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Posts Tagged ‘Anglican rosary’

Check out this wonderful post from a Baltimore-based woman named Anne who makes Anglican rosaries. She has decided to start a series of posts about birthstone rosaries, and is beginning with June – pearls and alexandrites. Here is an excerpt:

“Everywhere, pearls represent purity, innocence, and integrity. In the book of Revelations, the Gates of Heaven are made of pearls. The pearl is the national gemstone of Saudi Arabia, France, the Philippines, and India. They are the traditional birthstone for June and are given as gifts for the thirtieth wedding anniversary as well as for First Communion.”

Anne also has an Etsy store where she sells her handmade Anglican rosaries and other jewelry. I learned something from Anne’s post on pearls and alexandrites and so I will link to her monthly birthstone rosary post. In the meantime, let’s all go out and get some faux pearls and some Swarovski alexandrite crystals and make a rosary or other form of prayer beads for someone with a June birthday – or perhaps a June bride?

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p4010108Today, my baby is one year old. Yeah! And it seems, according to my publisher that this, my third child, will be the most susccessful. Double Yeah! So to celebrate, I bought my baby a little chocolate cake and – because she is my girl – a Diet Coke, and we invited a few friends from different denominations to come and celebrate.

And it has been a year! It started with a starred review in Publishers Weekly and continued with articles in several papers, including the Grand Rapids Press, the Toledo Blade, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Jackson Citizen Patriot. More recently, Beliefnet.com has featured prayer bead galleries compiled by me and will mount a “how-to” gallery this month on making an Anglican rosary. I’ve been on radio and even a podcast! I’ve had a blast.

But the best thing of all has been hearing from people who find this blog. I never thought when I started this that I would make friends – I think real friends – with people I’ve never seen and never even heard their voices. We live all across the country but we are joined not just by out use of prayer beads, but by what I believe is a real caring for each other. You know who you are, you readers who I hear from all the time. Thank you, my friends. You have made all the hard work that went into this book and this blog so worth it.

So here is my prayer for the day – the first of my own composition that I offer here:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gifts you have given me that have helped me reach other people and find so many friends. In the coming year, please help me to find the inspiration, the purpose and the joy to do whatever may be “next” for me. I ask that you continue to keep all of us close to you and help usto see the clear path ahead. Amen.

(See why I don’t write my own prayers?)

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anglican-rosary-cluster-11First, let me say how touched I am by the flood of emails I’ve been receiving from readers and other friends and family who read my post about Bella. Many of them have contained the most lovely pet prayers – some which had me in quite a puddle of tears – that I will share here in a blog post within a day or so. I am a little raw today and don’t want to go to the Bella place right now. But I thank you all so much.

In a previous post, I promised to let you know when two sets of  prayer bead prayers I compiled for Beliefnet.com were “live.” They went up today and I hope you will check them out.

The first set is on the subjects of patience, strength and endurance. I compiled them for an Anglican rosary because that is what Beliefnet requested, but they could be adapted for the Catholic rosary by repeating a few prayers of your choice.

The second set is on the subject of light. They are also for the Anglican rosary and are adaptable.

Soon I will have a “how-to” gallery on Beliefnet that will offer directions for making a simple Anglican rosary. I hope we are able to bring a lot more people into this ancient contemplative practice which is bringing me a good measure of comfort at this time.

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As the daily news gets worse and worse, I keep thinking back to the hopefulness of the inauguration, especially to the beautiful prayers of Rev. Gene Robinson, Rev. Rick Warren and Rev. Joseph Lowery. I have also been inspired and comforted by the prayers of Jewish, Hindu and other Christian leaders who wrote inaugural prayers at the request of Religion News Service. A couple of lines from each of these prayers have been sounding within me over the last two weeks, and I finally decided to lay them out as a set of prayers for my prayer beads.

