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Prayer and Meditation

 


Traditional Prayers:   The words of some traditional Catholic prayers.  Indexed.


    The Holy Rosary, The Prayers and Mysteries of the Rosary

How to Pray the Holy Rosary:  the Beads, the Mysteries, and the Prayers
An introduction to the beads.  The order of the prayers.  The Mysteries as the essence of praying the Rosary.  What exactly the sets of Mysteries are.  Days of the week dedicated to praying each set of Mysteries.  

A brief history of the Holy Rosary and the Hail Mary prayer can be found on our home page.

"The Mary Page"  The Marion Library and the International Marion Research Institute at the University of Dayton, Ohio.  You can go directly to the Marian library catalog.

The Catholic Pages Directory
:  Links to Church documents, books and articles.


    The Jesus Prayer, The Prayer of the Heart, Prayer Ropes

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2667-68  "This prayer is possible at all times, because it is not one occupation among many, but the only occupation."   Through the Jesus Prayer, "the heart is opened." 

A brief history of the Jesus Prayer, the Prayer of the Heart, and prayer ropes can be found on our home page.

The Historical Development of the Orthodox Prayer Rope and Its Importance to Our Spiritual Life:
  Dr. Alexander Roman's excellent and thorough article.

Saying the Jesus Prayer:  An inspirational, excellent article by Prof. Albert Rossi, of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

   Ecumenical Rosaries, The Anglican Rosary, A Lutheran Rosary

"The Jesus Prayer Rosary:  Bible Meditations for Praying with Beads"  by Fr. Michael Cleary, SVD
This rosary has gotten the okay -- even from "those who have always been uncomfortable with any kind of rosary, no matter the amount of special pleading to which they were subjected."   Fr. Cleary's great little book has been widely used, in Roman Catholic and in ecumenical settings;  it's suitable for individual or group prayer. 
The focus is on Christ's life, work, passion and death -- and on the transformative experience of our life in Christ, Christ as the Risen One.  Praying the Jesus Prayer is combined with sets of meditations;  each meditation is drawn from the New Testament, and concludes with a thoughtfully selected prayer.   The familiar 5-decade set of rosary beads is used.  The book is easy to use, well-written, well-researched, and amply footnoted.

The Anglican Rosary or Episcopal Rosary
The Episcopal Church developed this rosary in the 1980s.  The history, configuration, and a number of beautiful prayers for the Anglican rosary are well-described at this website of The King of Peace Episcopal Church.

A Lutheran Rosary, intended "to complement Martin Luther's 'A Simple Way to Pray,' " was designed in 2008.  A good illustrated booklet titled "Praying the Small Catechism with Beads" -- describing the beads, the prayers, and the meditations -- used to be available through the ECLA, and can be found online.


The Pearls of Life
Prayer beads intended "for the modern pilgrim, setting out on the most difficult of journeys -- the inner one."  This little chaplet was developed by Bishop Emeritus Martin Lonnebo, of the Swedish Lutheran Church, as an aid to focus prayer and meditation.  Site includes info about the history and meaning of the eighteen beads.  The Pearls of Life are also know as "The Wreath of Christ."

The Ecumenical Miracle Rosary
  Prayers and meditations with a focus on the miracles performed by Jesus, for ecumenical rosary prayer.


"Protestants and the Rosary"  Vain repetition in prayer (Matthew 6:7), and the distinction between honoring Mary and worshipping her, are addressed in a lucid series of posts on Chris Laning's blog, Paternosters  

    Chaplets and Chaplet Prayers

What are Chaplets?
The word "chaplet" refers to a set of prayers, and also to the set of beads we may use to help pray those prayers.  The Holy Rosary is sometimes called a chaplet -- and chaplets are sometimes called rosaries!  But, in general, chaplets are smaller sets of beads than the 59-bead rosary -- often with only 9 or 10 prayer beads. 

Several popular types of chaplets, including the Irish Penal Chaplet and the Peace Chaplet, are described our home page.

Chaplet prayers:  An index to the words, and the order, of traditional chaplet prayers

My Treasury of Chaplets, by Patricia S. Quintiliani, includes the prayers and the bead configurations for well over a hundred chaplets, some with photos.  The author notes that the book is compiled from approved sources.  Introduction by Father Vincent P. Miceli.  Published by Ravengate Press.

