Reblogged from http://veiledwitch.blogspot.com
Prayer Beads – Catholic and Anglican Style + Filianism.
When someone mentions the Rosary, the first thought most people have is of the Catholic five decade rosaries. While this is an extremely common style of prayer beads, there is alternate sets that are used by people of Christian denominations and people who are influenced by their prayer practices. A comparatively late addition to the body of work that is prayer tools, the Anglican style Rosary is built upon two prior practices. The use of the Pater Noster beads (a set of thirty three or fifty beads used to recite the Our Father prayer) goes back into antiquity. Indeed, the term for prayers at one point was ‘bide your beads’ and there is one influential Christian of English origin whose name is known for his prayers (the venerable Bede). The Pater Noster beads were used for the lay people to imitate and integrate the practices of religious orders in their lives.Largely illiterate, most of the laity of these early eras did not have the ability to recite all one hundred and fifty Psalms (which was the practice of monks and nuns in this time period) on a daily basis. The majority of the laity did not know the Psalms or have time to recite them if they did. Thus, the Pater Noster beads were developed to allow these people to recite the Our Father prayer fifty times and incorporate a similar devotional practice to what the clergy and religious orders did. The Pater Noster beads were also used to recite the Jesus Prayer. (This was a recitation of the invocation of Jesus’s mercy upon they who were praying thirty three times – this being the number of years that Christian lore says Jesus lived.)The Catholic Rosary was developed for similar reasons. This was structured for there to be five to fifteen sets of ten beads divided by spacer beads between each set, with a medallion where the first and last decades meet and a terminal set of beads (usually three) that ends with a cross or crucifix that hang from the medallion. The five decade set of beads is used to pray one of the three sets of five holy mysteries of the Catholic faith at a single session. It can also be used in three repetitions to pray all three sets, which the fifteen decade is designed to cover in a single session. The fifteen decade Catholic Rosary is also recite all one hundred and fifty of the Psalms of the Christian bible.The Anglican Rosary combines elements of the Pater Noster beads and the Catholic Rosary. The Anglican Rosary has thirty three beads divided up into four groups of seven with four cruciform beads, an introductory prayer bead, and a cross for the terminal charm. The physical structure of the Anglican Rosary is obviously influenced by the Catholic Rosary. The litany of prayers used for the Anglican Rosary is varied. The Anglican Rosary can be used as the Pater Noster beads have in the past or one can devise their own prayers for meditation with them. The prayer tradition for the Anglican Rosary is clearly a modern one that is evolving as time passes, whilst rooted in the practices of antiquity.