In the 1980s, the Anglican/ Episcopal church began encouraging the use of prayer beads, known as the Anglican Rosary. A contemplative prayer group in Texas created these prayer beads in 1985.
The Anglican Rosary is comprised of thirty-three beads divided into four groups of seven, which form the “weeks.” These beads symbolize the days of the week, the seasons of the liturgical year, and the seven days of creation. In both Jewish and Christian traditions, the number seven is a sign of perfection.
The four larger beads that divide the groups of seven beads—called the cruciform beads—create a cross. They may symbolize the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—the four points on the compass, the four seasons, and the four elements. Above the cross is the “invitatory” bead that is used to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
The full circle of beads symbolizes our wholeness and completion in Christ. Like the beads of the Eastern Orthodox Chotki, the thirty-three beads could also represent the thirty-three years of Christ’s life.