How to Make Anglican Prayer Beads

Updated November 21, 2016

Many Anglicans around the world use prayer beads (rosaries) for Christ-centred prayer and reflection. Rev. Lynn Bauman and an Episcopalian prayer group developed the concept of Anglican prayer beads to assist contemplative prayer. The design is similar to the Orthodox Jesus prayer rope and the Roman Catholic rosary, but with a different number of beads and prayer technique. Anglican prayer beads consist of 33 beads to symbolise the number of years Jesus lived on the earth. Also, 28 of the beads are divided into four groups of seven to represent weeks. Four cruciform beads separate each week and form a cross. One invitatory bead separates the circle of beads and the cross. You can make an Anglican rosary as a way to enrich your prayers.

Determine the design and length of the Anglican prayer beads. You can create a variety of prayer bead designs as long as you have 33 beads arranged in the appropriate week groups separated by cruciform beads. Use small accent spacer beads to individualise your rosary. Accent beads act as spacers to lengthen the prayer beads. The amount of accent beads determines the overall length of the prayer beads. This example Anglican rosary measures 28 inches.

Measure the desired amount of beading wire on a bead board. Remember to make the wire about 4 inches longer than your goal length for ease of stringing. Cut the beading wire with jewellery wire cutters. Tape one end of the beading wire to the bead board. The tape will prevent the beads from slipping off the wire.

Thread the first set of week beads and spacer beads onto the beading wire. Add the first cruciform bead. This design will be the model for the next three sets.

String the second set of spacer beads and week beads. Insert the next cruciform bead onto the wire.

Add the third set of week beads and spacer beads. Follow the week beads with the third cruciform bead.

Slide the fourth set of week beads and spacer beads onto the wire. Add the fourth cruciform bead.

Carefully remove the tape at the end of the beading wire and pick up the prayer beads. Hold the end of the wire extending from the fourth cruciform bead and the opposite wire end. Insert the opposite wire into fourth cruciform bead to join both sides of the rosary. Pull the wire tight so that there are no gaps between the beads. You should see both ends of the wire extending from the cruciform bead.

Slip the invitatory bead and spacers onto both wires.

Attach the cross to both wires. Loop the wires around the cross and insert the wires back through the invitatory bead. Cut any excess wire with jewellery wire cutters. Add a crimping bead to the wire ends and fasten the bead with crimping pliers. The Anglican rosary is ready for prayer.


Make a smaller version of the prayer beads to carry with you. Incorporate special beads into your Anglican rosary. Use beads from the broken necklace that your mother gave you or from the heirloom necklace that you will never wear. Perhaps you purchased beads on a family vacation that remind you of a happy time. When you pray, begin with the invitatory bead and work your way from right to left.

Things You'll Need

  • 28 medium beads (about 8 x 6mm)
  • 5 large beads (about 10mm)
  • Small accent beads (4mm)
  • Cross
  • Flexible nylon-coated beading wire
  • 1 crimping bead
  • Bead board
  • Crimping pliers
  • Jewelry wire cutter
  • Tape
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