ROMAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Roman Orthodox Benedictine Congregation

       

Home

Mission

Links

Readings

Holy Synod

Prayer Requests

Unofficial Homepage

       

The Psalter of Christ

       

               
                                Click on the Psalter picture for Instructions.

The Psalter of Christ

( Psalter of Christ / Paternoster / Prayer Rope / Celtic Rosary )

From the Apostolic Age of the early Church, the 150 Psalms of the Holy Bible were important in the liturgical prayers of the clergy and monastics. Literacy was not then common, so many of the faithful were unable to read the Psalms. Consequently, there arose alternatives for those who could not read substitutes for reading the 150 Psalms. One practice which became very prevalent was that of praying 150 Pater Noster's (Our Fathers) instead of the Psalms, using a string of bones, or knots, or, later, beads, to count them. Usually, the 150 were divided into 3 groups of 50 each. The prayer rope came to be known as a "Psalter" and, later, as "Paternoster bedes." The Western Orthodox Churches had a great devotion to the Psalter of David. They divided the Psalter into three sections of 50 Psalms each. The "3 fifties" were recited for the dead, and for many other intentions, by both monastics and laity. When a layman died, immediately the Psalter was said over the body of the faithful departed. People took turns reciting the Psalter four more times, all through the night. The Celtic Orthodox Saints, including St. Patrick, sometimes would recite the first "fifty" and then stand in cold water to recite the next "fifty" in order to stay awake and watchful.

In Ireland in the 7th century, monks kept track of the Psalter (150 Psalms) on knotted cords and the laity said the Divine Office using a 150-knot cord to pray the Pater Noster's, which was also known as the "poor man's breviary." In the same century, the Byzantine Church began using a knotted woolen prayer cord called a "Chotki" which had varying numbers of knots (33, 50, 100, 300), some with a larger knot at the beginning of each group of ten knots. The prayer said on each knot usually was the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner") or "O God, be merciful to me a sinner." [See Luke 18:9-14 for the basis of the Jesus Prayer.]

By 1040 A.D., wooden and clay beads were replacing knotted cords among some people. By the 1100's, people are more commonly carrying a "Paternoster cord" with 50 knots to be repeated three times instead of the traditional longer 150-knot cord. In the 13th century, the Marian Rosary, 150 Ave Maria's (Hail Mary's) with a reduced number of Pater Noster's, came into existence and was eventually popularized into a standard devotion, to which the name "Rosary" is increasingly applied. It was also called the "Marian Psalter," but the name Rosary has triumphed today.

The Western Orthodox Church keeps alive today the ancient Orthodox Catholic devotion of the "Paternoster," called the "Psalter of Christ." Like the ancient people's Psalter, the present day Psalter of Christ is based first and foremost on praying 150 Pater Noster's. The Sign of the Cross, the Apostles' Creed, and the Gloria Patri's, of course, have their part also. Added to the western devotion are the 150 Jesus Prayers, absorbing thereby a tremendously important devotional of Eastern Orthodoxy, and the 150 Adoramus Te's. By this simple schema, the Psalter of Christ teaches us thanksgiving, penitence, and adoration - three essential modes of approaching our Triune God.

The following method of praying a 50-knot Psalter of Christ includes a total of 156 prayers (Sign of the Cross, Apostles' Creed, 4 Gloria Patri's, 50 Pater Nosters, 50 Jesus Prayers, 50 Adoramus Te's). For this method, pray the Psalter of Christ thrice daily: once in the morning, once midday, and once at night (generally speaking, dependent upon your daily routine).


Beginning with the Cross, bless yourself, praying The Sign of the Cross and reciting The Apostles' Creed.

In Nomine Patris (Sign of the Cross)

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Symbolum Apostolorum (The Apostles' Creed)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church; the communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and life everlasting. Amen.

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.


Gloria Patri (Glory Be...)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


Click on each Pater Noster after praying it.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

Pater Noster (Lord's Prayer)

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from Evil. Amen.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.


Gloria Patri (Glory Be...)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


Click on each Domine Iesu Christe after praying it.

51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100.

Domine Iesu Christe (The Jesus Prayer)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Domine Iesu Christe, Filius Dei, misereatur me, peccato.


Gloria Patri (Glory Be...)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


Click on each Adoramus Te after praying it.

101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148. 149. 150.

Adoramus Te (We Adore Thee)

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. Because, by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi; quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundi.


Gloria Patri (Glory Be...)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Bless yourself with The Sign of the Cross.

This website is the property of the Roman Orthodox Church.
This page and all contents of the Roman Orthodox Church websites are
Copyright 2000 by Roman Orthodox Church.
All Rights Reserved under International Copyright Conventions.