Yesterday I taught a friend how to make Anglican prayer beads.
I started making prayer beads over 10 years ago.
Prayer beads and rosaries have fascinated me since I was a child. I grew up as a conservative Protestant in the 60s and 70s. At that time anything with any semblance of "high church" was frowned upon in my tradition. Nothing liturgical, and certainly nothing that could be construed as idols. But my nextdoor neighbors were Catholic and all the people on TV seemed to be "high church". I liked all the pageantry and paraphernalia that seemed to go with it.
When I began having flashbacks and panic attacks, I needed something to keep me grounded in the present. A therapist suggested holding a rock or a comb. My husband suggested a stuffed animal, but I knew immediately I needed prayer beads.
I began to investigate on the internet. A friend at work shared a book with me, Bead One, Pray Too by Kimberly Wilson and I was off. I liked the idea of making the beads myself. Picking the exact beads for size, weight, and texture made the process soothing and having the process behind me made using the beads all the more comforting.
Since then I've taught classes on making and using prayer beads. I've given them as gifts. I've even sold them.
I still find something calming about the process of getting out my beads and feeling them, picking beads that compliment one another and stringing them all the time knowing they will help someone else.
That process is much like praying itself.
Additional resources on prayer beads --
A String and a Prayer by Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon
Praying with Beads by Nan Lewis Doerr and Virginia Stem Owens
This is day 3 in Write 31 Days