 

Study

   
    Prayer Beads

Medieval Prayer Beads  Paternoster Row is a site devoted to historical rosaries and paternoster beads prior to 1600 in Western Europe.  Info on the social history of prayer beads, including medieval rosary-making guilds.  Photos of old rosaries, including an exceptional antique rosary with beads in the shape of skulls, which open to reveal tiny scenes of Christ's life.  Many excellent images of rosaries in art -- medieval paintings and woodcuts depicting people using rosaries, paternosters, and other types of prayer beads.  Well-researched and fun to read.  Highly recommended.

Identifying Chaplets by Bead Configuration
Useful tables for research.  Search chaplets by the name of the Patron Saint, the name of the devotion, or the number/configuration of beads.  Heroically compiled by YankeeLady, in the area of her site called Yankee Lady's Chapel.  (YankeeLady.com)

Rosary Workshop
In the museum area of this site, you'll find photos of antique rosaries -- many in configurations not often seen today;  and lots of photos of old works of art that show folks holding (and wearing) rosaries, chaplets, and paternosters.

    Sacramentals

The How-To Book of Sacramentals, by Ann Ball.  Covers all kinds of sacramentals! -- including gestures like the sign of the cross, Holy Water, sacramental oil for blessings, special foods, icons and artwork, garments, herbs... and chaplets and rosaries, of course.  Introductions by Most Rev. J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Titular Archbishop of Vertara, Secretary of Catholic Education, and by Rev. Anselm Walker, St. Basil's Byzantine Catholic Center, Houston, Texas. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division.

     Symbolism

Signs and Symbols in Christian Art, by George Ferguson, is a wonderful book about what the symbols in our artwork signify. Some symbols we knew -- the olive, the rainbow -- but others were new to us -- the peach! the lark! There is a valuable section describing symbols associated with Old Testament figures, and another on the lives of Saints, explaining the symbols associated with each.  Published by Oxford University Press.

Church Symbolism, by F. R. Webber and Ralph Adams Cram. This is a fascinating book, engagingly written. The most complete book we've found on the subject. Very clear, well-drawn illustrations. Excellent index. From Kessinger Publishing's Rare Reprints (reprinted from the 1938 edition published by J. H. Jansen)

Crosses and Crucifixes
, Types, origins, and the meanings of the symbols.  This very interesting website is based on the extensive collection of Rev. Stanley L. Stiver.  Many excellent images.

    Scripture

Scripture Study, Hebrew and Christian Scriptures
A fun place to browse is the homepage of Paul Couture, SSE:  "Basic Sites for Scripture Study."  Father Couture has selected, organized and annotated a marvelous collection of links, for study and for prayer.  In the area that mainly pertains to study, there's an entire section on Mary and the Bible, another of Women and the Bible... a section on ancient cultures, including an interesting link on women in ancient Rome... a really superb section on the Gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls... and a valuable section on Jewish-Christian relations. 


The area of the site devoted to prayer and meditation offers dozens of useful links, including a link on praying the Bible... and a link to the Vatican document in which Popular Piety is called "a treasure of the people of God."  Paul Couture, SSE, is a Biblical Scholar, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, and co-founder of the graduate program in Theology and Pastoral Studies, at Saint Michael's College, VT.


    The Catholic Church

The website of the Vatican, the Holy See
Archives, resource library, publishing house, liturgical calendar, Catechism of the Catholic Church, documents of Vatican II, Code of Canon Law, info about the Saints... even info about the Vatican museums.


USCCB - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 
An excellent resource.  Areas to explore include "Prayer and Worship,"  "Beliefs and Teachings," and "Issues and Actions"...  Readings, news, reviews, podcasts...


Blessed, beloved Pope John XXIII -- The first 1:30 of this little video shows Pope John's heartwarming visit to the prison of Regina Coeli. 


Sacred Art and Symbols of Faith

Art and the Bible  Art, mostly from the Renaissance through the post-impressionists, arranged by topic and by artist... Images of paintings, sculptures, and the interiors of churches...

Contemporary iconography:  Brother Robert Lentz writes some of the most powerful and beautiful contemporary icons we've seen.  He's a Franciscan Friar, a member of the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and belongs to the Byzantine Rite.  His work is handled by Trinity Stores

Contemporary crosses, medals, holy-water fonts, statues and plaques, and church supplies:  The work of artists at the Abbey of Maria Laach, Engino Weinert, the Community of the Sisters of Bethlehem, and Butzon and Merker -- among others -- can be found at Creator Mundi, and at the Rosary Workshop


Catholic Associations

The Congraternity of Penitents is a lay Catholic association, whose members -- men and women, both married and single -- live a Rule of Life in their own homes.  It's an international association, under the wing of the Diocese of Providence, RI.  The website offers detailed information about their Rule of Life, the Rule of 1221, as well as blessings, stories of saints, prolife ministries, and a gift shop. 


