The Anglican (Episcopal) Rosary is made up of a Cross or Crucifix and a total of 33 beads; 1 Invitatory Bead, 4 Cruciform Beads and 4 groups of 7 Week Beads. The design is rich in symbolism reminding the user of key tenets of Christian faith and tradition.
The total number of beads is 33, the number of years of Christ’s life on earth, reminding us that Christ is the source of our faith. The Cross recalls the saving grace of God; that God acts in our lives to bring us into the Kingdom of God. The Invitatory bead calls us to prayer; to pray without ceasing. leading into the main prayer string, where we offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God.
Unlike the traditional rosary used by Roman Catholics, which focuses on the seminal events in the life of Christ and asks the Virgin Mary to pray for their intentions, Anglican prayer beads are most often used as a tactile aid to prayer and as a counting device. The standard Anglican set consists of the following pattern, starting with the cross, followed by the Invitatory Bead, and subsequently, the first Cruciform bead, moving to the right, through the first set of seven beads to the next Cruciform bead, continuing around the circle. He or she may conclude by saying the Lord’s prayer on the invitatory bead and/or a final prayer on the cross as in the examples below. The entire circle may be done thrice, which signifies the Holy Trinity.
The Cross: In the Name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Invitatory: O God make speed to save me, O Lord make haste to help me, Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
The Cruciforms: Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy upon me.
The Weeks: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy on me, a sinner.
The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
The Cross: Bless us o Lord. Thanks be to God.
Note: Some people prefer to develop their own devotion or simply hold the beads while praying as a focal point to aid their meditation.