Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Paternoster Prayer Beads

The beads I made for Jim with large, crude, garnet beads. On the ends a bronze, Celtic cross and a small, quartz, skull bead.

There is an old Medieval practice, older than the Rosary known as "Pater Noster" beads. Before the Rosary, for those who could not pray the 150 psalms, it was considered just as good to say 150 "Pater Noster's," which is the "Our Father" or "The Lords's Prayer" in Latin. The beads had such a close association with the Our Father that they were commonly known as Paternoster beads. Many customs of reciting Paternosters existed in the Middle Ages. The monks at Cluny were urged to recite 50 Paternosters at the death of one of their fellow monks (Udalric, 1096). The Knights Templar, from a rule dating from about 1128, were required to say the Lord's Prayer 57 times if they could not attend choir, and on the death of any of their brethren they had to say the Pater Noster a hundred times a day for a week.

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