Posts Tagged ‘Episcopal rosary’

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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For this last week before Holy Week, I had planned to compile some prayers for prayer beads on the theme of hunger and loneliness. That’s kind of what I have been feeling lately, as winter sits – and sits and sits. But then the sun came out and I thought, that would be a bummer! I didn’t want to pray about hunger and loneliness while I was sitting in the sun in my backyard (where I am right now!) for the first time this year.  So I looked for warmth and the light instead.

mcquiston-prayerbook.jpgLooking for inspiration, I opened a book that’s been on my shelf for a while, but that I haven’t really delved deeply into. And what I read inside really seemed like a reflection of the sun – straightforward, direct and inclusive appeals to the Almighty. The book, A Prayer Book for the 21st Century by John McQuiston II. McQuiston is an attorney in Memphis, Tenn. and a layleader in his Episcopal congregation. He has written a couple of other books, including one on the Benedictine way.

McQuiston describes himself as a panentheist – one who believes that God is so absolute, so enormous, so mysterious that “he” transcends all our ideas and knowledge and is just too huge to confine to images like “father,” “shepherd,” “light,” etc.  God transcends all we know and all we can see and all we are. God is.

“When one says, ‘I believe in God,'” McQuiston writes in the introduction, “it means, ‘I believe that the Unconditional, the Ultimate, the Divine, is present in all and is All — all of life, all persons, all creatures, all the universe, and I believe there is more than we can perceive or comprehend, a dimension beyond the apparent world of time and space.”

In the body of the book, McQuiston rephrases some of the great Psalms, prayers and services of the church to reflect this vast idea of God. The result, for me, is a much closer idea of how I think of God – as neither male nor female, as unlimited, and, most important to me, as universal in “his” love of all people, regardless of their individual creeds.

So here is a set of prayers for the Anglican/Episcopal prayer beads or Catholic rosaries based on McQuiston’s prayers. Say them around three times before returning to the cross or terminal charm, where I suggest you finish with the Lord’s Prayer. If you are using a Catholic rosary, say a prayer of your choice on the three “Hail Mary” beads on the rosary’s stem. When you return to the medal at the end, say a prayer of your choice.

The Weeks/Decades prayers are drawn from several of McQuiston’s “concluding prayers.” There are 10 – one for each bead in the Catholic rosary’s decade. If you are using an Anglican/Episcopal rosary, which has seven beads in this segment, say prayers 1-7, or choose seven prayers you like the best from among the ten. If you are using a different form of prayer beads, you may choose and use any prayers you like, in any order that suits you and your beads.

On the Cross, Crucifix or Terminal Charm:

Teach me, Creative Power,

Give me understanding,

And I shall keep your way (Psalm 119: 33-34)

On the Invitatory/First and Second Our Father Beads:

Everyone who abides in love, abides in God and God abides in them.

As God is, so are we in this world.

[If you are using a Catholic rosary, say prayers for the three  “Hail Mary” beads here before repeating the prayer above for the second “Our Father” bead.] 

On the Cruciform/Our Father Beads:

For this is to live the life eternal: to experience our indivisible relationship with God (John 17:3)
On the Weeks/Decades Beads: 

1 – Eternal Progression, where I am, you are.

2 – What I feel, you feel.

3 – What I think, you think.

4 – So transparent is my unity with you that my eye and your eye are one eye and one seeing.

5 – In awe, I confess that what I do, you do.

6 – Assist me this day to be worthy of you.

7 – Help me to share your love with all I touch this day.

(8) – Help me to merge my spirit with your spirit,

(9) – To live life as an end and not a means.
(10) – So that today I may offer care and compassion to every person.

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the-scream.pngThis week, I have been thinking a lot about silence. It has been a week split between long days at home alone with my dog, Bella, and the computer and a weekend of raucus fun with girlfriends at a knitting convention that attracted thousands of people. In the first part of the week there was silence so deep I could hear Bella’s stomach rumble, and in the second part of the week my throat was sore from shouting above the common noise. At the end of the week, it struck me that we need both kinds of days – ones in which we can hear nothing but the rhythms of our own heart and ones in which we can hear nothing but the voices of others. The key is how to strike the right balance. If anyone figures that out, drop me a line. In the meantime, this week I am offering up a set of Lenten prayers for prayer beads on the joint themes of silence and sound.

Below you will find the prayers laid out for the Anglican/Episcopal form of prayer beads. It is a simpler set of prayer beads than the Catholic rosary. But these prayers can be said on any set of prayer beads. If you are using a Catholic rosary, say the prayers marked On the Weeks/Decade Beads ten times instead of seven, and apply them to the three Hail Mary beads on the rosary’s stem, too.  For the second Our Father bead, you can recite the prayer for the Cruciform/Our Father beads an extra time, or any prayer of your choosing. And when you get to the medal of the rosary, you can say any prayer you like – either one found here or another that you know.

If you are using another form of prayer beads – a Buddhist or Hindu mala, an Islamic subha, a set of Pearls of Life or some other form you have created and strung for yourself, you can compose these prayers in any order that suits you. It does not matter what you pray, only that you pray.  I recommend that you say your prayer beads three times around before returning to its stem and exiting with a final prayer on the cross, crucifix or any other terminal charm you have.
Sources: The Invitatory/First Our Father Bead prayer is from Psalm 102. The Cruciform/Our Father Beads prayer was written by Pere Jean Nicholas Grou (1731-1803), a Jesuit priest, and is printed in 2000 Years of Prayer compiled by Michael Counsell. The Weeks/Decades Beads prayer is a section of a prayer written by Mrs. Sallie Cheavens Verette and published in Women’s Uncommon Prayers.

On the Cross/Crucifix:

Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen

On the Invitatory/First Our Father Bead:

Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you,

Hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.

Incline your ear to me; when I call, make haste to answer me . . .

My days pass away like a shadow, and I wither like the grass.

But you, O Lord, endure forever, and your name from age to age.
On the Cruciform/Remaining Our Father Beads:
O my divine Master, teach me to hold myself in silence before you, to adore you in the depths of my being, to wait upon you always and never to ask anything of you but the fulfillment of your will. Teach me to let you act in my soul, and form in it the simple prayer that says little but includes everything. Grant me this favor for the glory of your name.

On the Weeks/Decades Beads:

I am still; I listen.

I hear you say, “I am your strength.”

I say to you, “You are my redeemer.”

My Lord, my God.

Returning to the Invitatory Bead/First Our Father:

Repeat first Invitatory Bead/First Our Father prayer
Returning to the Cross/Crucifix:

The Lord’s Prayer 

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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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