Archive for November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

anglican-rosary-turquoise-glassI have been suffering from a bout of the blues lately. This often happens to me around Thanksgiving, as I get my house and kitchen ready and begin preparing the family meal. It makes me think of Thanksgivings past and then I start missing old friends and beloved family who are no longer with us, either through distance or death. And then I get blue. It just happens. It’s a Thanksgiving appetizer – one I would very much like to do without.

And the news doesn’t help. Doom and gloom, doom and gloom. Many people have lost money, homes, jobs and more. So today, as I was preparing the cornbread stuffing and the mushroom stuffing, I tried to concentrate not on what I don’t have, but on what I have – what I am grateful for. Here, in the form of prayer for an Anglican and a Catholic rosary, is what I came up with. I’ll site my sources at the end.

On the Cross (Catholic and Anglican)

God to enfold me,

God to surround me,

God in my speaking,

God in my thinking.

On the Invitatory Bead (Anglican)/First Our Father Bead (Catholic)

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart (Psalm 111)

[With the Catholic Rosary Only – On the First Three Hail Mary Beads]

1 – Oh Lord, open my eyes to behold your presence

2 – Oh Lord, open my ears to to hear your voice

3 – Oh Lord, open my heart to receive your love

On the Cruciform Beads (Anglican)/Our Father Beads (Catholic)

God our creator, you have created me in every part. Bless me through and through that I may delight to serve you to the full.

On the First and Third Weeks Beads (Anglican)/First, Third and Fifth Decades Beads (Catholic)

1 – I thank you for my eyes, that I may discern the beauty you give.

2 – I thank you for my ears, that I may hear you in the music of sounds

3 – I thank you for my sense of smell, that your fragrance may fill my being.

4 – I thank you for my lips, that I may speak your truth and sing your joy.

5 – I thank you for my hands, that they may play, write and touch as you guide them.

6 – I thank you for my feet, that they may be messengers of your peace.

7 – I thank you for my imagination, that I may be fired with wonder in your truth.

8 – I thank you for my heart, that I may be filled with your love.

9 -I thank you for the love you make me feel, that I may share it with others.

10 – I thank you through and through, that I may delight to serve you to the full.

On the Second and Fourth Weeks Beads (Anglican)/Second and Fourth Decades Beads (Catholic)

1 – I thank you for my family, who uphold me in times both good and bad.

2 – I thank you for my friends, who keep me honest.

3 – I thank you for my animal companions, who remind me of your unconditional love.

4 – I thank you for my home, which gives me an anchor in the world.

5 – I thank you for my mind, which helps me earn a living.

6 – I thank you for my talents, which give me joy and meaning.

7 – I thank you for my health, through which I enjoy all else I have.

8 – I thank you for my life, which because of you has meaning.

9 – I thank you for your love, which is the greatest gift you give.

10 –  I thank you for the food I will eat today, which enables me to know and enjoy all these things.

Sources – The prayer for the cross is an old Celtic prayer; the prayer for the Firth Three Hail Mary Beads is from a Celtic prayerbook by David Adam; the prayer for the First and Third (and Fifth) sets of beads were adapted from the Episcopal Prayer Book for Australia; I wrote the prayers for the Second and Fourth sets.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Guess what? This blog is one year old today. YEAH! Happy Birthday! In honor of this day, I am blogging about a recent trip I made . . . .

Last Saturday, my good friend Lisa Beaudo, a jewelry designer, and I went to the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza, otherwise known as the BABE Show. BABE is held each spring and autumn in the Oakland (Calif.) Convention Center and bills itself as the second largest bead show in the US. After last spring’s show, I wrote an entry on new and unusual terminal charms I saw there. This time, I was on the hunt for good, different and unusual beads that would make great cruciform beads (for Anglican rosaries) or Our Father beads (for Catholic rosaries). Most of these could also be used for a set of Pearls of Life.

babe-floorWe got to the show just at the start, 10 a.m. Immediately upon walking in, we were just overwhelmed at the size of the show – bead booths from wall to wall. There were bead artists, jewelry designers, suppliers, teachers – you name it, it was there.

There were tons of beads – way more than I could ever photograph or write about – so this is just a personal selection – things I would like to buy or use for prayer beads. If you’d like to see more, visit the BABE website and link to the websites of the different vendors.

