Paternoster Cross

also known as the Rosary Cross

The Paternoster Cross is made up of circles or beads and can be used like a Rosary. The rosary is an ancient and personal devotional aid which was originally an antidote from Mary, Mother of God, to be used against heresy.

Paternoster Cross

Paternoster Cross

"Our Father" (L: Pater Noster), are the opening words of the Lord's Prayer taught by Jesus to his disciples (see Matt. 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4).

As an alternative to a rosary string, this cross has been found on the walls of ancient Roman villas, with the letters A and O being the Latin equivalents for the Greek Α (Alpha) and Ω (Omega) terminating each arm showing Jesus to be the beginning and end, i.e. eternally divine. (See also the Alpha-Omega Cross.)

Today, the Paternoster Cross or Paternoster Beads are used by Roman Catholics, some Anglicans, Lutherans and others. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, a knotted or beaded Chotki or Komboskini is commonly used. Most Protestants however, do not feel such beads and the associated devotions are a critical aid to contemplation.

The prescribed prayer said with the rosary consists of making the Sign of the Cross and then saying:

The Paternoster Cross offers a subset of this. The supplicant touches the larger central bead when saying the Our Father and a smaller bead for each of the ten Hail Marys. Glory Be to the Father can be said at the end of the devotion. As with many other religions, bead counters help to keep track of where you are in the prayer.

A rosary normally has sixty beads, plus a crucifix so to call this a Rosary Cross is somewhat misleading. Other names for this cross include the Our Father Cross and the Lord's Prayer Cross. In heraldry it is known as a Nebulée Cross, meaning 'small clouds'. An alternative heraldic name is the Invected Cross (Fr: Croix Cannelée), from the inward pointing spikes along each cross beam. The inverse of this (spikes pointing outward) is the Engrailed Cross.

See also Prayer Cross.

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, Our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life ever-lasting. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be to the Father

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

O My Jesus

O My Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Chotki is the Russian name and Komboskini is the Greek name for a beaded or knotted prayer rope, usually without a cross. They are similar to the Buddhist mala.


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