- Anglican prayer beads
Sometimes known as the "Anglican rosary," "Christian
prayerbeads," or " ecumenicalprayer beads," Anglican prayer beads are a loop of strung beads which Anglicans and other Christians use as a focus for prayer. Anglican prayer beads were developed in the mid-1980s by Episcopalians participating in a study group dealing with methods of prayer.
Anglican prayer bead sets consist of thirty-three beads. Unlike
Eastern Orthodox prayer ropes which have thirty-three knots, the beads in Anglican sets are divided into groups. There are four groups of seven beads with additional single beads separating the groups. The number thirty-three signifies the number of years that Christlived on the Earth, while the number sevensignifies wholeness or completion in the faith, the days of creation and the seasons of the Church year.
The groupings are called "weeks", in contrast to the Dominican
rosarywhich uses five groups of ten beads called "decades". The four beads between and usually larger than the "weeks" beads 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 rosary, 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. Prayer may begin on either the cross itself or on the "invitatory" bead. The beads used are made of a variety of materials, such as precious stones, wood, colored glass, or even dried and painted seeds.
Anglican prayer bead sets are made with a variety of crosses or, occasionally, crucifixes. The
Celtic crossand the San Damiano crossare two which are often used.
The set shown at top right is only one example of Anglican prayer beads.
Unlike the traditional rosary which is used both to venerate the
Virgin Maryand to focus on the seminal events in the life of Christ, Anglican rosaries most often are used as a tactile aid to focus attention on a variety of types of prayers and worship. Despite the name, Christians of many different traditions have taken up the use of the Anglican rosary.
* [http://netministries.org/see/charmin/CM07928 Christian Prayer Beads Central]
* [http://kingofpeace.org/prayerbeads.htm Anglican Prayer Beads]
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