Order of Saint Francis

A Contemporary Expression of Franciscan Tradition within the Anglican Communion

Devotions

Devotions are ways we raise our voice in prayer, and ways we listen for the voice of God, or develop an awareness of His ever abiding presence. Often they are prayers recited in conjunction with something physical as a way to ground the mind in the present moment and keep it from wandering. Some devotions are fairly rigid in structure, like the Franciscan Crown Rosary, while others are more free-flowing, like walking in silence in a labyrinth or sitting in silent meditation, following the breath and preparing the ground of the mind and soul for God's grace to enter. Below are a few devotions that some of the Brothers use. We hope you find them to be inspiring or in some way beneficial in your journey.

The Rosary

Many religions have used strands of beads to assist with prayer. The Christian rosary in specific has been said to have originated with St. Dominic, who, legend has it, had a vision of the Virgin Mary in which the Blessed Mother instructed him to use a necklace of prayer beads as a means to prepare the soil of faithful souls, that they might better recieve the Holy Spirit. It is quite common that the rosary is associated with the blessed Virgin. A rosary consists of a string of beads with larger beads in their midst representing particular prayers or passages of Scripture. The use of the rosary helps to bring us into contemplative or meditative prayer—a state of mindfulness in the presence of God—by use of mind, body, and spirit. The touching of the fingers on each successive bead is an aid in keeping our mind from wandering, and the rhythm of the prayers leads us more readily into stillness. There are many different types of rosaries; two popular ones are shown here below. The first is the well known Franciscan rosary, which has wide usage amongst Roman Catholics and many Anglicans as well. The other is a more specifically Anglican style rosary, which is typically smaller in size and can be worn on the wrist when one is not actively praying with it.

Franciscan Crown Rosary

The Franciscan Crown Rosary originates back to 1442. This year a young friar is visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary. She tells him that every day he should pray seven decades of Hail Marys and in between each decade a meditation should be made on one of the seven joys that the Blessed Virgin experienced throughout her life. One day an angel weaved a crown of rose petals next to the young friar and between each decade of petals the angel placed a golden lily. When the novice finished his prayers the angel placed the crown on the young man's head. This was witnessed by the novice master and the story quickly spread throughout the friary and soon all the friars were performing this devotion.

The Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The rosary consists of a loop of 7 sets, or decades, of beads.  Each consists of 1 large bead (mystery) and 10 smaller beads (decade). 

Recite the Franciscan Crown Rosary as follows:
    1.     Hold the cross in your left hand and make the sign of the cross with the right say, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".
    2.    Take the top bead above the cross in the fingers of one hand and recite the first mystery (see below).
    3.    Still holding that same bead recite the Lord's Prayer.
    4.    Move to the next smaller bead and say the "Hail Mary", reflect for a second or two, move to the next bead and repeat until you get to the last bead in the decade.
    5.    After the last decade bead recite the "Glory Be.."
    6.    Move to the next mystery and repeat.
    7.    At the end of the seventh decade two Hail Marys are added to complete the number of years (72) that the Blessed Virgin is said to have lived on earth. These are the last 2 beads before the cross.
    8.    The rosary concludes with the Memorare prayer.
 
The seven joyous mysteries (read the text of each)..
  1. Annunciation (Luke 1:31-32)
  2. Visitation (Luke 1:42, 45)
  3. Birth of Jesus in a Cave in Bethlehem (Luke 2:6-7)
  4. Adoration of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-6)
  5. Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:46-47)
  6. Apparition of the Risen Christ to His Blessed Mother (Matt 28:5-6)
  7. Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Judith 13:18 and Revelation 12:1)

Anglican Rosary

Anglican Prayer Beads are a relatively new form of prayer, blending the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope and the Roman Catholic Rosary. The thirty-three bead design was created by the Rev. Lynn Bauman in the mid-1980s.

Symbolism of the Beads
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 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, the four seasons, and the four cardinal virtues (prudence; justice; fortitude; temperance). 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). In these we recall our connection with God, the creator of all that is. We are also reminded that prayer is the center of Christian life; in our daily prayers and in the liturgy and sacraments of the church.

