These Aren’t The Mardi Gras Beads I’m Used To…
By Beth Sarey, Youth Discipleship Director | March 7, 2019
If you are familiar with the Enneagram (a personality typing tool), I’m a HARD 8: The Challenger. I ask a million questions and try to poke holes in everything…. It’s just how I roll. The good thing is that once I understand and get on board, I’ll be on your side forever.
So when this life long Presbyterian girl met this cute Catholic boy I had LOTS of questions:
- Why don’t they just bring you communion to your pew?
- Do you ever just sit still in church? (Seriously…. Stand / Sit / Kneel….Repeat)
- What’s with the baseball signs? How do you even know when to do them?
We met somewhere in the middle-ish and the Episcopal Church has been our home now for 25 years and I am IN LOVE with so many of our traditions.
I still ask LOTS of questions to find out WHY we do the things the way we do, but once I understand and put them into practice, often I find the tools in our treasure box bring my experience of worship to a whole new level.
Anglican Prayer Beads (or the Anglican Rosary) are one of those tools. They look a little bit like a necklace and are filled with symbolism.
When I first heard about praying with beads, I was certain that it was way too Catholic/Traditional for me. It sounded too prescriptive and formal to be of much use in my own prayer life. But I figured I’d give it a shot to find out.
Here’s what I found:
- Holding something in my hand was actually calming.
- Moving from one bead to the next helped keep my mind from wandering (but it took me halfway through to really get in a groove).
- My desire for efficiency extends to my prayer life and I tend to rush through things. The beads slow me down and help me BE in the moment.
- The repetition is a great way to learn scripture – or hear it in a new way by emphasizing different words each time.
Many folks give something up for Lent and others take something on. I suppose I’m doing both. I’m giving up a little time and taking on a commitment to use the prayer beads to slow down and lean into my prayer time in a different way.
Will I keep using them after Lent? I’m not sure yet, we’ll see how it goes. It’s new to me too and I’m kind of excited to see how I might hear God better when I can quiet my body and mind and listen in a whole new way. I hope you’ll join me!