name "Komblishkini" which is the exact same thing. Russian style Chotki sometimes have wooden beads instead of knots due to the climatic differences.

For an a good introduction to the tradition of the Chotki, read "The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way." However one should not strive to live such a life without serious formation and spiritual guidance.

I Seem to recall Vladyka Anthony also wrote something on the Jesus Prayer and the use of the Chotki, but have absolutely no memory of in what work it was used.

I own two Chotki, one I keep in my Icon corner that looks somewhat like what Leetle M. described for hte Latin Rosary, for which purpose I also use it. And then I have a smaller one that I keep on the steering column of my car (perhaps out of superstition, but more for convenience sake) and take with me to Church or whilst traveling. Makes for a refreshing respite when overly stressed by stupid drivers to pull to the side of hte road and say a few prayers.

As regards the mummies--Leetle M. I am with you. If I have time while I am driving I will stop at the small, all but abandoned cemetaries alongside the road and say Panachida. I also keep a pair of snippers in the car so I can clip the grass that covers some of the more lowlying stones.

Joe Zollars

Joe said...

ooh and as regards the Hagia Sophia, may it indeed happen one day. of course it would need a whole new altar after being profaned by Italian soldiers and then centuries of Islamic prayers as well.

Perhaps we should mount a new crusade... (just joking folks)

Joe Zollars

Michael said...

No need to add that you're joking, Joe.

Something of vast proportions does need to be done. This is sacred space, consecrated to the honour and glory of God, to house his holy altar on which the Sacrifice of the Cross and God's entire works of salvation is made present. It has been desecrated and defiled. You must never apologise for expressing zeal for its restoration. Has everyone signed the petition? I'm not sure what good it will do, but we must try.

Anonymous said...

I suppose first we could encourage folks not to throw grenades at the Patriarchate Headquarters.... sigh.

Joe, you're very thoughtful! In some parts of eastern Europe, too, and now in the U.S. as a matter of fact, "slow down" highway signs have to compete with little shrines along the roadways to mark where people have been killed in car accidents. It's nice to stop and pray for them, unless the shrine is on a narrow bend in the road that masks a cliff below....

Leetle M.

Barnabas said...

What A great prayer!

Michael said...

Yes, I have used it here to refer to Hagia Sophia Cathedral, linked to in the titla of the post. I was hoping that we could all sign the petition to restore this building to the sacred use for which it was consecrated.

Anonymous said...

Here is what I wrote as my comment when I signed (in case they don't put any weight in US signatures):

"Many thanks to the Parliament of the European Union for considering this petition. Restoring a historic building such as the Hagia Sophia to its original use can only add to the unique appeal and character of Europe as a symbol of the centrality of Europe in the making of all that is good in Western civilization."

----

Leetle M.