Posts Tagged ‘Anglican prayer beads’

In my last post, I showed you how I made a set of prayer beads suitable for brides. Now we move on to the prayers.

As I said in the previous post, I used the Anglican rosary form to create these bridal prayer beads, but I was inspired to add three beads on the stem, between the traditional invitatory bead and the first cruciform bead. These beads represent the three marriage vows – to love, to honor and to cherish. Some of us – me included – sometimes need a little extra help to remember and keep these vows as well as we should.

Sources for the following prayers are Women’s Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, Celebrated and Prayers for Hope and Comfort: Reflections, Meditations and Inspirations by Maggie Oman Shannon. I’ll be writing more about this last book in an upcoming post. And I actually wrote the vows prayers myself – something I seldom do. Feel free to mush all these prayers around as you see fit – change their order, write your own, drop them altogether for something you find more suitable. Here’s my mantra – if it feels like a prayer to you, it feels like a prayer to God.


May the faith that gives us hope,

May the love that shows the way,

May the peace that cheers the heart,

Be ours this day and always.


May the wisdom of God lead us in His/Her marvelous way,

Be our shelter by day and a blaze of stars by night.

May He/She stir our inmost beings always to seek Him/Her,

And the wisdom, love and grace of God

Be upon us and with us always.


1 – Lord, help us to keep our vow to love each other by remembering your love for us.

2 – Lord, help us to keep our vow to honor each other by seeing each other as your precious children.

3 – Lord, help us to keep our vow to cherish each other by remembering we are both created in your image.


May we live in peace without weeping.

May our joy outline the lives we touch without ceasing.

May our love fill the world, angel wins tenderly beating


1 – Lord, guard us, your children, wherever we wander,

2 – Lift us high when we falter or founder

3 – Place our feet on rocks and not on sand

4 – Give us your hand as we walk through the darkness.

5 – Strengthen our souls with bright hope from above,

6 – Keep joy in our hearts against all the world’s starkness,

7 – And fill all our emptinesses with your love.

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June is the month of weddings (yeah – I was married in May) and so I thought some of you out there might be interested in making a special set of prayer beads for the brides-to-be in your lives.

As I have a friend getting married soon (yeah – not in June) I decided to make her a set. I combed through my bead supplies and this is what I came up with:

Almost everything you see here came from my local independent bead store, Berkeley’s ab-fab Baubles and Beads. The cross is made from mother-of-pearl shell with a nice pinkish hue overlaying the white. The oval beads and the pentagonal bead are also a highly polished mother-of-pearl. I know I paid less than a dollar for each of those – I think. There are two tubes of seed beads, a size 11 white to go between the beads on the circlet and a size 8 white seed bead to go on the stem. These bigger seed beads have holes large enough to take the two strands of flexible beading wire I will use in the stem. And I am using small daisy wheels with a silver finish.

The only thing I got elsewhere are the faceted crystal beads that make up the main part of the prayer beads’ circlet. These I bought at a local antiques flea market. I think I paid about $20 for a vintage necklace that had about 50 or 60 of these iridescent, aurora borealis faceted beads. I looooooove them and still have enough left for a bracelet and some earrings. Or another set of prayer beads!

My bride-to-be friend is a not a Catholic, so I decided to make her an Anglican/Protestant form of prayer beads. But as I was stringing them, I decided to do something a bit different – to create my own form of prayer beads, a kind of hybrid between the Anglican/Protestant form and the Catholic rosary. I made the circlet of the prayer beads in the Anglican/Protestant format, with 28 weeks beads, divided in four groups of seven, divided by four cruciform beads, which represent the arms of the cross. But on the stem, – which, in the Anglican format, traditionally has a cross or other terminal charm, an invitatory bead – I decided to add three additional beads, like the Catholic rosary stem’s three Our Father beads. I decided these will represent the three major marriage vows: to love, to honor and to cherish. I will create or find three special prayers to give her for these three beads.

