Paternosters - Prayer Beads for Today January 15, 2019 08:57
Paternosters are one of the earliest forms of Christian prayer beads and now, in the 21st century, they are the perfect prayer beads for today's busy life. Since the earliest times, Christians have used string, shells, pebbles & beads to keep track of their prayers - some old traditions are worth keeping and revisiting.
Some paternosters developed into original
works of art, as well as being devotional
items in daily use.
Paternoster Rosary; ivory; carved;
10 beads in the form of alternate male &
and female heads; one large openwork
bead of architectural design and figures
depicting the Betrayal of Christ; crucifix
pendant; garnet between each bead;
beads are joined with wire. Circa 1500.
This elaborate paternoster would have been
commissioned by a wealthy person. Pater-
nosters were used by everyone - rich & poor,
commoners & nobility, men & women - they
were accessible to all.
Historical rosaries and paternosters in particular have held my interest for years. While researching some of my design ideas, I decided to bring a range of paternosters (and some rosaries) back to life for today's prayerful use. Here's a sample from my new collection of original designs (coming soon):
This large man's paternoster was
inspired by an oil painting of St
I've used big bold brown agate
gemstone beads with a wonderful
blown glass orb for the Our Father
(pater noster) prayer bead above the
long silky tassel.
Here's the detail from the painting by Joos van Cleve
I am not aiming to reproduce historical rosaries and
paternosters, but rather to use modern materials and
techniques to bring prayer beads from the past into
today's prayer life again.
This original rosary was most likely made from red coral
beads, with a solid crystal quartz gaud (Our Father bead)
above a wool or linen thread tassel.
The paternoster offers us a connection with the past history of worshipful prayer across the centuries, and is a convenient size to carry around - much like the modern "pocket rosary". Great for those quiet moments in a busy life when a short prayer time presents itself.
Paternosters were not meant to be hidden away, and were often worn as jewellery or part of clothing in a special outfit. Frequently they were carried over the arm, attached by the ring to a belt or bag, or used with a brooch to secure to a garment.
I'll post more advance pictures of my new collection over the next short while, and hope to have my range of paternoster rosaries available for sale soon. Watch this space!