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.

Rosary; ivory; carved; ten 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.
  
    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.
                                                   www.britishmuseum.org
    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):

paternoster prayer beads handmade


   This large man's  paternoster was
    inspired b
y an oil painting of St
   Jerome c.1500.

   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.

 

 

c.1521-1528 Flandre par Joos Van Cleve (1485-1540) "Saint Jérôme"


   Here's the detail from the painting by Joos van Cleve
   (1511-1541).

   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!

Deborah