Posted By: father michael Vespers/Matins and the Jesus Prayer - 08/19/13 05:06 PM
I am having trouble locating the source of the practice of praying the Jesus Prayer a certain number of times for each hour should you be unable to have the texts for that hour. Can anyone help me?

fr michael
Bless Father Rector!

http://www.synaxis.info/synaxis/6_paraliturgical/old_rite/ustav_domahnyi.html had this and I have a print-out. I don't why it doesn't come up.

It is in Russian, but I can translate the rules here for you, if you like.

Reverencing your right hand, I again implore your blessing,

the unworthy Alex
Posted By: akemner Re: Vespers/Matins and the Jesus Prayer - 08/19/13 08:45 PM
In the Erie Old Orthodox Prayerbook, there is a table That has this information on page 356, in English no less. The table has a total of six rules, four using the Jesus Prayer, and two using the Psalter.

In Christ,
Well get to posting man! grin
If I may:

Rule for the Prayer of Jesus:

Vespers - 600 prayers; Great Compline, 700; Small Compline, 400; Midnight Hour - 600; Matins - 1,500; First Hour - 300; 3rd, 6th and 9th Hours - 1,000 prayers for all three; With the inter-Hours - 1,500. The entire Psalter - 6,000 prayers; Each Kathisma - 300 prayers; Each stasis - 100 prayers;

Rule for the reading of the Psalter:

Vespers - 2 kathismata (or 1 for the lesser rule); Great Compline - 2 kathismata (or 1); Small Compline - 1 kathisma;
Midnight Hour - 2 kathismata (or 1); Matins - 5 kathismata (or else 3, but not less than 2); First Hour - 1 kathisma; 3rd, 6th, 9th Hours - 3 kathismata; (So all the Hours can be replaced with one kathisma only, except for Matins which can be replaced, at a minimum, by two).

Rule for bows with the Prayer of Jesus:

Vespers - 300 bows or 200 or 100; Great Compline - 300 bows or 100 or 50; Small Compline - 200 bows or 100 or 50; Midnight Hour - 300 bows or 200 or 100; Matins - 700 bows or 400 or 300 or 200; First Hour - 150 bows or 100 or 50; 3rd, 6th and 9th Hours - 500 bows or 300 or 200; Hours with the Inter-Hours - 750 bows; Akathist Canon with Ikosi - 300 bows;

The "Home Prayerbook" of the Old Believers which is on the url that doesn't come up also prescribes that each Hour that we choose to do either with the Psalms, or the Jesus Prayer or with bows MUST be preceded as any Hour is - with the beginning bows and the Trisagion prayers. The Midnight Hour's beginning should include Psalm 50 and the Creed. After this, we pray the Kathismata, of Jesus Prayers or do the bows as prescribed above.

When we complete the Hour in such a way (or more than one Hour), we end with "It is truly meet" then Glory be, Lord have mercy (the Old Believers say this twice), Lord bless and then the ending:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, by the prayers of Thy most Pure Mother,(here include the Saint of the weekday and the Saint(s) of the day) and all Thy Saints, have mercy and save us, for Thou art Good and a Lover of Mankind.

After this, the Departure Bows as prescribed by Old Rite practice.

Thank you kind sir.
Thank you, kind sir! This is most helpful.

Fr Michael
Bless, Father Rector!

I shared these tables with an Orthodox priest friend of mine - after studying them for a bit, he said it would be much simpler (and less "painful") just to do the Hours! smile

In the back of a Greek-Catholic Horologion I used to have (edited by Fr. Basil Zinko OSBM) is an outline for Jesus Prayers in place of the Horologion that reads as follows:

Matins - 300 prayers
Vespers - 200 prayers
Compline - 150
For each of the 1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th Hours - 50 prayers
Midnight Hour - 300

Reverencing your right hand, I again implore your blessing,

I am trying to figure out why the number for the Midnight Office is so high. It is true that Monday-Saturday the Midnight Office contains an entire Kathisma of the Psalter, but the Midnight Office takes no longer to read than half an hour. Even Daily Vespers would be longer than that if the prescribed Vespers Kathisma of the Psalter were done in full.

