Monday, December 15, 2008

Prayer Beads

The following post on using Prayer Beads is from the fabulous writer Ruth Hall Chatlien. As she says, there are many prayers available to use with beads or rosaries but this one, penned by Ruth, is so rich that I had to share it with everyone....So grab some beads! Why should the Catholics have all the fun?

"A few years ago, one of my priests introduced me to Anglican prayer beads, also called the Anglican rosary. Each set contains a cross and thirty-three beads, which symbolize the years of Jesus' life. There are five large beads and twenty-eight small beads, divided into four "weeks" of seven. Four of the large beads are used to separate the weeks. These are called cruciforms because they can be seen as standing for the four arms of the cross. The other large bead is next to the cross. It is called the invitatory.
Many prayers have been written for Anglican prayer beads. Shortly after I started using mine, I began to wish I had a prayer that would help me focus on everything that Jesus is to me. I had two different publications of prayers designed for Anglican beads, but none of the prayers satisfied my longing. So I wrote my own. I offer it to anyone who would like to use it, whether they own Anglican prayer beads or not.

The Cross
Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen (Rev. 7:12)
The Invitatory
Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
The Cruciforms
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me,bless God’s Holy Name. (Ps. 103:1)

The Weeks (Pray each paired phrase on a separate bead)
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of God, Lead us to the Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Firstborn of all Creation, Create in us a clean heart.
Lord Jesus Christ, Holy One, Lead us into righteousness.
Lord Jesus Christ, Light of the World. Illumine our hearts.
Lord Jesus Christ, Righteous One, Make your people holy.
Lord Jesus Christ, Image of the Invisible God, Show us the Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Mystery of God, Give us the conviction of things not seen.

Lord Jesus Christ, Lamb of God, Have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus Christ, Man of Sorrows, Ease our suffering.
Lord Jesus Christ, Suffering Servant, Redeem us from sin.
Lord Jesus Christ, Incarnate God, Deliver us from temptation.
Lord Jesus Christ, Word of Life, Lead us into all truth.
Lord Jesus Christ, Bread of Life, Feed your people.
Lord Jesus Christ, Living Water, Deliver us from thirst.

Lord Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Lead us on the right path.
Lord Jesus Christ, Chief Cornerstone, Build up your church.
Lord Jesus Christ, Head of the Body, Guide your people.
Lord Jesus Christ, Author and Perfector of Faith, Help our unbelief.
Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd, Seek out the lost sheep.
Lord Jesus Christ, True Vine, Make your branches fruitful.
Lord Jesus Christ, Wonderful Counselor, Give us your wisdom.

Lord Jesus Christ, High Priest, Intercede for us.
Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, End conflict in the world.
Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Come into your kingdom.
Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, Be sovereign over all.
Lord Jesus Christ, Resurrection and Life, Raise us up on the last day.
Lord Jesus Christ, Alpha and Omega, Let us see your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of Man, Receive our praise."


brad said...

Roberta, this was very interesting! In my own prayer life, except in church, repeated prayers do not play a role, but it is always inspiring to read what someone else has been moved to write. I really enjoyed seeing the Anglican Rosary. I thought you might like the web site that the following link takes you to. It's one of many with info about the Greek komboloi, or so-called worry beads, which likely originated with Greek monks counting prayer repetitions. Komboloi, or more properly kombologion, means "knot-counter," although modern Greeks do not think of it in that sense. Enjoy! - Brad

ROBERTA said...

Brad, i grew up praying the rosary at night with my family along with the priest on the RADIO! i did not enjoy that at all....but i do find much comfort in prayer beads - i've always had a rosary next to my bed - that might be an irish catholic thing - i'm not sure. The Greek beads remind me that prayer beads are part of every faith tradition - so there must be something compelling for humans to have something tangible to hold onto when in prayer.

brad said...

Roberta, there are some interesting entries in Wikipedia under Prayer Beads and Prayer Wheel. In paradox with my lack of interest in repeated prayer is my fascination with the concept of prayer wheels. And you know, if you really get into meditation and repeat the same "thing" over and over, it can have a powerful effect. When I'm in Greece I often have my komboloi in my pocket so that I can take it out and handle it to relax or to pass the time. It is indeed very comforting. I like your idea that, somehow, we need a tangible work of art to hold on to while praying. Look at some of the stunning creations of stone age cultures, possible of what archeologists love to call "religious use." As to Irish Catholics, what a marvelous mixture of mysticism and down-to-earth practicality. As an Irish friend of mine in Greece was wont to say, "Good enough to be goin' on with." And on one Greek komboloi web site, I saw this wonderful admonition - "Don't worry - bead happy!" - Brad

Jayne said...

That's beautiful Roberta. I have a lovely set and most often pray the fruits of the spirit. I may just use your lovely prayers and see how I like it. Thank you for so generously sharing. Have a beautiful day!

janey said...

Thanks Roberta, I have a set of those prayer beads and I wanted to know options.