I encourage you to feel free, whenever you make prayer beads, to break away from the traditional forms if you are comfortable doing so. You can turn this same set of bridal prayer beads into an Anglican/Protestant rosary by subtracting the three extra beads from the stem, and you can make it into a traditional Catholic rosary by adding more beads.

If you have my book, Bead One, Pray Too, you can find directions to make this kind of prayer bead set under “Intermediate Anglican [or Catholic] Rosary” on pages 127-128. If you don’t have the book, you need bead stringing skills that include crimping. That’s about it.

You will need:

flexible beading wire, size fine (I like Softflex)

1 crimp bead big enough to hold 4 strands of flexible beading wire

crimping tool

4 oval cruciform beads

1 pentagonal invitatory bead

31 faceted crystal beads, approximately 6-8 mm

10 small silver daisies or other spacers

size 11 white seed beads

size 8 white seed beads

Begin with the circlet. String one daisy spacer, one cruciform, one daisy, 3 size 11 seed beads, *one faceted bead, two size 11 seed beads.* Repeat between * and * until 7 faceted beads are strung. String 3 size 11 seed beads, one daisy spacer, one oval cruciform bead, one daisy spacer, 3 size 11 seed beads, one faceted bead, two size 11 seed beads. Repeat in this fashion until all oval curciforms and all but THREE faceted beads are strung. End with three size 11 seed beads and bring working end of wire back down through the first oval cruciform bead and the two daisy spacers on either side of it.

Now string the stem. On BOTH STRANDS OF FLEXIBLE WIRE, *string 3 size 8 seed beads, one faceted bead. *Repeat between * and * until all three faceted beads are strung. String three size 8 seed beads, one daisy spacer, the invitatory bead, one daisy spacer and three size 8 seed beads. String the crimp bead and the terminal charm. PULL THE FLEXIBLE WIRE TAUT. String both ends of flexible wire back through the crimp bead and the next three size 8 seed beads. Crimp and clip flexible wire close to beads.

If you need a tutorial on crimping, see my blog entry from yesterday.

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Healing the worldAbout eight years ago I had the pleasure of writing about the Jewish Healing Movement in my first book, Faith Beyond Faith Healing: Finding Hope After Shattered Dreams. The JHM draws on the rich tradition of Jewish prayer and ritual to create eclectic and creative healing services and prayers.

When I was reporting the book, Rabbi Eric Weiss of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco, sent me a prayer card that contained the Mi Sheberakh:

May the One who blessed our ancestors –

Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah,

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

bless and heal the one who is ill:

___________, daughter (or son) of ________________


May the Holy One, the fount of blessings,

shower abundant mercies upon her (him),

fulfilling her (his) dreams of healing,

strengthening her (him) with the power of life.


Merciful One:

restore her (him),

heal her (him),

strengthen her (him),

enliven her (him).


Send her (him) a complete healing

from the heavenly realms,

a healing of body and soul,

together with all who are ill,

soon, speedily, without delay;

and let us say:


I believe that all of the world’s religious traditions have wisdom and value. I do not believe any single faith has cornered the market on anything. For that reason, I am open to borrowing prayers from all traditions and I hope I will not offend anyone when I describe how I adapted this prayer to my own prayer bead practice. I say it on my Anglican rosary for my mom, who, as I have written before, is in the hospital with a broken hip, possibly caused by cancer. Here is how I say it:

On the Cross:

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

On the Invitatory Bead:

May the One who blessed our ancestors –

Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah,

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

bless and heal the one who is ill:

Diann, daughter of Katharine.

On the Cruciform Beads:

May the Holy One, the fount of blessings,

shower abundant mercies upon her,

fulfilling her dreams of healing,

strengthening her with the power of life.

On the Weeks Beads (repeat once on each bead):

Merciful One:

restore her,

heal her,

strengthen her,

enliven her.

(Say three rounds of the rosary, then, after the last round, return to the Invitatory Bead and repeat:)


Send her a complete healing

from the heavenly realms,

a healing of body and soul,

together with all who are ill,

soon, speedily, without delay;

and let us say:


(Return to the Cross and say the Lord’s Prayer or any other prayer of your choice).


