A String and a Prayer

 
 

A String and a Prayer: How to Make and Use Prayer Beads

Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon (2007) Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC


Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon have taken an ancient practice and made it new. A String and a Prayer recounts the history and symbolism of prayer beads, teaches basic techniques for stringing beads and a host of other objects into prayer beads, and offers a variety of prayers and rituals to use those beads on a daily basis. Beads have appeared throughout history. Prayer beads are used in the spiritual practices of cultures as diverse as the African Masai, Native Americans, Greek and Russian Orthodoxy, as well as the religious rituals of Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism. But prayer is highly personal. By infusing prayer beads with personal associations, we can keep our spirituality fresh. The beads are a device to help build and rebuild meaningful ritual in our lives. With myriad ideas about what makes objects sacred and where to find sacred objects—from the personal, perhaps beads from a grandmother's broken rosary, to the unusual, maybe seashells from far away found in a thrift store—A String and a Prayer offers many suggestions for different ways that beads can be made and used, exploring the creative roles they can play in our relationships, ceremonies, and rituals. "You are the expert, trust yourself. Let the instructions be a guide to your own creativity," write the authors.

  • Back Cover

    Making and using prayer beads is a practice as old as time itself, a nearly universal practice. Using prayer beads is also intensely personal. While choosing our beads and talismans and infusing them with our own associations, we keep our connection to the spiritual fresh and meaningful. 

    A String and a Prayer recounts the history and symbolism of prayer beads, teaches basic techniques for stringing beads and found objects, and offers prayers and rituals to use these sacred objects every day. Create prayer beads for meditation, a marriage, a child, an ending, or a beginning. 

    Stringing beads reminds us to take life one piece at a time, one challenge at a time. A String and a Prayer is the perfect place to begin or continue your personal prayer practice.