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This page: links and bibliography
NOTE: I do not sell beads myself. This site is purely informational. Please click here for information about how to string beads yourself. I have never ordered beads online so I can't recommend any vendors. The ads you see on this page are placed there by the web server.
Prayer beads are found in many religions all over the world. I was raised Methodist and Unitarian, neither of which has a prayer bead tradition. I first heard about prayer beads in Methodist Sunday school, in connection with the verse Matthew 6:7, "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." I asked my teacher what that meant, and she explained about prayer beads. (It's notable that Judaism is one of the few religions that does not use prayer beads.) I confess that instead of feeling superior to those "pagans", I felt a fascination. In my teen years I heard about Islamic prayer beads having 33 beads, and made a strand for myself, but didn't know what to do with it. The fascination kept percolating, though.
As an adult, I began to read about prayer beads in various world religions. I didn't feel right about actually doing other people's rituals, but I wanted to know what other people were doing, so I could fashion my own meditations. Here are some links to some of the sites I found.
Disclaimer: I found these articles by doing google searches on prayer beads. I am not an expert by any means. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the articles in these links. I apologize to anyone who is offended by any of them. If anyone has more information or suggestions for better links, please e-mail me.
You can see examples of these beads from my collection in the photos below.
From left to right above: Eastern Orthodox prayer rope, Anglican rosary,
Catholic rosary, worry beads from Turkey, prayer beads from Turkey
From left to right above: Two sets of prayer beads or worry beads
from Turkey, Two sets of wrist malas from Tibet, Mala from Tibet
From left to right above: Karen's Universal Rosary, Eric Walker Wikstrom's
Unitarian Universalist prayer beads, Erynn Rowan Laurie's Circle of Stones,
Karen's Moon beads, Karen's Seasons of the year beads
copyright 2002 by Karen Deal Robinson
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