Anglican prayer beads

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The Anglican Rosary sitting atop the Anglican Breviary and the Book of Common Prayer

Anglican prayer beads, also known as the Anglican rosary or Anglican chaplet, are a loop of strung beads used chiefly by Anglicans in the Anglican Communion, as well as by communicants in the Anglican Continuum, and by members of the Anglican Ordinariates within the Roman Catholic Church.[1] Anglican prayer beads were developed in the latter part of the 20th century within the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and this Anglican devotion has spread to other Christian denominations, including Lutherans, Methodists, the Reformed, thus giving rise to the term Christian prayer beads.[2][3][4]


Anglican Prayer Beads

Anglican prayer bead sets consist of thirty-three beads divided into groups. There are four groups consisting of seven beads with additional separate and larger beads separating the groups. The number thirty-three signifies the number of years that Christ lived on the Earth, while the number seven signifies wholeness or completion in the faith, the days of creation, and the seasons of the Church year.[5]


The groupings are called "weeks", in contrast to the Dominican rosary which uses five groups of ten beads called "decades". The beads between are usually larger than the "weeks" beads are called "cruciform" beads. When the loop of beads is opened into a circular shape, these particular beads form the points of a cross within the circle of the set, hence the term "cruciform". Next after the cross on Anglican prayer bead sets is a single bead termed the "invitatory" bead, giving the total of thirty-three. The beads used are made of a variety of materials, such as precious stones, wood, coloured glass, or even dried and painted seeds.

Anglican prayer bead sets are made with a variety of crosses or, occasionally, crucifixes. The Celtic cross and the San Damiano cross are two which are often used.


The Anglican Rosary hangs next to a home altar

Unlike the Dominican rosary used by Roman and Anglo Catholics, which focuses on the germane events in the life of Christ and asks the Virgin Mary to pray for their intentions, Anglican prayer beads are most often used as a tactile aid to prayer and as a counting device. The standard Anglican set consists of the following pattern, starting with the cross, followed by the Invitatory Bead, and subsequently, the first Cruciform bead, moving to the right, through the first set of seven beads to the next Cruciform bead, continuing around the circle. He or she may conclude by saying the Lord's Prayer on the invitatory bead and/or a final prayer on the cross as in the examples below. The entire circle may be done thrice, which signifies the Holy Trinity.[5]

The Cross

In the Name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Invitatory
O God make speed to save me (us),
O Lord make haste to help me (us),
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.

The Cruciforms
Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon me (us).

The Weeks
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

The Cross
I bless the Lord.
(Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God.)[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Anglican Rosary". The Catholic Knight. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2015. Anglican's availing themselves of the pope's new ordinariates will likely bring with them not only elements of their Anglo-Catholic liturgy, but some will bring with them their own personal devotions as well. While most Anglo-Catholics are partial to the traditional Dominican rosary, some have developed their own prayer bead devotion which mimics the Orthodox Jesus prayer rope. This is called the "Anglican Prayer Beads" or the "Anglican Chaplet." 
  2. ^ "Christian Prayer Beads Central". Net Ministries, Inc. Retrieved 2007-10-18. Episcopalians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Disciples, Presbyterians, and Non-denominational Christians are only some of those who have adopted them for their own use. 
  3. ^ Duckworth 2004, p. 118.
  4. ^ Schultz 2003.
  5. ^ a b "Anglican Prayer Beads". King of Peace Episcopal Church. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  6. ^ "Trisagion and Jesus Prayer". King of Peace Episcopal Church. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 


  • Duckworth, Penelope (2004). Mary: The Imagination of Her Heart. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications. ISBN 978-1-56101-260-2. 
  • Schultz, Thomas (2003). The Rosary for Episcopalians/Anglicans (2nd ed.). Oakland, California: Regent Press. ISBN 978-1-58790-055-6. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bauman, Lynn (2003) [1991]. The Anglican Rosary. Telephone, Texas: Praxis Publishing. OCLC 229217296. 
  • Crosby, Gilbert T. (2000). Praying the Rosary: An Introduction for Episcopalians. Cincinnati, Ohio: Forward Movement Publications. OCLC 48854131. 
  • Durrad, W. J. The Anglican Use of the Rosary. London: A. H. Stockwell. OCLC 36764926. 
  • Elliott, Kristin M.; Seibt, Betty Kay (2001). Holding Your Prayers in Your Hands: Praying the Anglican Rosary (10th ed.). Denton, Texas: Open Hands. OCLC 229217288. 
  • Price, Anthony (1991). Reconsidering the Rosary. Grove Spirituality Series. 36. Bramcote, England: Grove Books. ISBN 978-1-85174-170-0. 
  • Smith, Charles (1969). The Rosary. London: League of Anglican Loyalists. ISBN 978-0-900894-08-4. 
  • Society of St. John the Evangelist, ed. (1975). The Mysteries of the Rosary: A Short Treatise. London: Church Literature Association. OCLC 2031861. 
  • Stowell, Renata (2004). The Anglican Rosary for Children: Prayers for the Young at Heart. Kelowna, British Columbia. ISBN 978-0-9735332-1-7. 
  • Vincent, Kristen E. (2013). A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner's Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads. Nashville, Tennessee: Upper Room Books. ISBN 978-0-8358-1217-7. 
  • Winston, Kimberly (2008). Bead One, Pray, Too: A Guide to Making and Using Prayer Beads. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8192-2276-3. 

External links[edit]