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Monday, July 12, 2010

The Anglican Rosary

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: 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." This Anglo-Catholic devotion uses a small chaplet containing four strands of seven beads (called "weeks") connected by larger cruciform beads. These connecting cruciform beads derive their name from the shape of the cross they make when the chaplet is spread out into a circle. The devotion is as follows...

On The Cross
In the Name the Father, and the Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

On The Invitatory Bead
O God make speed to save me (us),
O Lord make haste to help me (us),
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

On The Cruciform Beads
Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon me (us).

On The Weeks Beads
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

On The Invitatory Bead
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.

On The Cross
I bless the Lord. (Let us bless the Lord)
Thanks be to God.
Chaplets such these are made by multiple prayer bead sources found on the Internet, or they can be made privately at home. Though they are really chaplets, they are sometimes called "Anglican Rosaries."

I am sometimes asked if these Anglican chaplets are suitable for use among Roman Catholics. The answer of course is "yes" because it is a private devotion using prayers that are common in the Catholic Church anyway.

What are your thoughts on this?


Anonymous said...

I first saw an anglican rosary at Canterbury Cathedral, UK. Also sign out side St Clement's Anglo Catholic church here: "Rosary recited before the 9am mass"

Ben Vallejo said...

It is used by some Catholic Anglicans but not all. Many use the Roman Rosary.

The Catholic Knight said...

That's true Ben. The Dominican (or Roman) rosary is definitely the most popular in the world, not only with Roman Catholics, but with Anglo-Catholics as well.

This Anglican rosary however, was developed by Anglo-Catholic religious (monks and nuns) back during the 1980s. In typical Anglican fashion, they borrowed elements from both the Eastern Catholic/Orthodox tradition and the Western Roman Catholic tradition to come up with something new that is both eastern and western.

The prayers are said on beads, as opposed to knots, which comes from the Roman Catholic tradition. However the number of beads, and prayers themselves, come primarily from the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox tradition.

To top it off the beads are arranged into Biblical symbolism. There are a total of 33 beads on the chaplet, one for each year of Christ's life. Three is also the number of the Trinity and it's double representation is symbolic of the incarnation, Christ's two natures, fully God and fully man. The beads are split into four strands of seven (called weeks) with seven being the Biblical number of God's perfection. These "weeks" are connected by four "cruciform" beads so that when the chaplet is stretched into a circle they form an imaginary cross between them, with each bead being an end point of the cross.

Eastern Catholic/Orthodox prayer ropes come in sets of 33 knots, 50 knots and 100 knots. The Anglican chaplet mimics the 33 knot version, however when you pray three times around it you get 99 prayers. Pray once on the cross and you get to 100 prayers just like the 100 knot prayer rope.

Colleen said...

Hello from Scotland and a Scottish Episcopalian lady - church organist/choirmistress and devotee of the rosary, both Roman and Anglican. I see the merits of both rosaries and have beautiful lists of meaningful prayers, many of them from the Celtic tradition of devotion, so I do not feel that it is "borrowed" in any sense; they complement each other. The week beads can also reflect the 7 sacraments, the beads themselves the 33 years of Christ's life on Earth. I could go on, but prefer to stress the blessings I find in use, and the inspiration for my artistic expression.