Before I share this with you, let me say that I believe, above everything, that prayer has an enormous power to unite us and should never divide us. In that belief and spirit, I link together the prayers of these leaders, even thought they come from different faiths and certainly have different interpretations of God, His/Her will and what our purpose here is. It is my hope that all of us can find common ground in the spirit of these prayers. Perhaps in joining them all on one strand of prayer beads we can put aside our differences as well all pray for our country. You, of course, are free to pick and choose the prayers you like and discard the ones you don’t.

The first instruction is for the Anglican rosary and the second is for the Catholic rosary. I identify the author of each prayer by their initials: GR (Gene Robinson), RW (Rick Warren), JL (Joseph Lowery), WDJ (Wilfred de Jesus), BH (Brad Hirschfield), SR (Samuel Rodriguez), AGL (Anne Graham Lotz) and RZ (Rajan Zed)

This is what I came up with:

On the Cross, Crucifix or Other Terminal Charm:

Almighty God, our Father,
Everything we see, and everything we can’t see, exists because of you alone.
It all comes from you, it all belongs to you, it all exists for your glory. (RW)

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

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land. (JL)

On the Three Hail Mary Beads (Catholic Rosary Only):

1-3 Peace, peace, peace be unto all. (RZ)

On the First Cruciform / Second Our Father Bead:

The Scripture tells us, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made. (RW)

On the First Set of Weeks / Decades Beads:

1 – Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility,

2 – the courage to lead us with integrity,

3 – the compassion to lead us with generosity.

4 – Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.

5 – Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans–united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.

6 – When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you–forgive us.

7 – When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone–forgive us.

8 – When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve–forgive us.

9 – And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.

10 – Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all. (RW)

On the Second Cruciform Bead/ or Third Our Father Bead:

Lord God Almighty, you are the author and initiator of change. Humbly, we ask for the strength to put our hands on the arc of history and bend it once more towards the hope of a better day – one of freedom and peace. (WDJ)

On the Second Set of Weeks Beads / or Decades Beads:

1 – And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

2 – Help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

3 – We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

4 – Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors,

5 – when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

6 – For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, [and] mend our brokenness,

7 – heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

8 -Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

9 – Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

10 – Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen. (JL)

On the Cruciform Bead / Our Father Bead:

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will… (GR)

On the Third Set of Weeks Beads / or Decades Beads:

1 – Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

2 – Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

3 –Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

4 –Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

5 –Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

6 –Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

7 –Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world. (GR)

8 – Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

9 – Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

10 – Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen. (JL)

On the Fourth Cruciform Bead / Fourth Our Father Bead:

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States. (GR)

On the Fourth Set of Weeks Beads / Fourth Set of Decades Beads:

1 – Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

2 –Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

3 –Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

4 –Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

5 –Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

6 –Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

7 –And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace. (GR)

On the Fifth Set of Decade Beads (Catholic Rosary Only):

1 – Known by many names and called upon in many languages, we stand before You, God, as one nation.

2 – The Psalmist declares that the heavens belong to you, and that you have given the Earth to humanity. Strengthen this president, vice president and each of us to be good stewards of the this planet and our country. (BH)

3 – Thank you for our freedom which has not come easily, and is even now being defended by the courages sacrifice of those willing to lay down their lives. May we never abuse it or take it for granted.

4 – Give our new president a powerful, fresh encounter with yourself, so that on your behalf, he would exercise kindness, justice and righteousness in this nation and in the world. (AGL)

5 – [May] we stand against the voices that attempt tp draw us appart and commit ourselves to focusing on what holds us together: our love of God, family and country.

6 – Let this generation arise as the firewall against the spirit of violence, poverty, death and injustice. (SR)

7 -May we be protected together. May we be nourished together.

8 – May we work together with great vigor. May no obstacle arise between us.

9 – United [in our] resolve, united [in our] hearts, may our spirits be at one that we may long together dwell in unity and concord.

10 – Peace, peace, peace be unto all. (RZ)


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I came home today and opened the mailbox to find a package inside from Brother Nathan-James, an Anglican brother in Buranda, Australia. When I opened it up, inside was this lovely Anglican rosary he made just for me.

