Session 4

Prayer Beads

  1. Rosaries
  2. Anglican Prayer Beads
  3. Lutheran Pocket Rosaries

There are different types of Prayer beads. The one most of us are probably familiar with is the Catholic Rosary.


The Catholic Rosary is comprised of:

A crucifix
An Our Father Bead
3 Antiphon Beads
An Our Father Bead
The Center Bead
10 Beads for Decade 1
An Our Father Bead
10 Beads for Decade 2
An Our Father Bead
10 Beads for Decade 3
An Our Father Bead
10 Beads for Decade 4
An Our Father Bead
10 Beads for Decade 5

For more information and pictures see

How to Pray the Rosary

The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events in the history of our salvation. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries (said on Monday and Saturday), the five Luminous Mysteries (said on Thursday), the five Sorrowful Mysteries (said on Tuesday and Friday), and the five Glorious Mysteries (said on Wednesday and Sunday). As an exception, the Joyful Mysteries may be said on Sundays during Advent and Christmas, while the Sorrowful Mysteries may be said on the Sundays of Lent.

The question is sometimes asked, why, of all the incidents in our Lord’s life, the Rosary only considers these particular twenty. The mysteries of the Rosary are based on the incidents in the life of Our Lord and His Mother that are celebrated in the Liturgy. There is a parallel between the main feasts honoring our Lord and his Mother in the liturgical year, and the twenty mysteries of the Rosary. Consequently, one who recites the twenty mysteries of the Rosary in one day reflects on the whole liturgical cycle that the Church commemorates during the course of each year. That is why some of the Popes have referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel. One cannot change the mysteries of the Rosary without losing the indulgences that the Church grants for the recitation of the Rosary.

See for the steps to praying the rosary including links for the Mysteries.

Anglican Prayer Beads

Since the earliest of times,
people have used pebbles or a string of knots or beads
on a cord to keep track of prayers offered to God.
Virtually every major religious tradition in the world
uses some form of prayer beads.

Anglican Prayer Beads are a relatively new form of prayer, blending the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope and the Roman Catholic Rosary. The thirty-three bead design was created by the Rev. Lynn Bauman in the mid-1980s, through the prayerful exploration and discovery of a contemplative prayer group.

The use of the rosary or prayer beads helps to bring us into contemplative of meditative prayer—really thinking about and being mindful of praying, of being in the presence of God—by use of mind, body, and spirit. The touching of the fingers on each successive bead is an aid in keeping our mind from wandering, and the rhythm of the prayers leads us more readily into stillness.

Symbolism of the Beads
The configuration of the Anglican Prayer Beads relate contemplative prayer using the Rosary to many levels of traditional Christian symbolism. Contemplative prayer is enriched by these symbols whose purpose is always to focus and concentrate attention, allowing the one who prays to move more swiftly into the Presence of God.

The prayer beads are made up of twenty-eight beads divided into four groups of seven called weeks. In the Judeo-Christian tradition the number seven represents spiritual perfection and completion. Between each week is a single bead, called a cruciform bead as the four beads form a cross. The invitatory bead between the cross and the wheel of beads brings the total to thirty-three, the number of years in Jesus’ earthly life.

See for prayers and methods of praying with Anglican Beads.

A Lutheran Rosery

See for details and prayers of the Lutheran Rosary.

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