I make rosaries. Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopalian... whatever.
I made these over the past week. They are the first rosaries I have ever been commissioned to do. I'm so proud. I made them for the husband and son of a colleague.
I made these for Mrs. Gunfighter... I liked them so much, I made a copy for myself.
These were made for my Pastor's wife... I haven't given them to her yet, but I am planning on making sure that she gets them before Christmas (I made a set for the Pastor, too, but haven't photographed them yet).
I have made so many of these things, ranging from the very nice (and expensive) to the very tough and utilitarian, depending on the level of use and the receiver. Generally speaking, I give them away to people I feel might get something out of their use, or who might be in need.
I know that one or two of you were raised as Roman Catholics, so rosaries won't need much explanation to you. However, the use of beads in prayer is a tradition that as is as old as organized prayer. Many faith traditions have fallen away from their use, but they have had something of a resurgence in recent years, particularly in the Anglican/Episcopalian communion.
See the following:
Major religions have for centuries advocated the use of prayer beads as an aid to prayer. A modern twist on this ancient tradition is the development of the Anglican Rosary, also known as "Episcopal Prayer Beads" or "Christian Rosary". Known and used as "Rosary beads" by Roman Catholics, "Mala beads" in the Hindu religion and "Chotki" in the Greek Orthodox tradition, the earliest prayer beads were most probably loose stones carried in the pocket, used to number one's prayers at set times of day. Eventually they were strung together so as not to be so easily lost.
While the Catholic Rosary has 59 beads and the Hindu mala 108, the number of beads in the Anglican rosary has been set at 33, the number of years in Christ's life. A set of Anglican beads is comprised of four sets of 7 beads called "weeks". The number 7 represents wholeness and completion, and reminds us of the 7 days of creation, the 7 days of the temporal week, the 7 seasons of the church year, and the 7 sacraments. Four "cruciform" beads separate the "weeks". They represent the 4 points of the cross and its centrality in our lives and faith, the 4 seasons of the temporal year, and the 4 points on a compass. Anglican prayer beads use a cross rather than a crucifix. Near the cross is the "invitatory bead". The beads may be of wood, glass or stone and the cross of wood or metal.
Mrs Gunfighter loves that I make these, but every time I come up with some new design, she snags the first one for herself (I can't even tell you how many of these things that she has!).
Anyway, there you are.
Please email me if you would like me to make one of these for you. I'd be happy to do it.