The Anglican prayer beads are a combination of the Roman Catholic rosary and the Jesus prayer rope of the Orthodox Church, which is used for reflective prayer. This was created in the 1980s by the Rev. Lyn Bauman and designed with 33 beads that represent the number of years Jesus lived his earthly life. Touching the beads while in prayer helps greatly in keeping the mind focused on prayer and contemplation, while in the holy presence of God. There are 28 beads included on the prayer beads that are set apart from each other by four sets of 7. These are called weeks. In the middle of each of these weeks, a cruciform bead is added totaling 4 that now make the form of the cross. An invitatory bead is placed in between the circle of beads and the cross, numbering them to 33 beads symbolizing Jesus’ life on earth. Making your own set of prayer beads is very fulfilling project to do. You may also make them for friends who appreciate religious items and make good use of them in prayer. Here’s how to do it.
- The materials you will need. To make your prayer beads, you will need a cross, an invitatory bead measuring 10-12 mm., 4 pieces of cruciform beads of 8-10 mm., 28 beads for weeks of 6-8 mm., Seed beads for spacers in size 8, thread for beading, size 10 needle for beading, a small pair of scissors, non-water soluble glue, and a small clamp or clothespin.
- Measure your beading thread. Take your beading thread and measure it to a length of 4 feet before cutting. Thread in your beading needle bringing both ends of your thread together so that you can come up with two strands. Attach your small clamp at the end of the thread while leaving about 4 inches of the thread hanging.
- Stringing the beads. Begin to string your cross in, sliding it down till it reaches your clamp. Proceed to string in 5 of your seed beads, your invitatory bead, another 5 pieces of your seed beads, and one of your cruciform beads. This will form the stem of your prayer beads. The next set of beads will now form your prayer beads’ path. String in 3 of the seed beads followed by 7 beads for the weeks. Proceed to string in 3 seed beads followed by a cruciform bead. Add in 3 seed beads and 7 of your week’s beads. Add in 3 seed beads and one cruciform bead. Do this procedure until you have used all your weeks and cruciform beads and ending it up with 3 of the seed beads.
- Closing the prayer bead’s circle. Take your needle and bring it down into the strung cruciform bead and through all of the prayer beads from the stem to the cross, making the needle and the beading thread go out through your seed bead that you started with. Now let the needle go through the cross, which will have both of the thread’s tails coming out from the same area of the cross. Take off your clamp and tug at your thread’s tails to keep all your strung beads snugly in place. With your right hand, hold the tail ends and with the left, hold your prayer beads. Place the tails right over left on your remaining thread that will create a loop for your cross. Make the tails go in and out the loop twice, tugging it to tighten your knot and keep it secured to your cross. Now make your tail pass through your loop left over right this time. Pull again to tighten. Begin to rethread your tails placing both needle and tails back through your initial 5 seed beads and pass through your invitatory bead before clipping it closely to the bead. Rethread your other tail with the same method. Apply a small amount of hypo cement to your knot and allow it to dry.
You now have your Anglican prayer beads to use each time you reach out to God in prayer.