Archpriest David Straut
Bless me a sinner, Rev. Father Archpriest!

Yes, it would take longer to do the 1st - 9th Hours reading one Kathisma per Hour than it would by simply reading the Hours themselves.

The Midnight Hour can be replaced by one Kathisma as well. When I do that, I read the 17th Kathisma with the penitential prayers at the end, sometimes adding the 16th Kathisma first to fulfill the Rule as set forth above.

I like the flexibility in this regard. One Orthodox priest I know told me that a monastery he visited allows its monks the freedom to say 400 Prayers of Jesus instead of Small Compline.

To read the Hours themselves gives one a "time" perspective which isn't to be had when one does "substitute prayers," where the particular periods of the day are celebrated, which is what the Horologion is supposed to do. The entire day feels especially consecrated to the praise and glorification of God.

Perhaps these heavier than normal substitute rules of prayer are in place to get us all to return to the Horologion proper?

Kissing your right hand, I again implore your blessing,

Your unworthy servant,

Dear Sir,

I was very happy to find and read your post from 2013 about a "mild" rule for replacing the Hours by Jesus Prayer.
Would you give me the bibliographical data of that Horologion, edited by reposed Father Basil Zinko OSBM?
I have searched for it (also as Василь Зінько, Часослов) in diverse catalogues and antiquariates, but without success.
If it does not feel inconvenient to you, I would like to know more about that book, and possibly cite that prayer rule by booktitle etc. and page in a thesis.
Although I do not intend to abandon the canonical hours, such a "mild" rule might be practical for working people from time to time, and I would like to figure out, from which source Father Basil had derived that rule.

Pray for me, the unworthy sinner,
with Christian greetings,

Posted By: theophan Re: Vespers/Matins and the Jesus Prayer - 08/10/20 09:10 PM

Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum.

Genuine question of the recitation of the Jesus prayer. When one is to be fully involved mentally in the praying of the Jesus prayer, how is it possible to keep track when the counts are in the upper hundreds and low thousands range? To keep count for such high numbers, doesn't one have to be actively thinking on the number as well? Would this not detract from the total surrender to/involvement with the prayer?
You can use beads attached to the cross of your prayer rope, to use as a counter
The Daily Office by Fr Zinko is out of print and I myself no longer have it. It was his translation from the Slavonic into Ukrainian - I thought it was well done for something approximating a kind of "Eastern Breviary." However, Fr Lev Gillet, the Monk of the Eastern Church, in one of his own works, lists the shortened and "very doable" outline of the Prayer of Jesus as an Horologion substitute. I just can't remember which book of his has it. I think it should be not much of a problem to find it as it is the preferred Rule of Ukrainian Catholic clergy . . . I will look around to see if I can find an exact source for this. But the Old Believer outline is, in fact, the most widely publicized. Another characteristic of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is that whenever a minimum prescription is established - that become the rule for everyone and any discussion of lengthened rules gets thrown out of the belfry . . .

There is the Basilian Daily Office where it is so shortened that only one psalm of the three prescribed for each of the four day Hours is recited. Once I was invited to pray the Sixth Hour with a priest in Church and he turned to me to say "You mean you want say all THREE PSALMS?!"

"Of course not, of course not . . ." I responded. What was I going to say to him? He was buying lunch afterwards . . .
Dear Colin,

You raise an important point! There are several ways in which to keep count of the "hundreds" of Jesus Prayers.

Monasteries like that of St Paisius Velichkovsky make "martyria" or strings which can be attached to one's prayer rope or beads. They make two small strings - on one there are ten beads and on the other are twelve.

The ten bead string is used to count each round of 100 prayers, one simply moves or pulls down a bead. When all ten are done, one goes to the other 12 bead string and pulls down a bead. This way one may count up to 12,000 prayers which is the monastic rule used especially by those of the Great Schema. But in the Way of the Pilgrim, the pilgrim is trained by his Elder to slowly recite 12,000 prayers. As is often pointed out, we are not the pilgrim . . .

