The Anglican rosary sitting atop the Anglican Breviary and the Book of Common Prayer
The Anglican rosary sitting atop the Anglican Breviary and the Book of Common Prayer

Anglican prayer beads, also known as the Anglican rosary or Anglican chaplet, are a loop of strung beads used chiefly by Anglicans in the Anglican Communion, as well as by communicants in the Anglican Continuum. Anglican prayer beads were developed in the latter part of the 20th century within the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and this Anglican devotion has spread to other Christian denominations, including Methodists and the Reformed; as such they are also called Protestant prayer beads.[1][2]

Beads

Anglican prayer beads
Anglican prayer beads

Anglican prayer bead sets consist of thirty-three beads divided into groups. There are four groups consisting of seven beads with additional separate and larger beads separating the groups. The number thirty-three signifies the number of years that Christ lived on the Earth, while the number seven signifies wholeness or completion in the faith, the days of creation, and the seasons of the Church year.[3]

Groupings

The groupings are called "weeks", in contrast to the Dominican rosary which uses five groups of ten beads called "decades". The beads between are usually larger than the "weeks" beads and are called "cruciform" beads. When the loop of beads is opened into a circular shape, these particular beads form the points of a cross within the circle of the set, hence the term "cruciform". Next after the cross on Anglican prayer bead sets is a single bead termed the "invitatory" bead, giving the total of thirty-three. The beads used are made of a variety of materials, such as precious stones, wood, coloured glass, or even dried and painted seeds.

Anglican prayer bead sets are made with a variety of crosses or, occasionally, crucifixes. The Celtic cross and the San Damiano cross are two which are often used.

Prayer

The Anglican Rosary hangs next to a home altar
The Anglican Rosary hangs next to a home altar

Unlike the Dominican rosary used by Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholics which focuses on the germane events in the life of Christ and asks the Virgin Mary to pray for their intentions, Anglican prayer beads are most often used as a tactile aid to prayer and as a counting device. The standard Anglican set consists of the following pattern, starting with the cross, followed by the Invitatory Bead, and subsequently, the first Cruciform bead, moving to the right, through the first set of seven beads to the next Cruciform bead, continuing around the circle. He or she may conclude by saying the Lord's Prayer on the invitatory bead or a final prayer on the cross as in the examples below. The entire circle may be done thrice, which signifies the Holy Trinity.[3]

The Cross

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

The Invitatory
O God make speed to save me (us),
O Lord make haste to help me (us),
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Cruciforms
Holy God,
Holy Almighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon me (us).

The Weeks
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

The 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.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

The Cross
I bless the Lord.
(Let us bless the Lord

Thanks be to God.)[4]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Vincent, Kristen E. (1 March 2017). Beads of Healing: Prayer, Trauma, and Spiritual Wholeness. Upper Room. pp. 11–12. ISBN 9780835816373.
  2. ^ Walsh, Fran (20 April 2016). "Prayer Beads for United Methodists". The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 11 March 2017. At the United Methodist General Conference, every delegate and church leader received a set of prayer beads made especially for 2016 in Portland. The United Methodist artist who helped craft the design says Protestant prayer beads are an idea that is catching on.
  3. ^ a b "Anglican Prayer Beads". King of Peace Episcopal Church. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
  4. ^ "Trisagion and Jesus Prayer". King of Peace Episcopal Church. Retrieved 2007-10-18.

Bibliography

Further reading