Lutheran and Anglican Prayer beads....thoughts?

Hi everyone!

So I’ve always loved the idea of prayer beads for contemplative prayer, but I never knew that there was such a thing as a “Lutheran Rosary” or Anglican prayer beads for that matter. Upon doing some research, I found that Martin Luther and Martin Chemnitz both prayed the rosary.

I’m just curious about what other Lutherans (or other Protestants and Catholics) think about this method of prayer? Does anyone know why this fell out of use in the Lutheran Church if prominent Lutheran theologians (including Luther!) were still practicing it? I think it needs a revival. :slight_smile:


Peace and Blessings,

when I left the Catholic Church for a while and went to the Anglican church, I was boggled when I saw them trying to pray the ‘Anglican rosary.’ They invented this devotion and tried to tweak it to fit the Anglican ethos. I thought, “why not just pray the Catholic rosary?”

I felt a yearning for Catholic things in Protestantism…stations of the cross, Lent, rosaries, laying on of hands, palm crosses, even crucifixes, etc. I would say that the real Rosary would be the best devotion to pray

Many Anglicans do pray the Rosary, as you are familiar with it. In fact, I’ve never known one who prayed an "Anglican " Rosary.


Indeed, I did myself, and there was a leaflet about it in the Anglican church porch which explained it in just the same terms as a Catholic one.

What is an ‘Anglican’ rosary? Do you mean it missed out prayers for the Pope’s intentions? IIRC, they are an addition, not properly part of the rosary anyway.

Back in the 80s, a set of Anglican prayer beads (not, AFAIK, officially called a rosary) were developed by the sort of Anglican who thought it useful. A variety of prayers might be used with it, but the* Aves* were not among them. OTOH, they could have been.


Of course, I am aware of that, Jim. Anglo-Catholics of some stripes probably pray the original rosary with all the mysteries into one! :stuck_out_tongue: But in my diocese here, San Joaquin, they have been trying to push that Anglican rosary and it’s even on the website. I, like you, haven’t seen anyone actually praying it? But they definitely don’t pray the regular Catholic rosary either around here. This be more evangelical 'round these here parts! :stuck_out_tongue:

I have begun to suspect that Anglicanism is not an undifferentiated unity.


All the Protestant variations of the Rosary I have seen leave the element of Mary completely out of the equation.
Basing my opinion on this, they bother me because I don’t understand why one would want to take such an important Marian devotion and change it to suit their own anti-Marian agenda. The fact is that the Rosary was a gift from a revelation of the Virgin Mary to St. Dominic, and it seems improper to revise it because one disagrees with Marian devotion, in my most humble opinion.
Now, as far as Protestants praying the Rosary, that’s great! Any honor given to Mary is a joy to me, whether it’s from a Muslim, Anglican, Catholic, Hindu, Pentecostal, or Buddhist! :slight_smile:

Hi all!

Thanks for the responses. I think there is much more diversity with prayer beads though. Even Catholics have different variations of devotions that they use with the rosary beads. I mean, you have the Marian Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the Rosary of Jesus. Even the Eastern Orthodox church has the Komboskni, which is made of 33 “bead-knots” for reciting the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)

Surely you can’t have an issue with Anglicans or Lutherans using prayer beads in a contemplative prayer/devotion to Jesus? I don’t think that the use of prayer beads or Rosary beads that aren’t used as a Marian devotion should bother Catholics. Don’t you claim that the Rosary is a Chritsocentric devotion? In the end, if all of these methods of prayer are Christocentric, then what’s the big deal?

Also, I don’t think the prayers used with the Rosary beads or other prayer beads need to be so restrictive. If someone wants to replace the Hail Mary with the Jesus Prayer or an Our Father…I say let them. If it’s get someone focusing their prayer and focusing on God, then it sounds good to me.

Btw, I think the Rosary is beautiful…but I also think the other variations of prayer beads are too. :slight_smile:

Peace and blessings,

What is the Lutheran and Anglican Rosary and how is it different from the Catholic Rosary?

Others, please correct me if I am in error

It has always seems to me that the Rosary itself are the prayers and the devotion itself to the Theotokos, not really the beads themselves. One could just as easily pray the Rosary with their fingers, pebbles on the ground, or anything that would keep count of the prayers contained in the Rosary. The rosary prayer beads can be blessed of course, but still.

