The use of the rosary or prayer beads helps to bring us into contemplative prayer, being mindful of praying and 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.
To begin, select the prayers you wish to use for the cross and each bead. Hold the Cross and say the prayer you have assigned to it (most often, this is the Lord's Prayer). Then move to the Invitatory Bead. Then enter the circle of the rosary with the first Cruciform Bead, moving through the Weeks and the other Cruciforms, saying the prayers for each bead and then exiting by way of the Invitatory Bead and the Cross. It is suggested that you pray around the circle of the beads three times (represents the Trinity) in an unhurried pace, allowing repetition to become a sort of lullaby of love and praise that enables your mind to rest and your heart to become quiet and still A period of silence should follow the prayer, for a time of reflection and listening. Listening is an important part of all prayer.
The Cross: Option 1: The Lord's Prayer Option 2: 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 Invitatory Option 1: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Option 2: Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.
The Cruciforms Option 1: Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep, we may rest in peace. Option 2:O, Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us; O, Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; O, Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, give us Thy Peace.
The Weeks Option 1: Jesus, lamb of God, have mercy on us. Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us. Jesus, redeemer of the world, give us your peace. Option 2:Almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.
About Anglican Rosaries
The Anglican Rosary is a relatively new form of contemplative prayer which uses a blending of the Roman Catholic Rosary and the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope. 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. Some form of a rosary or prayer beads can be found in virtually every major religious tradition in the world.
The circle of the Anglican Rosary symbolizes the wheel of time. Prayer, which moves around the wheel of the Rosary, represents the Christian's spiritual pilgrimage through time following Christ as Lord.
The Anglican Rosary is made up of 33 beads divided into four groups called weeks. Between each week is a single bead called a cruciform bead.
About Anglican Rosaries (continued):
In the Christian tradition, the sacred number four represents the four quadrants of the church's year. In theology, there are also four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance which are the four corners in the moral foundation of all human life. In addition, there are four weeks to a lunar month and the four cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west, as well as the four primary elements: earth, water, wind, and fire. The number 7 is repeated four times in the Rosary to create a conventional month. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the number 7 represents spiritual perfection and completion. Prayer is the Christian's cry for completion. Symbolic completion is represented by adding together the four weeks of seven week beads to the four cruciform beads plus the additional entry bead representing the divine Unity at the beginning of the Rosary. The full number of the beads, 33, the number of years Christ lived (a multiple of 3), prayed three times (signifying the Trinity) equals ninety-nine (99). In Middle Eastern traditions, the number 99 is the complete number of the Divine Names. Adding the crucifix at the beginning or end brings the total to 100 which is the total of the Orthodox Rosary and represents the fullness of creation.