Monastery Shops
 

Does fudge belong here? ...Is there anyplace fudge does not belong?
This fudge is made by the Trappist monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani
in central Kentucky.  One of us grew up in Kentucky, and has felt, all her life, a warm connection with this Abbey.  Every Christmas of her life, on the dinner table there have been fruitcakes and cheeses from the Abbey of Gethsemani.  Her Dad went on retreats at the Abbey.  One of her cousins was privileged to record the plain chant of the Schola of the Abbey.  She grew up hearing the adults of the family speaking highly of Thomas Merton -- the brilliant writer, dedicated to the principles of social responsibility, human solidarity, and interfaith dialogue -- who was a monk at the Abbey.  And just lately she has discovered the monks' Bourbon Fudge.  Visit their store at www.gethsemanifarms.org.
 

 

Other Rosary Makers

      "We believe that rosary makers should not be in competition with one another in any way, as we are each called into this ministry by powers greater.  We are all working for the same God and the same goal, to eventually bring peace into this world."
      -- Margot Carter-Blair, of the Rosary Workshop

We haven't met Margot, but we've learned a great deal from her -- most importantly, how rosary makers should relate to one another.  We thank Margot, and everyone at the Rosary Workshop, for being a source of information, inspiration and wisdom for the rest of us.  Please visit their website -- it's first on the list, below. 



The Rosary Workshop
offers hundreds of gloriously beautiful, artistic handmade rosaries -- incorporating vintage and antique beads, and unusual contemporary beads.  Their rosaries are strung on Soft Flex jewelers' cable, and are not only beautiful but durable -- "heirloom rosaries."
 

Alan Creech Rosaries:  inexpensive rosaries, plain and simple, Franciscan-inspired.  Suitable for "an ordinary guy."  Single-decade men's rosaries, for keeping in your pocket.  Alan makes these with braided cotton string, San Damiano crucifixes, and natural beads -- horn, stone, and wood.  Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox. 

Atelier-Beads:  Anglican rosaries, Catholic rosaries, men's rosary bracelets...  Natural rosaries -- such as taqua nuts knotted on genya cord... 

Custom Rosaries
:  Design your own Catholic rosary -- select the beads, crucifix, and center, and Custom Rosaries will make it for you.

Dakota Rosary Works
:  Sacrifice beads made with carabiner clips -- these look great for youth groups!  Religious jewelry.  Handmade rosaries of natural stone, glass, and cloisonee.  Irish penal rosaries...

Graceful Rosaries:
 
Intriguingly-designed rosary bracelets with five movable Pater beads -- as well as beaded and chained handmade rosaries and chaplets.  Mary aspires to "create a prayer piece that is inspirational, affordable and lasting."

Magnificat Rosaries:  Handmade-to-order, sterling rosaries with gemstones, lampwork, cloisonne... A delightful Easter chaplet of cloisonne eggs!

Meinssen Handmade Rosaries offers truly beautiful handmade chained rosaries -- "crafted in the classic style."  Meticulous workmanship.

Morning Star Rosaries:  Handcrafted Catholic rosary beads, single decade rosaries, devotional chaplets and rosary bracelets.  Beaded and wire wrapped rosaries in sterling and bronze.  Wide selection of Baptism, Communion and Confirmation rosaries.   

Orthodox Crafts:  Hand-tied Eastern-Orthodox woolen prayer ropes, in a variety of lengths.  Also icons!

Presentation Art Studio:  Rosaries for men. Crosses handmade of Blood Wood (Colossians 1:20).  Our Father beads handmade of clay (Isaiah 64:8).  Hardwood (ebony, redwood, rosewood) and terracotta Ave beads.  These men's rosaries would appeal to many women.

Robert's Heirloom Rosaries:  Bob's got a superb sense of color, and a neat technique for wire-wrapped Pater beads...

Rosary Originals
:  Demetrius offers unique handmade rosaries and chaplets.  Memento Mori chaplets made with skull beads, and a fun bone-and-skull rosary...

The Rosary Shop  Custom-made rosaries, and flower petal rosaries made from your own flowers.

