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Mental & Spiritual Health Minute: Praying the Anglican Rosary

Anglican Rosary
Rosalie DiSimone-Weiss, PhD, Episcopal Mental & Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry

Praying with beads as a form of contemplative prayer dates back to ancient times. However, it was not until the 1980s that the Anglican Rosary was created. The basic Anglican Rosary is made up of 33 beads (years in Jesus’ earthly life): 4 groups of 7 beads called Weeks (7 represents spiritual perfection and completion), 4 Cruciform beads between the groups of Weeks beads (forming a cross), and an Invitatory/Dismissal bead between the Cross and the wheel of beads. Some include an additional Resurrection bead (a reminder that Christ lives on) just above the Invitatory Bead.

Praying with the beads

To begin, hold the Cross and say the prayer you have assigned to it, then move to the Invitatory bead followed by the Resurrection bead. Enter the circle of beads with the first Cruciform bead. Moving to the right, continue around the circle, saying the prayers for each bead. Pray around the circle slowly, focusing on the words, feeling the beads against your fingers, and allowing the repetition to quiet your mind and body, while bringing your spirit into the presence of God. You can pray around the circle once or three times (which signifies the Trinity), ending with the Dismissal (Invitatory) bead and Cross.

The Anglican Rosary prayers are adaptable for the seasons of the Church calendar, as well as your own spiritual journey. Below you will find a prayer inspired by Julian of Norwich that has been created for mental and spiritual health and healing. Links to additional prayers (in video form that you can pray along with), as well as a link to make your own set of Anglican prayer beads, can be found on the Spiritual Resources page.

Prayer for Mental and Spiritual Health and Healing

The Cross: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Invitatory Bead: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Resurrection Bead: “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Be present, be present, O Jesus, our great High Priest, as you were present with your disciples. 1 Peter 1:3, BCP.

Cruciform Bead 1: I Await God's presence just as it is in this moment

Cruciform Bead 2: I Allow a sense of God’s presence just as it is in this moment

Cruciform Bead 3: I Accept God's s presence - that God is present whether or not you I am aware.

Cruciform Bead 4: I Attend to what I am called to as a beloved child in God's presence.

Weeks Beads: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Dismissal Bead: God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

The Cross: Almighty and merciful Lord, Father Son and Holy Spirit bless us and keep us. Amen

May praying the rosary help you feel God’s presence and bring you peace.

For mental & spiritual health resources, please visit Confidential help for clergy is available on the Clergy Warm Line at ‪609-365-WARM (9276) on Wednesday mornings from 10 am to 12 pm and Fridays from 4 to 6 pm; if you call outside those times, please leave a message and a counselor will get back to you at the next scheduled time. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911 or contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.