Praying with the beads
Select the prayers (see below) that you wish to use for the cross and each bead then practice them until it is clear which prayer goes with which bead. Next find a quiet spot and allow your body and mind to become restful and still. After a time of silence, begin

To begin, hold the cross and say the prayer you have assigned to it, then move to the invitatory bead. Praying at an unhurried, intentional pace even pausing after each prayer.  Then enter the circle of the prayer with the first cruciform bead, moving to the right, go through the first set of seven beads to the next cruciform bead, continuing around the circle, saying the prayers for each bead.  Complete the circle of the beads three times (which signifies the Trinity).

When you have completed the round of the prayers end with a period of silence. This silence allows you to center your being. It also invites reflection and listening after you have invoked the Name and Presence of God. 

Anglican rosaries are usually small enough to fit in your pocket or wear on your wrist as a constant reminder of your sacred journey with God.

Taken from: AnglicanRosary.net and KingOfPeace.org

Labyrinth - Ancient Prayer

The labyrinth has been around for over 4000 years.  Unlike a maze in a labyrinth there is only one path to follow.  You will find labyrinths in all different sizes from big ones that you walk down to a palm size where you trace the path with a finger.

Approach a labyrinth as you would a spiritual journey.  Everyone moves at their own pace.  Before starting pause, take a breath and calm your mind.  Walk or trace the path stop as the spirit moves you to reflect. Some people will pray silently while others may chant or sing hymns.  When you get to the center take time to talk to God. When you are ready retrace your steps out of the labyrinth continuing your spiritual journey.

Suggested book: "Walking a Sacred Path" by Dr Lauren Artress

Prayer Candle

Lighting a candle is practiced worldwide as a way to bring to light our prayers and symbolizes a physical manifistation of those prayers. Some will light a candle in the name of another person, for prayers of improved health, asking for a blessing or giving thanks to God.

Before lighting the candle take a moment to be quiet and reflect on what you are lighting the candle for.  Offer up your prayer then light the candle and let it shine until it goes out.

If you don't have a candle or no flames allowed where you are at then try lighting a Virtual Prayer Candle.

The Great Litany

Chanting the Great Litany is a devotion that many people use.  In the Book of Common Prayer the Great Litany can be found on page 148.  Follow along with the video below.

There is also a wonderful version of the Litany and an associated video.  This version of the Litany was written by Thomas Tallis in 1544..

Anglican Rosary Prayers

Celtic Prayers
Cruciforms
Be the eye of God dwelling with me,
The foot of Christ in guidance with me,
The shower of the Spirit pouring on me,
Richly and generously.

The Weeks (one line for each day)
I bow before the Father who made me,
I bow before the Son who saved me,
I bow before the Spirit who guides me,
In love and adoration.
I praise the Name of the one on high.
I bow before thee Sacred Three,
The ever One, the Trinity.

Bless the Lord
Cruciforms
Behold now, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord. You that stand in the house of the Lord, lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the Lord.

The Weeks
I lift up my eyes to the hills;
From where is my help to come?
My help comes from the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth.

Healing Prayer
Cruciforms
Blessed are you Lord God, King of the universe who heals the sick and broken hearted.

The Weeks
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God;
Let your healing flow down upon me.
Let your healing spring up within me.
Let your healing love enfold me.
Let your healing power flow through me.
Morning Prayer
Cruciforms
The night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

The Weeks
O God, creation's ruling force,
O Jesus, crucified for us,
O Spirit, love's life-giving ray,
We praise and bless you every hour.
Evening Prayers
Cruciforms
Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

The Weeks
Jesus, lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, give us your peace.

Trisagion
Cruciforms
Holy God
Holy and Mighty
Holy Immortal One
Have mercy on me.

The Weeks
My God, my all.

Common Prayers

Lords Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
 hallowed be your Name,
 your kingdom come,
 your will be done, on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread.
 Forgive us our sins
 as we forgive those
 who sin against us.
 Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Hail Mary Prayer
Hail Mary full of Grace, the lord is with you. 
Blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be to the Father (Gloria Patri)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
 
Memorare Prayer
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Novena for St Francis

Click here to see the 9 prayer videos.. [ more ]