General Explanation of how the Anglican Rosary
The Anglican Rosary is made up of a Cross and a total of 33 beads; 1 Invitatory Bead, 4 Cruciform Beads and 4 groups of 7 Week Beads. The design is rich in symbolism reminding the user of key tenets of Christian faith and tradition.
The total number of beads is 33, the number of years of Christ’s life on earth, reminding us that Christ is the source of our faith. The Cross recalls the saving grace of God; that God acts in our lives to bring us into the Kingdom of God. The Invitatory bead calls us to prayer; to pray without ceasing. leading into the main prayer string, where we are offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God. The four Cruciform beads form the shape of a cross, again reminding us of the centrality of Christ in our lives, a symbol of Christian faith and salvation. They also refer to the four directions of the compass, the four elements (earth; wind; fire; water), the four seasons of the year (summer; winter; autumn; spring), and the four cardinal virtues (prudence; justice; fortitude; temperance). Thus we recall our connection with God, the earth, creation and Jesus’ great commission to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The seven Week beads represent the seven days of creation, the days of the week, the seasons of the liturgical year (Advent; Christmas; Epiphany; Lent; Holy Week; Easter; Pentecost) and the seven sacraments of the church (Baptism; Confirmation; Eucharist; Anointing; Marriage; Ordination; Reconciliation). Again we recall our connection with God, the creator of all that is. We are also reminded that prayer is the centre Christian life; in our daily prayers and in the liturgy and sacraments of the church.
The circular nature of the Rosary formed by the Cruciform and Week beads remind us of the sense of completeness or wholeness that one gains from a deep relationship with God which is achieved through our personal prayer life, and through our communal prayer life with the church.