Both of these were revealed to us via revelation from God, so the use of the Rosary as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is understandable because God has ordained it’s use. However, someone just changing the words without express revelation from God to a Marian prayer is a problem for me.
Also, the Divine Mercy Chaplet still includes the Hail Mary in it’s opening prayers and it wasn’t designed because someone was uncomfortable with praying the regular Rosary.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of this! Would you mind enlightening me on what it is? I love learning new devotions. :slight_smile:

Ah, the Eastern prayer rope is such a beautiful meditation. :slight_smile:

It’s not the fact that they are praying to Jesus using different prayers on the Rosary that bothers me. It’s more the reason why many of them choose to pray a different form of the Rosary: because they are uncomfortable with Marian devotion.

It’s the theological understanding behind the changes to the Rosary that Protestants make that bothers me, not the actual devotions themselves.

Agreed, so long as they are doing it out of love of God, not contempt for Marian devotion. :slight_smile:

Me too! Have you been introduced to the absolutely WONDERFUL world of chaplets yet? :slight_smile:

I can say that I don’t have any issue with Protestants using prayer beads. The use of prayer beads is common both inside and outside of Christianity. I think they are used in Eastern religions and, if I am not mistaken, some Muslims use them, too.

Are you thinking of adopting this practice? Is there is a specifically Lutheran form? What kind of rosary did Martin Luther pray?

Hi Pablope!

The “Lutheran Rosary” is nearly identical to the Catholic rosary. For the Hail Marys, they are simply “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” This is out of a sign of reverence to Mary…minus the intercessory Prayer part.

Another variation, is to pray the Lutheran small catechism. This includes praying the Apostles Creed, the Our Father, and reciting and meditating the 10 commandments. One other variation is to replace the Hail Marys with the Jesus prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner).

With the Anglican prayer beads, it’s hard to explain…so I’ll post this link:

There is a place online that sells Rosary beads, and Luther prayer beads, and Anglican too.

Peace and Blessings,

If I am not mistaken, Luther prayed the same rosary that Catholics in his time period prayed. The invocation “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death” had not yet been added to the Hail Mary at the time of Luther, so nearly all Catholics of his time only prayed the first part of the Hail Mary as we have come to know it.

Oh, well this doesn’t bother me at all! That is how the Rosary was prayed in it’s original form, so I see nothing wrong with that! :slight_smile:

Neato! My favorite prayer!

Surely you can’t have an issue with Anglicans or Lutherans using prayer beads in a contemplative prayer/devotion to Jesus? I don’t think that the use of prayer beads or Rosary beads that aren’t used as a Marian devotion should bother Catholics.

Not this Catholic.

I’ve heard that Catholics “borrowed” the idea of stringed prayer beads anyways.

I’ve also heard it called the Peasants Psalter. Monks used to recite the psalms from memory and used a bag of 150 stones to keep track. Peasants substituted the psalms with Hail Marys. A complete rosary is 150 Hail Marys, by the way. Or with the added luminous mysteries, 200 Hail Marys.

I have made it through a complete rosary only three times in my life, and only then because someone else was leading it.

I picked up a Catholic prayer book, and it contained the Rosary of Jesus. I think I like the regular Rosary better, but this is still nice. Here’s a website that describes it just like it’s listed in the prayer book that I have:

I think so too! :slight_smile:

That’s understandable. As a Lutheran, I’m not personally comfortable with intercessory prayer, but I have no problems at all with Marian devotion.

No I haven’t. Thanks for sharing the link! I’ll check it out now. :smiley:

Peace and blessings,

Come to think of it, I think I have seen this! The 33 Our Fathers sound familiar… I think it goes back to some kind of old Celtic custom if I’m not mistaken?

Of course, Marian devotion can still be expressed without intercessory prayer! :slight_smile:

Hurray! :smiley:

When I was younger, I loved the Rosary, and I used to pray it every day…but I just kind of stopped for some reason. I’ve recently begun praying it again. :slight_smile:

Martin Luther prayed it with the Hail Marys just being “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” That’s how I pray it. I also sometimes just replace the Hail Marys with the Jesus prayer. I like that devotion too.

I really wish this hadn’t become so stigmatized with protestants! I’m not sure why that happened. :confused:

Peace and blessings,

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