Revised and updated Lent 2019. A previous version used “Week” to describe the Cruciform beads, and divided those weeks into “Days” for the smaller 28 beads – which is how I was taught the terminology. However, having discovered that this can be confusing to those who learned the (more traditional?) terms of Cruciform and Weeks, I have updated my language to conform. Let us be united in prayer!
Do you use prayer beads, or an Anglican rosary? Those strings of 28 beads divided into four weeks of seven beads, with a pause of a different shape or colour in between? Entering and exiting through the cross and the invitatory bead? Here’s what I mean:
A couple of weeks ago, during our Lenten sabbath time, some parishioners and I spent some time praying with our beads, and making some new strings to take away and pray/play with or to give away.
Usually, to pray the Anglican rosary, one enters through the cross, says an invitatory prayer or sentence at, well, the invitatory bead, then proceeds into the circle, saying three times the same combination of prayers on the 28 beads, punctuated by the same four prayers at the four points of the circle (I know that’s geometrically impossible, but it sort of makes sense…)
For Advent, I put together a cycle of three rosaries, but it was a little too long for our sabbath hour, saying all three thrice, so this time, for Lent, especially as we wanted to have time for our arts and crafts session, too, I divided the rosary into three rounds and we said the whole cycle in one go.
Here is a Lenten cycle you may like to use with your own Anglican rosary or prayer beads. The words all come from either the Book of Common Prayer or the Stations of the Cross in the Book of Occasional Services:
A Lenten prayer cycle
Cross: Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
Invitatory: God’s mercy endures for ever.
Cruciform: Your merciful promise is beyond all measure.
Weeks: You have promised forgiveness to sinners.
Cruciform: You, O Lord, are the God of those who repent.
Weeks: Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Cruciform: Show us the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
Weeks: Restore us, O Lord God of hosts.
Closing invitatory: The Lord’s Prayer
Cross: Let us bless the Lord: Thanks be to God.