St Oswald chaplet

This is my usual pocket chaplet. I’m afraid it has some wear and tear from being in my pocket most of the time. This must be a soft glass because the beads are definitely much shinier than they originally were and some are starting to feel worn. I really didn’t expect that when I picked them.  The wire has been repaired a few times. I call it my St Oswald chaplet because the design is themed on St. Oswald but I don’t have any specific Oswald themed prayer that go with it.

St Oswald Chaplet
St Oswald Chaplet

St Oswald design:

  • Format: one-week Anglican rosary (1/4 of an Anglican rosary). To use as an Anglican rosary, just use the cruciform bead and week beads four times.
  • Purple glass beads: larger ovals for week beads and smaller round beads for invitatory and cruciform bead. St Bede tells us that King Oswald’s banner was purple and gold, and of course, purple fits Christ the king.
  • Celtic knot acts a three way connector but no prayers assigned. This chaplet is hand wired together and the wire is usually what breaks from bending too often.
  • Large Celtic cross
  • Charms: rugged cross and heart-in-hand.

Why two crosses? Well, in addition to their usual Christian meanings, both types are associated with St Oswald. The rugged cross reminds me of the handmade cross erected before his army at Heavenfield and the Celtic cross reminds me that it was King Oswald who first brought the Irish to Northumbria and granted Lindisfarne to Bishop Aidan. Without King Oswald, it is possible that there would be little or no Irish influence in the English church. This mixture of the two crosses also reminds me to balance the art of the Celtic cross with the rugged reality of the rough cross.

Silver heart in hand charm
Silver heart in hand charm

The heart-in-hand charm is actually an early American design but it fits King Oswald very well. His right hand was a long standing symbol (and relic) and he was famed for his generosity. It is also a reminder that Christians should have our hearts in our hands, not on our sleeves. In our hands, not only as an offering but in hands that do the work of the heart.

As for prayers, I tend to be not too inventive. I do actually use this chaplet throughout the day as the occasion comes up. Because the occasion is usually  a spare moment when I’m ‘out in the world’ my prayers are usually fairly free form. The Lord’s Prayer on the cross. The invitatory is free form depending on what is of concern at the moment. The cruciform bead is usually the Gloria Patri (glory be) in the form I learned as a child: Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was the in beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Then followed by the orthodox Jesus prayer on the seven week beads. Lately, I’ve been following it all up with an Ave Maria. I haven’t fit it in on a bead yet…hmm, maybe that link that currently has no prayer purpose. While this one quarter of a Anglican rosary, it could be modified because chaplets don’t have set formats.

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