Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Prayer Rule of the Theotokos

The Rosary is a well-known prayer in the Western Christian tradition, and I have often heard the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos, composed by St. Romanos the Melodist, described as the Byzantine equivalent.  However, there is actually a prayer much closer in style to the Rosary in the Byzantine tradition: the Prayer Rule of the Theotokos.  This rule was, according to tradition, revealed by the Theotokos in the 8th century, and it used to be prayed by all Christians; over time, however, it fell out of use.  St. Seraphim of Sarov and his spiritual descendant St. Seraphim Zevzdinsky began to revive this practice, and Philip Rolfes, blogger at The Master Beadsman and maker of prayer ropes for various traditions (Rosaries, Komboskini/Chotki, Mequtaria, etc.), compiled information on various forms of this rule (see this post and the following four for his work).  He also created a system for praying only 5 mysteries a day rather than the full 15 that the original version of the rule calls for, with each day matched to the 5 mysteries that are most appropriate for it.  Blogger Seraphim at Reeling but Erect did some work creating some alternate opening and closing prayers for the rule as well.

In order to help spread this wonderful prayer and to make it easy to pray, I have compiled the work of these two bloggers into a booklet.  The booklet updates the prayers to match current Ruthenian (Byzantine) Catholic usage, using the currently-used translations for various prayers and troparia, using the title Theotokos rather than Mother of God, and modernizing "thou"-type language to "you" (though I am partial to the older language, I recognize that this is the current usage).

Printing Instructions: To use this booklet, print the pages double-sided along the short edge, arrange the pages in order (the sections are as follows: The Rule of St. Seraphim Zevzdinsky, The Alternative Mysteries, The Simple Rule of St. Seraphim of Sarov, The Daily Mysteries), fold the pages in half, and staple in the middle.

If you have any comments on how to improve this booklet, please let me know.  I hope this assists you in prayer greatly, and please pray for me.  God Bless.

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