The Sisters of Carmel:  Rosaries handmade by the Carmelite Sisters.  The Sisters of Carmel offer chained and cord rosaries, First Communion and Confirmation rosaries, Mother's Day and Father's Day rosaries, and rosary bracelets.   Orders for custom-made rosaries are welcome.  They've also got nice brown scapulars, handmade by the nuns.

Via Rosa:  Via Rosa has closed shop, but has left photos online of some lovely rosaries and chaplets which may be inspirational; and has prayers in Spanish, Portuguese and English...


Rosary Parts, Supplies, Kits and Instructions

 

Rosary Workshop is an excellent source for sterling and bronze rosary parts cast from vintage and antique pieces.  They also offer rosary-making supplies and tools for strung rosaries.  At their site you'll find clear instructions for making your own strung rosaries. 

Ancient Resource:  "Older than dirt.  Guaranteed Authentic."  Want an ancient, medieval or byzantine artifact for your rosary?  Here's a fun place to browse.  Fascinating and beautiful old crosses and crucifixes -- some of them reliquaries or encolpions...  Gabriel also has some larger medieval and byzantine ceremonial crosses... "100% Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity."

Ave Maria's Circle offers supplies for making mission rosaries, very nice base metal crucifixes and centers, beads at modest prices -- as well as scapulars...

Beaded Rosary
:  Reproduction bronze rosary parts, antiqued wire, bead caps, and supplies "for your vintage inspired rosary."


Bill's Beads produces sterling, bronze, and gold-plate rosary parts and medals in a variety of styles -- including a nice set of Stations of the Cross medals in sterling silver.  Bill also offers beads and rosary kits.  Wonderful customer service!

Divine Twine Hand-dyed rosary twine in absolutely fabulous colors.  Also -- amazingly! -- "glow in the dark" rosary twine.

Lewis and Company:  For 50 years -- three generations -- the Lewis family has been offering rosary-making supplies.  They have a huge selection -- from ornate sterling silver crucifixes to matte black plastic ones for military rosaries, habit rosary materials, mission rosary parts, Irish rosary parts, kits, cord, eye pins, wire, beads... 

Meinssen Handmade Rosaries carries silicon bronze wire!  That exclamation point is well-earned;  we spent many, many long months searching.  Ann also carries wire in several other alloys, to match your crucifixes and centers, as well as bronze jumprings, and brass chain.

Our Lady's Rosary Makers:  For less than 13 cents (yes), you can purchase all the supplies to make a complete mission rosary.  Besides inexpensive parts and kits for mission rosaries, OLRM also carries parts in sterling silver and vermeil (gold over sterling) for special rosaries...  Free downloadable instructions for making cord or wire rosaries... Instructions for starting a rosary-making guild... A non-profit apostolate since 1949.

Rio Grande now carries some bronze findings, and is a good source for durable, high-quality rosary making pliers and cutters.

Rosary Army Corp.:  Online video instructions for making an all-twine knotted rosary...  A Catholic public charity, the Rosary Army provides a free knotted-twine rosary to anyone, anywhere... 

The Rosary Shop offers a stupendously large selection of crucifixes, crosses, centers for rosaries, holy medals, and also beads.  Design your own rosary from these parts, and either have them assemble it for you, or have it sent to you in kit form, to assemble yourself.  Kits for baptismal rosaries; mission rosary kits; kit for a nice men's confirmation rosary...  They also offer prie dieu, prayer kneelers.

Saint Joseph's Mail Order:  A splendid selection of inexpensive rosary parts -- very nice designs -- including a wonderful Stations of the Cross crucifix, a Theotokos crucifix, an unusual Trinity crucifix, the Pardon crucifix, a beautiful Tree of Life crucifix, a Eucharist crucifix...  as well as centers, chaplet medals, and findings...



Orthodox Prayer Ropes, Instructions


The Watt Family:  Learn how to tie one of those beautiful, complex knots that're used for Orthodox Prayer Ropes... Download the free video that Marty Watt made, or read these well-illustrated instructions...

"How to Make an Orthodox Prayer Rope":  This two-hour video teaches the whole process -- how to make the Orthodox prayer rope knots, how to join the knotted rope into a loop, how to make a tassel, and two different ways to knot a cross... It also includes tips on materials.  The method is the one taught by Mother Apolinaria of the Holy Dormition Monastery in Michigan.  From Firebird Videos.

 

 

 

 

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© Copyright 2007-16, M. Laura Eckert, Still Stone and Moss, Prayer Bead Art: Handmade Rosaries, Prayer Ropes, Chaplets, and Rosary Bracelets.