- Prayer Bedes' mission is to encourage Christian prayer. We acknowledge there are many forms of prayer. One form is using the rich tradition of Christian prayer beads found throughout the world to help us engage our body, mind, and spirit in our prayers.
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Beads as Tools for prayer
Types of Rosaries, Chaplets, and Christian Prayer Beads
- Angelic Trisagion Chaplet
- Anglican Rosary
- Brigittine Rosary
- Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- Coptic Mequtaria
- Croatian Peace Chaplet
- Dominican Rosary
- Franciscan Crown Rosary
- Gifts of the Holy Spirit Chaplet
- Greek Orthodox Komvoschinion
- Irish Penal Rosary
- Lazo Wedding Rosary
- Lutheran Rosary
- Psalms of Hope Chaplet
- Psalter & Paternoster
- Russian Orthodox Chotki
- Seven Dolor Rosary
- Stella Maris Chaplet
Types of Crosses
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Tonight, the third night of Chanukah, I am reflecting on the prayer I published in the last post. This is the prayer I am referring to:
Blessed are You
our God, Creator of time and space,
who performed miracles for our ancestors,
in the days long ago, And at this time.
My thoughts lead me to the last two lines of this beautiful prayer and the idea of miracles. I know I witness miracles every day, but I often do not take time to notice.
At this busy time of year, we are so often distracted by all of the preparations and gatherings. It is wonderful to decorate, bake, and attend all the wonderful opportunities for Christmas celebration. But, it makes me wonder what we miss.
Miracles do happen “at this time” not just in biblical times. Lord, help me to notice.
Tonight is the second night of Chanukah. In the Jewish tradition, it is a time to remember the miracle of the oil lamps on the menorah of the Temple, which burned for 8 nights with not even enough oil to last one night. The purpose for burning the lamps was to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem after a revolt that brought it’s rule back to the Jewish people.
The tradition of Chanukah and the lighting of the “menorah” has always fascinated me. Though, as a Christian, it is also one that I knew little about.
One thing I learned today is that many (including myself) incorrectly refer to the candelabrum used for the candles during the celebration as a menorah, when it is actually called a Hanukiah. Menorah’s are only found in Temples and have 7 candles, whereas the Hanukiah has nine.
The two Hanukiah pictured above are from two artists I found on Etsy. (See links at the bottom of this post.) They were also my inspiration for a new chaplet I created today consisting of 8 small beads and one larger bead.
As I thought about the Christian tradition of Advent and the Jewish tradition of Chanukah, I saw how Advent is a time of rededication for Christians as well.
Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ into our lives. What better way to prepare for Christ’s coming than to rededicate our lives to Christ. (As Paul says in 1 Cor. 3:16, we are God’s temple and God’s spirit dwells in us.)
In lieu of making this post any longer, I am going to continue it tomorrow. Until then, I leave you with one of the Jewish prayers said on this blessed night.
This song has been running through my mind the past couple of days, so I though I would share it with you. =)
Amen! Thanks be to God!
The simple words “Come, Holy Spirit” have become one of my favorite prayers. There are so many times that I know I need the divine guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life. The wonderful gifts I have been given–reverence, practice, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, courage, and strength (Isaiah 11:2-3)–are mine to be nurtured in the hope that they will bear the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23–love, joy, peace, patience, endurance, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.
This chaplet is a wonderful reminder to pay attention to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to remember to nourish our gifts through prayer and the study of God’s Word.
On the medal are inscribed the words “Veni Creator Spiritus.” In Latin, this means Come, Holy Spirit.
One of my favorite Georgian Chants is Veni Creator Spiritus. Here is a wonderful sample of that beautiful hymn.
English translation can be found at: http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Hymni/VeniCreator.html
The Irish Penal Chaplet was developed during the Penal Era in Ireland, which dates from about 1540-1731. At that time, the Church of England required a uniformity of religious practice resulting in the persecution of many Irish Catholics. Evidence of this era can still be found today in the form of monastery and church ruins scattered throughout Ireland.
Consequently, the possession of a rosary became a sign of rebellion, even punishable by death. The Irish Penal Chaplet consists of 10 beads (a decade) plus one additional bead strung on a cord with a ring at one end. The ring could easily be attached to the finger and hidden in the hand and/or up a sleeve, allowing one to pray the rosary without being detected.
Bottom photo link: http://www.etsy.com/listing/60124044/handmade-irish-penal-era-rosary
The book we used was
The Way of the Heart:
Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry
by Henri Nouwen.
The photo above is the beautiful full moon on the lake that greeted us the night we arrived. The reflection on the lake created an illuminated path, which I saw as a message from God that He was with us and would show us the path we were to take over our next couple of days together.
If you have not read this little book, I would highly recommend it. Though the book is addressed to those in ministry, the content is applicable to anyone seeking to strengthen their prayer life. It has been one of the favorites in my library for some time, and each time I pull it out to read, I find something new and enlightening in the message.
The form of prayer described in the book was new to me when I first encountered it only a few years ago. However, it is an ancient practice that was developed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 3rd and 4th Centuries. It was out of this group of devout Christian men and women who fled to the desert that monasticism was founded.
There are three chapters: Solitude, Silence, and Prayer. The last chapter talks about the Jesus Prayer–Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. This prayer is the words of the Publican found in Luke 18:13.
As the Russian Orthodox Chotki uses the Jesus prayer, I helped the group make their own Chotkis. Above is a photo I took of their beautiful handiwork.