I first connected with Brother Nathan-James more than year ago when I was researching Bead One, Pray Too. A Google search for “Anglican rosary” turned him up and the fact that he teaches workshops in making and using them in Australia. We started up an email correspondence, and his writing to me in no small way informed what I eventually wrote in the book.

A couple of weeks ago, he emailed me to tell me he had started his own blog on the subject of Anglican prayer beads and wanted to talk a little “blogging shop.” And out of his kindness, he asked if he could send me a set of prayer beads he made.

And you all know – I NEVER turn down a set of prayer beads!

Along with the beads he sent this very cool booklet he wrote that he gives to people who take his workshop. It is called “The Anglican Rosary: Contemporary practice of the ancient tradition of prayer and meditation using prayer beads.” Inside, it has a history of prayer beads, a description of the Anglican rosary, how to pray it and how to make it. It also has some wonderful suggestions for personalizing your Anglican rosary (like picking a theme for the prayers you will use) and a really great section on conducting a group session with the Anglican rosary. There are also lots of prayers and space to write your own.

Here’s a prayer from the booklet I particularly like:

“A Night Prayer”

On the Cross

Our help is in the name of the Lord; who made heaven and earth

On the Invitatory Bead

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end

On the Cruciform Beads

Holy God, Holy and strong, Holy and immortal; have mercy on us.

On the Weeks Beads

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

On the Invitatory Bead (at the conclusion of 3 rounds)

Now Lord let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation; which you have prepared in the sight of every people.

A light to reveal you to the nations; and the glory of your people Israel.

On the Cross

Let us bless the Lord, thanks be to God.

So, I hope you all visit Brother Nathan’s new blog – http://www.anglicanrosary.wordpress.com. In a note he enclosed with my beautiful gift, he asks if any of you have an anecdote to share about your use of the Anglican rosary, please consider sharing them on a special page on his blog. I am going to add his blog to my blogroll, so you should be able to just click on it and get there from here.

Please drop into Brother Nathan-James’s blog and tell him what you think! THANK YOU, Brother Nathan-James!

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My husband and I are visiting Seattle this week – he for a conference and me for the free hotel room. So while he confers, I bop around the city looking for bead stores, places to pray with beads and great yarn stores. Oh, then there’s the eating. There are way too many good bakeries in this town.

One of the accepted truisms of the religion beat is that the Pacific Northwest is the least religious place in the United States. It has the lowest religious affiliation per capita and is the place where people are more likely to say they are “spiritual but not religious” than anywhere else. So I expected it might be a little more difficult to find great places to pray. I was, I can happily tell you, totally wrong.

This morning, I walked about 8 blocks from my hotel to Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church and the jewel in the Seattle Archdiocese’s crown. I hoped to go inside and find a nice, quiet, meditative place that would inspire me to prayer. JACKPOT.

I stepped inside the church at about 11 a.m. to find a cool, quiet sanctuary with only two or three people scattered in the wooden pews and chairs. But what immediately struck me was the music – the organist was practicing what sounded like Bach, flooding the cool, dim space with music that came from all four corners of the church. I took a seat – a wooden chair – in the second row before the altar.

Then I noticed something very interesting. The church’s interior seems to be dominated by a theme – that of the circle. The sanctuary is illuminated by a skylight – a round hole at the top of a dome over the altar. Around the skylight is written the following: “I am in your midst as one who serves.” Directly below the skylight is the altar, which is also circular, with three steps leading up to another circular dias on which the communion table sits. This, it struck me, would mean that when people come up for communion, they might kneel in a circle about the altar and table. In other words, this is a church where the action does not take place in a line across the front, with the people separated from the communion supper by a rail, but where the people are in the midst of the action. I like the inclusiveness this implies.

