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Anglican Rosary

Anglican Rosary

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: What is the Anglican rosary?

A: Of recent origin, the Anglican rosary is a form of contemplative prayer. It uses ample symbolism inviting concentration, attention, and recollection of some of the basic doctrines of Christianity.

Its circular form is reminiscent of the wheel of time and our pilgrimage in time.

There are thirty-three beads reminding us that we are engaged in a Christian pilgrimage following Jesus Christ all along his thirty-three years of earthly existence.

Playing on number symbolism, the Anglican rosary is divided in four groups of seven beads.

- for the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance)
- for the four weeks of the lunar month
- for the four cardinal directions (east, west, north, south) and primary elements (earth, water, fire, air)

- for spiritual perfection and completion
- for the conventional month (four times seven days)

The four groups of seven are separated by four cruciform beads. The entry bead after the cross designates the divine unity. Prayed three times (ninety-nine beads) the rosary equals the complete number of the Divine Names. If you add to the ninety-nine beads the Cross as separate number you have the equivalent of the Orthodox Rosary and the symbol of the fullness of Creation represented in the number one-hundred.

The Anglican Rosary is a relatively new form of prayer which uses a blending of the Roman Catholic Rosary and the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope. Since the earliest of times, people have used pebbles or a string of knots or beads on a cord to keep track of prayers offered to God. Some form of a rosary or prayer beads can be found in virtually every major religious tradition in the world.

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