How to Tie an Orthodox Prayer Rope Knot

Written by vivian gomez
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How to Tie an Orthodox Prayer Rope Knot
A prayer rope is akin to the rosary beads used by Catholics to keep track of their prayers. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Members of the Eastern Orthodox faith use prayer ropes to keep track of their prayer counts, particularly when reciting the same prayer multiple times. The rope is made up of a series of knots -- 33, 50, 100 or even 500 -- each of which represents one instance of the same prayer. The Orthodox prayer rope is akin to the rosary beads used by Roman Catholics. You can make your own Orthodox prayer rope with just a few supplies and tools. For longer-lasting knots, use soft, threaded rope.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 8 yards black rope (yields 33 knots)
  • 8 yards white rope

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Hold the ends of the black and white rope so that they are next to each other between your left thumb and index finger. The black rope will be the bottom one, and the white rope will be the top.

  2. 2

    Pull the black rope over the white one with your right hand so it forms a loop with a diameter of 1.5 inches. Hold the loop in place with the middle finger of your left hand.

  3. 3

    Pull the end of the black rope over the white one with your right hand to form a second loop with a diameter of 1.5 inches. This second loop should be to the left of the first one. Hold both loops in place with the middle finger of your left hand.

  4. 4

    Take the free end of the black rope with your right hand and run it through the centre of both loops from the left, pulling it all the way through toward the right until you are left with about 3 inches of rope.

  5. 5

    Pull the rope ends that you have been holding between your left thumb and index finger with your left hand while you simultaneously pull the last 3 inches through the two loops with your right hand. When you are done pulling the ropes with both hands, you will have a tight knot shaped like a cross.

  6. 6

    Repeat the process 33 times so your prayer rope has 33 knots.

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