Then I looked about me and saw the circle theme echoed elsewhere – in the medallions that ringed the church for the stations of the cross, in the rounded tops of all the stained glass windows and the arches, in the round bowl of holy water that sits right at the beginning of the main aisle, and in the round lamps that hung over the altar.

About this time, I got out the beads I put in my backpack for my trip. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to what beads I was bringing with me, just throwing a set in both my purse and my backpack. I felt a little shiver run down my spine when I pulled out my beads and found I had brought an Anglican rosary with no cross, but with a glass bead that was round, smooth and cool – just like the inside of the church. If you have a copy of Bead One, Pray Too, it is the one pictured on page 28. I love it when stuff like that happens.

So, what to pray? One thing I like to do when I visit a church is to look for something in the pew that contains the congregation’s prayers. I try to incorporate one of their prayers into my own with the beads. I like to think that this links me to them in some way – I am a guest in their house of worship and wish to show my respect and thanks by using one of their prayers. I looked in the rack on the back of the chair in front of me and found a church bulletin from last Sunday. Inside, I found a verse from a song the congregation sang together, and I used it on my cruciform beads. Here is what I prayed:

ON THE TERMINAL CHARM:

Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

ON THE INVITATORY BEAD:

The Lord’s Prayer

ON THE CRUCIFORM BEADS:

Glory be to God in heaven,

Songs of joy and peace we bring,

Thankful hearts and voices raising,

To creation’s Lord we sing:

Lord, we thank you, Lord we bless you,

Glory be to God our king.

ON THE WEEKS BEADS:

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

I prayed my Anglican rosary three times around. When I returned to the invitatory bead, I said a Hail Mary, as I was in a Catholic Church and it would further link me to all the people who had prayed with the Catholic rosary in these same pews. When I was done, I was struck by how completely silent it was in the sanctuary. The organist had wrapped up and left – I heard him jangling his keys as he left – and all the other worshippers had disappeared. It was just me and my prayers and the presence of the divine I could feel all about me. Here I was, in the middle of a major metropolitan city, and it was utterly quiet, peaceful, calm and still. Only my beads occasionally clicked.

When I was done, I walked to the font of holy water at the front and dipped my beads. I then held them as they dried and walked around the perimeter of the church. In the Mary chapel, I lit two candles – one for my friend Darrell, whose 44th birthday would have been a week ago Sunday, and one for Sandy, to whom Bead One, Pray Too is dedicated.

When I left the sanctuary, it was only because I needed to get moving if I was going to get everywhere I needed to me today. I stopped in the church’s excellent bookstore and bought a rosary made with multi-colored crystal beads and little book of prayers written by the church’s former choir mistress. Their bookstore wad a wonderful selection of books, including an especially good section on prayer. Check it out online. And while you are there, be sure and visit the church’s excellent prayer resources. I am particularly fond of the Mary Journey page – how wonderful to have all those images of a strong woman to pray with! And note that all the images are found in St. James.

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Steve Riley, publicist extraordinaire at Morehouse, sent me a link this morning to a blog called 45 Pines with an entry called “Praying with Stones.”

It seems that the writer, named Tanya, found a copy of Bead One, Pray Too at her local library (YEA! LIBRARIES!) and came home and was inspired to make an Anglican rosary the next day. Check out the beautiful picture of what she came up with, and be sure to look at the prayers she chose! I think Tanya is off to a great start in her relationship with prayer beads.

Steve also sent me a link to a column called “By Hand” from the Bangor [Maine] News in which the writer mentions the book and describes the content. I am having trouble using the link he sent me – think I am having computer issues, so if you wanna see it, Google “Kimberly Winston” and “Bangor News”. That should do it. I would love to hear from some of you prayer beaders in Bangor.

I am on vacation in Seattle with my husband. Actually, I am on vacation, he is here working, at a conference. HAHAHAHA. So I have been bopping around the city on my own and I will begin posting a few entries about local bead stores, places of worship and good local places to sit and pray with beads. Stay tuned . . . .

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