St. Matthew's Episcopal Church

Brecksville, OH

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Anglican Prayer Beads

A Form of Contemplative Prayer

Anglican Prayer BeadsSince the earliest of times, people have used pebbles or a string of knots or beads on a cord to keep track of prayers offered to God. Virtually every major religious tradition in the world uses some form of prayer beads.

Anglican Prayer Beads are a relatively new form of prayer, blending the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope and the Roman Catholic Rosary. The thirty-three bead design was created by the Rev. Lynn Bauman in the mid-1980s, through the prayerful exploration and discovery of a contemplative prayer group.

The use of the rosary or prayer beads helps to bring us into contemplative or meditative prayer-really thinking about and being mindful of praying, of being in the presence of God-by use of mind, body, and spirit. The touching of the fingers on each successive bead is an aid in keeping our mind from wandering, and the rhythm of the prayers leads us more readily into stillness.

There are no set 'formulae' of prayers for the Anglican Rosary. You can begin using your Rosary with the examples included in this pamphlet. Or you can write your own using the guide below. The Rosary can be said either on its own individually, or as part of a group meditation.

Individually
Begin with the "Cross" prayer, followed by the "Invitatory" prayer and the first "Cruciform" prayer. Then going counter-clockwise begin the first of the "Week" prayers. Work around the Rosary alternating between "Cruciform" prayers and "Week" prayers. After the last set of "Week" prayers move out to the "Invitatory" prayer and finish with the "Cross" prayer.

As a group
Select a scriptural (or other) reading and divide it into four readings, and allocate readers. Start with a reflective hymn or chant. Begin on the Cross (as above). After the "1st Cruciform" read the first part of the passage. Pause for time of reflection on the passage either in silence or with music (or a combination). Then recite the "Week" bead prayers. Continue working around the Rosary in this manner. Finish either in silence or with music.