One may make such counters using basic beads and strings, of course. Another way is to use a 33 knot prayer rope as a counter and use a clasp of some sort or a woman's hair clip to move from one bead to another, each bead representing one hundred jesus Prayers that have been prayed. One may use the clasp to count in this way on the prayer rope itself. I've seen others use an abacus for purposes of similar counting and also a cribbage board. Still others will take a small piece of paper and mark numbers on it and then check them off as one goes.

Another way is to use the ancient method of loose beads or pebbles (marbles will do nicely) to count hundreds. It is all one's choice, of course. The Lestovka often comes with an attached leather cord with seven moveable pieces that are used for the same purpose. So if one were doing the 1500 Prayers for Matins, one would move complete the seven one way, then another seven the other way and finish with a final hundred.

Certainly, such an additional counting device is necessary if one is to do hundreds of Prayers. Monastics also use time itself as a counter - monastic rules prescribe saying the Jesus Prayer for fifteen minutes, half an hour etc.
As for praying the Jesus Prayer so many times, I think we of the West may have the temptation to understand prayer as something WE achieve through our own mental powers of our intellect - shades of discursive meditation perhaps. The Jesus Prayer is about self-emptying before the Divine Presence to allow for the Divine Uncreated Energy of the Holy Spirit to work in us, cleanse us and inaugurate the reign of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ in us.

The constant cry to "have mercy on me a sinner" is our way of getting rid of our ego, of letting go of all of ourselves, of learning to be "still and know that I am God."

The Divine Power of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ brings us into His very Presence. To call on Him is to be present to Him in the here and now - and immediately. The Name of the Lord IS the Lord Himself (and no, I will not get involved in the issues surrounding the Imiaslavie controversy or that of the "Name-Glorifiers" on Mt Athos . . ).

St John Kronstadt's counsels in his "My Life in Christ" really are a must reading in this respect. The Philokalia nourishes us in the Way of the Prayer of the Name.

But ultimately we sit quietly and wait on the Lord Who will teach us all things. His Divine Name will envelope us and take over our lives. He will take us with Him in the path of Eternal Life where there is constant spiritual activity and growth that never ends.

Glory to our Lord, God and Saviour JESUS CHRIST!!!!!
Eureka! I found the abbreviated Rule of the Jesus Prayer as a substitute for the Divine Office (for our Melkite Catholic in Aachen, the set of veneration of Blessed Charlemagne!)

It is at this URL: http://www.synaxis.info/psalter/4_slavonic/f_prayer/pravilo_po_chetkam.html

Compline: 150 Prayers and 36 prostrations (with the Prayer). OR 700 Prayers without prostrations

Midnight Hour: 100 Prayers and 25 prostrations or 600 prayers without prostrations.

Matins: 300 Prayers and 50 prostrations or 1500 Prayers without prostrations

Hours: For each separate Hour 50 Prayers and 7 prostrations or 250 each without prostrations

Vespers: 100 prayers and 25 prostrations or 600 Prayers without prostrations
On the same site there is also the following:

Canon to the Guardian Angel: 50 Prayers and 7 prostrations (here one would use the direct invocation to the Guardian Angel given above)

Canon to the Saint of the Weekday: 30 Prayers and 5 prostrations (again invoking directly the saint of the weekday)

Canon to the Theotokos with the Akathit: 200 Prayers and 29 prostrations (Most Holy Sovereign Mother of God, save me a sinner)

The Rule of preparation for Holy Communion: 1200 Jesus Prayers and 300 Prayers to the Mother of God

Moleben or Supplication Service: 600 prayers either Jesus Prayers or to the Saint to whom the Service is addressed.

According to the Typikon of Mount Athos, the following are the Prayers used:

To the Saviour: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me

To the Theotokos: Most Holy Mother of God, save me

The Saints: Holy Apostle, Martyrs, Prophet, Righteous, Venerable Father, Holy Hierarch etc. - Pray to God for me

Guardian Angel: My Holy Angel, protect me.


Monday: Holy Archangels, pray to God for me

Tuesday: Baptizer of Christ, pray to God for me

Wednesday and Friday: Cross of Christ, save me by Your Power

Thursday: Holy apostles, pray to God for me. Hierarch Father Nicholas, pray to God for me.

Saturday: All Saints, pray to God for me

Sunday: Most Holy Trinity, (my God), have mercy on me.
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