Medieval Paternoster Revival January 17, 2019 09:58

The years between 500AD and 1450AD are referred to as the medieval era. During this time, particularly in Europe, using strings of beads to count prayers was a very common practice in all levels of society.

Medieval style paternoster
   Paternosters were made in a
   straight line (linear) style, or in
   a closed circlet (loop) style.
   Here's a closed loop paternoster
   from my new collection, based
   medieval designs.
   Made with large agate beads &
   forged metal pieces.




Prayers were recited in Latin back then, and the prayer most often used was the Lord's prayer, starting with the words "Our Father" ... in Latin that is "Pater Noster", and so the prayer beads themselves became known as paternosters.

“Medieval rosaries were frequently made from bone beads. The [above picture shows] the making of wooden or bone paternoster beads: The beads were drilled from cheap animal bones. Many leftovers of the bone bead production were found in Konstanz.”

    Here a Medieval monk makes
    rosary beads from bone or
    wood. Precious metals and
    beads were used too.

    Medieval rosaries were strung
    on a variety of materials
    including silk, wool, linen
    &hemp. Linking beads with
    metal wire became popular in
    the following period, the




My new collection features paternosters and rosaries based on the designs and examples of middle age prayer beads that still exist today, mainly in museums around the world.

The short rosary known as a paternoster is a great prayer aid for today's times, every bit as relevant and convenient as it was centuries ago. A real connection to the history of our shared prayer - and worthy of a revival among modern faithful.

Paternoster handmade prayer beads




    Another paternoster from
    my upcoming collection.
    This one is strung on silk
    polyester cord, and includes
    a thumb ring and tassel.






Medieval rosaries came in a large range of lengths. Strands of nine, ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty-three, sixty-three, seventy-two and one hundred and fifty beads were all used. The short form of the rosary was used with the Our Father prayer, and usually had 9, 10, 15 or 20 beads - a convenient size to carry with you for daily use.