The first booth in which I found a whole array of great prayer beads prayers belonged to Sonoran Beads of Scottsdale, Ariz.  Best known for their boro beads, my own favorites here were the trays of “tiles”  – square disks – at  10 for $25 and “seashells”  – round beads with babe-tiles1a little finger-sized  divot in them – at 5 for $21. Either of these would be great cruciform or Our Father beads, and a buzz around their website will also turn up great terminal charms and more.babe-seashells (Seashells below)

Scorpio Beads features the handmade beads of Nanette Young-Greiner. Her Harlequin and Watercolor Stripes beads are beautiful and affordable. Think of matching them with 6mm Czech glass. YUM.

Also really cool are the handmade polymer clay beads from Bead Ranch. Mother-and-daughter team Susan Terry and Gina Senzatimore create beads of all sizes and shapes – hearts, globes, diamonds, etc – using the millefiore technique of Italian beadmakers. I own a bunch of these beads – I buy a couple every bead show – and am just waiting till I hit critical mass to make something from them. Their website leaves a lot to be desired – one stinking picture! But maybe if you call them, they can help you out.

In the Alacarte Clasps booth, I saw a Swarovski product that would make rosary making a snap – if somewhat pricey. Alacarte – owned by Linda and Tim Hartung of Santa Rosa, Calif.- has strands of 8mm babe-chainround Swarovski crystals already joined with chain for $1.20 per inch, with a 6-inch minimum. Now, I know this is somewhat pricey, but if you really want a chain-linked rosary and don’t know how to make one or don’t want to part with the time required to make one, this would make a great option. Just add the few remaining necessary beads – an invitatory bead and four cruciforms for an Anglican rosary, 5 Our Father beads and a medal for a Catholic rosary – and terminal charm of your choice and you’re done!

It was a great show. We visited EVERY booth and got out of there about 30 minutes before the show shut down 6 p.m. Then we came home and rolled around in our goodies! Nah – just kidding.

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Got this fabulous message from Sharon Renick, a prayer beader who lives in Trinidad, Texas, about 70 miles southeast of Dallas. I wanted to share it with you because it illustrates the serendipity of faith, the value of spiritual practices like prayer beads, and the power of taking control of your own prayer life and relationship with God.

“I want to share with you how I came to know about prayer beads.  I’m not the best house keeper in the world. I’ve also had many different hobbies over the years.  So, when I start looking for that one particular thing, it can turn into a rummaging around hunt through a lot of different boxes.  One day I was looking for some beads and had pulled out several boxes of stuff.  I finally found the beads and started putting the other things away.  When I had finished, I noticed a book, A String & A Prayer, by Eleanor Wiley [and Maggie Oman Shannon] laying on the table near where I had been placing things.  I didn’t remember putting the book there.  I didn’t remember seeing the book in any of the boxes I had gone through and I didn’t remember ever buying the book.  I have no idea how long I’d had it, but I was supposed to find it that day.  I read it, savoring every word.  It spoke to me in a way that nothing has in a long time.  I looked at Eleanor’s website.  I found your website and started hunting for your book.  I finally had to order yours online because I couldn’t find it anywhere I went.  While I waited for it to come in, I read every entry in your blog back to the beginning.  Getting your book in the mail that day, was like a having Christmas!  Now, I carry both books around and I’ve started a prayer journal where I write the prayers that speak to me.  I also can’t stay off the beading sites! renick-photo-2

“I’ve never attended a church regularly in my life.  My father had actually wanted to be a minister when he was very young, but turned away from God around the age of 14 when his mother died.  So, we were not bought up in the church.  My husband was raised Catholic, but does not practice the religion at all and never even talks about it now.  I try to respect his wishes and not press him on the subject.  So, I have no particular denomination other than being Christian.

renick-photo-11“I’ve only been making rosaries for a little over a month.  My favorite prayers so far have been the ones that I’ve gotten from your book or website.  I love the Julian of Norwich Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, the Jesus Prayer, several of the Psalms and the Serenity Prayer to name a few.  My husband has constant back pain, so I’ve adapted one of the prayers in your book for him.  It’s the one that was adapted from The Book of Common Prayer and is listed as a Prayer of Healing.  I use it almost every night.  The first time I read the Merton Prayer (I think it was on your website) I cried.  I often say it as one of my final prayers of the night.  It’s just beautiful.

“I almost always use a variety prayers each night.  I may use four different ones on the weeks and two different ones on each of the other beads or groups.  I’ve found that I really enjoy so many of them, that I hate to limit myself to repeating the same ones, most nights.

“Thank you for your website and book.  You’ve added a lot to my life.”

Sharon’s beautiful note just about did me in. I started to cry. It is stories like hers that make all the writing of the book – the solitude, the self-doubt, the feelings of inadequacy to the task – absolutely worth it. Thank you, Sharon.  You are in my heart and my prayers.

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