I said this simple prayer for my mother yesterday as I walked along the creek in our town. I especially liked saying the prayer for the weeks bead because it was easily memorized and its brevity matched the rhythm of my steps. This prayer is very direct – no extra language. I am grateful that members of the JHM are willing to share it with all who are in need of it.

If you would like more information on the Jewish Healing Movement, visit the website of the National Center for Jewish Healing. You can check its directory for a center near you.


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On Friday (Feb 1), I received some bad news. My mother, who is 63, had broken a hip and fallen – in that order – while out with my stepfather and his parents. An x-ray at the emergency room appeared to show a tumor on her bone that had worn away the joint, causing the break. On Saturday morning, the orthopedist told my parents he thought the tumor was cancerous. As I write this, my mom is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.

As I often do in times of stress, I pick up my prayer beads and let the repetition of the prayers and the slip of the glass through my fingers soothe me. For my mom, I have compiled some prayers for healing that I will say daily on my Anglican rosary. I hope others praying for the sick will find it useful, too:

On the cross:

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

On the invitatory bead:

Almighty God our heavenly father, graciously comfort your servant, Diann, in her suffering and bless the means made use of for her cure. Fill her heart with confidence that, though at times she may be afraid, she may put her trust in you.

On the cruciform beads:

God of the present moment,

God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart;

Bring hope and courage to Diann as she waits in uncertainty.

On the weeks beads:

Deep peace of the spirit to you

Peace of the air flowing out to you

Peace of God growing strong within you

I drew the prayers from The Book of Common Prayer, A Holy Island Prayer Book and the prayerbook of The Anglican Church of New Zealand. You may also adapt it for the Catholic rosary by saying the weeks prayers on the decade beads, the cruciform prayers on the Our Father beads and the invitatory prayer on the first of the Hail Mary beads on the stem and saying two prayers of your choice on the second and third Hail Mary beads.

As I write this, I am still in shock. My mother had breast cancer in 1998 and thyroid cancer in 2000. This could be a recurrence or a third cancer. I am planning to fly to Houston tomorrow to be there for her surgery. I’ll try and post more from there.

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book-cover-image.jpgEvery major world religion has some tradition of counted prayer. And in all of these religions save one, these prayers are counted on beads. For Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics and Protestants, prayer beads form a link between these diverse faiths and varied cultures.

My name is Kimberly Winston and I am a freelance religion reporter and author of a new book, Bead One, Pray Too: A Guide to Making and Using Prayer Beads. Among the forms of prayer beads I explore in the book are Hindu and Buddhist malas, Islamic subhas, Catholic rosaries, Anglican and Episcopal rosaries, Lutheran prayer beads, the ecumenical rosary and the Pearls of Life. The book is both practical – explaining how to make several forms of prayer beads and suggesting prayers for them – and personal – documenting my own spiritual journey with prayer beads. Bead One, Pray Too will be published in April 2008 by Morehouse Publishing.

The purpose of this blog is to begin a conversation with my readers and others who are interested in or use prayer beads of any kind. I hope we can share ideas on how to make different forms of prayer beads, either traditional or original, and on how to pray with them.

On this blog, I also plan to interview people of different religions about their prayer beads, how they use them and what they mean to their personal spirituality. We will talk to Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Neo-Pagans, including Wiccans and Druids. And while Judaism has no tradition of prayer beads, we will learn about the tzitzitTzitzit special knotted fringe on tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl – that are fingered during certain prayers. The purpose of these interviews will be to highlight the common thread that prayer beads and counted prayer represent to members of these diverse religions.

I am brand new to the world of blogging and I am sure I will make some mistakes. I ask your patience and indulgence as I find my way through the blogging world.

The book won’t be out until April 2008, but maybe we can start the conversation now. I would love to hear from anyone who makes or uses prayer beads of any form

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