Crafty Monday: Lutheran prayer beads

Back in 2oo6, I did a CLEAR post on my old blog about prayer beads and their uses among Lutherans. Lately, I’ve been working with one Timothy Johnson to design a form of prayer beads for meditating on the Small Catechism. The version I’m piecing together will incorporate some of my new laser-cut designs: a Luther rose cross, and a “Catechism wheel” with pictures of the six chief parts. Rather than a full “rosary,” we’re planning a shortened version, rather like the “Irish penal rosary.” Here’s a picture of my mock-up, as I play around with components to see how sizes of things will work. The cross is a different one until I get my laser-cut version, and the beads aren’t all in place or decided upon yet… but the process is happening.  🙂

prayerbads

Basically, there will be six beads after the cross, and one final bead before the wheel component.

Timothy shares some of his ideas on how to use the finished product. Each meditation goes through all the beads once.

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MEDITATION ON THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Begin by holding the crucifix, say the Invocation and make the sign of the cross: In the Name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Matthew 28:19b

Recite each line of Psalm 51:10-12 on each of the small beads: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with Thy free spirit. Amen. Psalm 51:10-12

On the single large bead recite the Ten Commandments, remembering where you have fallen short: I. You shall have no other gods. II. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. III. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. IV. Honor your father and your mother. V. You shall not murder. VI. You shall not commit adultery. VII. You shall not steal. VIII. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. IX. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. He says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep my commandments.”

Exodus 20:3, 7, 8, 12–17

When you have finished, you may say: I am yours; save me. Psalm 119:94

MEDITATION ON THE CREED

Begin by holding the crucifix, say the Invocation and make the sign of the cross: In the Name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Matthew 28:19b

On each of the small beads say this prayer: Let every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11

On the single large bead confess the Apostles’ Creed, recalling God’s great acts of salvation: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life T everlasting. Amen. Christian: the ancient text reads “catholic,” meaning the whole Church as it confesses the wholeness of Christian doctrine.

MEDITATION ON THE LORD’S PRAYER

Begin by holding the crucifix, say the Invocation and make the sign of the cross: In the Name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Matthew 28:19b

Use seven beads to pray through the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, 1. hallowed be Thy name, 2. Thy kingdom come, 3. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; 4. give us this day our daily bread; 5. and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; 6. and lead us not into temptation, 7. but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.* Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 *These words were not in Luther’s Small Catechism.

MEDITATION ON THE HOLY BAPTISM

Begin by holding the crucifix, say the Invocation and make the sign of the cross: In the Name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Matthew 28:19b

On each of the small beads, meditate on Holy Baptism using Matthew 28:19 or another verse about Baptism: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

On the single large bead, meditate on Holy Baptism using Mark 16:16 or another verse about Baptism: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16

MEDITATION ON CONFESSION

Begin by holding the crucifix, say the Invocation and make the sign of the cross: In the Name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Matthew 28:19b

On each of the small beads, meditate on Confession reciting Psalm 25:11, the Jesus Prayer, or another verse of confession: For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Psalm 25:11

OR

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a [the] sinner. Luke 18:13, 38

On the single large bead say: The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:22-23

MEDITATION ON THE SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR

Begin by holding the crucifix, say the Invocation and make the sign of the cross: In the Name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Matthew 28:19b

Recite each line of the Agnus Dei on each of the small beads: O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, grant us Thy peace. Amen. John 1:29

On the single large bead, meditate on the Sacrament of the Altar reciting the Words of Institution: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to His disciples, and said: “Take, eat; this is My T body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My T blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25

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Another possibility would be to say an invocation on the cross, recite all six chief parts of the Catechism on the six beads, and end with a Glory Be and a Morning or Evening Prayer.

I’ll keep you posted as things progress. Meanwhile, he shared some other links with me about Lutherans using prayer beads… Jordan Cooper’s post, and another form for using prayer beads with the Catechism. There are many different options and possibilities, depending on how you’d like to pray and meditate.

 

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