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 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]


Anglican Prayer Beads

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, colored 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. ^ Mary: The Imagination of Her Heart by Penelope Duckworth 2004 ISBN 1-56101-260-2 page 118
  4. ^ The Rosary for Episcopalians/Anglicans by Thomas Schultz 2003 ISBN 1-58790-055-6
  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. 


  • Bauman, Lynn. The Anglican Rosary. Telephone, TX: PRAXIS Publishing, 1998. 47 pages: illustrations, music.
  • Crosby, Gilbert T. Praying the Rosary: An Introduction for Episcopalians. Cincinnati, Ohio (412 Sycamore St., Cincinnati 45202-4195): Forward Movement Pub, 2000.
  • Crowhurst, Thomas. The Little Book of the Rosary of Christ Our Lord: A Pastor's Gift to the Boys and Girls of His Charge and to Others Who Can Become As Little Children. Los Angeles, Calif: Thomas Crowhurst, n.d.
  • Durrad, W. J. The Anglican Use of the Rosary. London: A.H. Stockwell, n.d.
  • Elliott, Kristin M., and Betty Kay Seibt. Holding Your Prayers in Your Hands: Praying the Anglican Rosary. Denton, TX: [Open Hands], 2001. Notes: "The Anglican Rosary was developed as a meditation tool by a group of Episcopalians who wanted to create a new tool rather than amend the traditional Catholic rosary." -Page 13.
  • Price, Anthony. Reconsidering the Rosary. Bramcote, Notts: Grove Books, 1991.
  • Rosary Devotions. West Park, NY: Holy Cross Press, 1960.
  • Schultz, Thomas, and Thomas Schultz. The Rosary for Episcopalians/Anglicans. Oakland, CA: Regent Press, 2003.
  • Smith, Charles. The Rosary. London: League of Anglican Loyalists, 1969.
  • Society of St. John the Evangelist. The Mysteries of the Rosary: A Short Treatise. London: Church Literature Association, 1975.
  • Stowell, Renata. The Anglican Rosary for Children: Prayers for the Young at Heart. Kelowna, B.C.: R. Stowell, 2004.
  • Vincent, Kristen E. A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner's Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads. 2013. Summary: A Bead and a Prayer introduces Protestant prayer beads to Christians who have no experience in praying with beads. Author Kristen Vincent explores the history and art of using beads in prayer, explains how to use prayer beads, includes instructions for making your own set of prayer beads, and offers a variety of prayers. Through this book you will learn how prayer beads can help you deepen your faith, understand Christian beliefs, and listen to God.
  • Winston, Kimberly. Bead One, Pray, Too: A Guide to Making and Using Prayer Beads. Harrisburg [Pa.]: Morehouse Pub, 2008. Summary: Looks at the history and tradition of prayer beads, provides a variety and prayers and meditations to use with the beads and rosaries, and includes instructions on creating prayer beads. Contents: pt. one: Beads of faith -- A history of beads and prayer beads - The Catholic rosary - The Anglican rosary - Praying with prayer beads - pt. two: Prayers of faith - Creating prayers for the Anglican rosary - Praying the Anglican rosary with the Saints - Praying in our joys and sorrows - pt. three: Beads of faith - Choosing the right beads - Making your own rosaries - Giving the gift of prayer beads - Resources for beading and praying.

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