Friday, October 12, 2012

Christian Prayer Beads (Part 4)

Rosary Maker
Photo Credit: It's About Time Blog
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Paternoster Guilds
During this period, rosaries had become so popular in England that small groups of devotees began to assemble together. Called paternoster guilds, these groups of craftsmen and devotees served as hubs for making rosaries and group prayer. Each of these guilds were known for the materials they specialized in, most choosing some form of wood or glass beads, though some worked with precious stones or metals, as well. You can still visit Paternoster Row near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, a place where many of these guilds set up shop.

The first of these brotherhoods was formed in Northern France by Alanus de Rupe in 1470 AD. Another was organized in cologne, Germany in 1475. From these rather humble beginnings, active guilds began popping up all over Europe. By the late 1590s, Europe was beginning to see more universal standards for making rosaries adopted by the paternosters. This may have something to do with a ruling by the Council of Trent in 1573. During this meeting, the Dominican Rosary (today’s standard rosary style) was officially adopted. This circlet of 59 beads includes 50 small beads, divided by one large bead (Pater) into five “decades” (sets of ten). In place of a pendant, these rosaries have a string of three small Antiphon beads and two larger Paters which terminate in a crucifix.

Jump to Part 5
1. Encylopedia Britannica Online. “Rosary.” Accessed October 20, 2012.
2. Laning, Chris. “Historical Rosary and Paternoster Beads.” Paternoster-Row website, 2007-2009.
3. Museum of Anthropology. University of Missouri. “Prayer Beads: A Cultural Experience.” Copyright 2011. Last updated October 22, 2012.
4. Prayer Beads World (website). “Prayer Beads in Islam.” Copyright 2008. Accessed October 22, 2012.
5. Roman, Alexander. To Bead or Knot to Bead: Some Historical Considerations. As found on Chotkis website on October 22, 2012.
6. Rosarium, The. “About” Accessed October 22, 2012.
7. Rosary Workshop. “Journaling the Bead: A History of the Rosary.” Accessed October 20, 2012.
8. Winston, Kimberly.  Bead One, Pray Too. New York: Moorehouse Publishing, 2008.

*Clip-art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

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