Praying to Saints and Folk Magic: Beads for the Dead

There are several different types of prayer beads to honor, bless, or comfort the dead. Apparently, there is no official dogma outlining one specific configuration of beads and the associated prayers, but there are several recognized traditions.

It is a great act of charity and kindness to pray for the dead. The souls of the deceased will not forget the prayers said on their behalf and it is believed that the dead will repay whoever prays for them a thousandfold.

The devotions for the dead may be recited either with or without the beads. The prayer beads simply make keeping count of the recited prayers easier.

Different types of configurations of Beads for the Dead are associated with different prayers. For example, the recitation of "All Souls Rosary" is performed on a standard Marian Catholic rosary. However, there are a whole set of prayers involved in the recitation of the "All Souls Rosary" that are not used in the standard recitation of the Marian rosary.

This brief article will only focus on two forms of the Beads for the Dead: the "Chaplet of the Comfort (for the Dead)" and the "Chaplet of the Dead."

Chaplet of the Comfort (for the Dead)

Usually, the "Chaplet of the Comfort (for the Dead)" is composed of 1 Crucifix, 1 large, red bead, and 30 white beads, which means a total of 31 beads. As indicated, state whoever the prayer is for in the indicated spot.

These prayers are petitions to comfort the deceased souls.

To recite the Chaplet of the Comfort, the petitioner makes the sign of the cross.

On the Crucifix, he or she begins by reciting 1 Our Father.

On the large, red bead, he or she recites the following prayer:

Merciful Jesus, we humbly recall in prayer, the soul(s) of name or names , whom you have called to their eternal home. Grant name or names eternal life and peace. Amen.
Then on each of the 30 white beads, he or she prays:
Lord, grant name or names eternal rest and peace.
At the conclusion of the recitation of the Chaplet of the Comfort for the Dead, he or she recites the following prayer and then makes the sign of the cross:
We thank you Lord for listening to our simple prayers offered for the soul(s) of name or names . May name or names pray for us as we for them. Grant this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
The Chaplet of Comfort could be recited for either a specific soul or a large group of souls. For example:
Merciful Jesus, we humbly recall in prayer, the soul of Cecilia Vassallo, whom you have called to her eternal home. Grant Cecilia eternal life and peace. Amen.
However, if one was praying for for a number of people who died in a natural disaster or catrophic event such as the earthquake in Haiti 2010, one would adapt the prayer recited on the 1 large, red bead like so:
Merciful Jesus, we humbly recall in prayer, all the souls of those died due to the earthquake in January 2010 in Haiti whom you have called to their eternal home. Grant to those numerous souls in Haiti eternal life and peace. Amen.
Chaplet of Comfort (for the Dead) Examples

The Catholic Store
http://www.catholicstore.com/browseproducts/Chaplet-Of-Comfort-For-The-Dead.html

Prospect Hill
http://prospecthillco.com/Merchant4/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=P&Product_Code=030&Category_Code=

Chaplet for the Dead

Frequently, the "Chaplet for the Dead" consists of 48 beads. It begins with the Crucifix, 5 introductory beads, 4 sets of 10 beads, separated by 3 beads. Originally, this Chaplet did not have a medal, but the examples of the Chaplets for the Dead which I found all had medals.

There is no specialized form of reciting the Chaplet for the Dead.

Instructions advise that one begins and ends this chaplet with the Our Father and Hail Mary or the "De Profundis".

Instructions also advise that one should recite the following on the large beads, "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual Light shine upon them; may the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen." And the instructions likewise state that one should recite the following on the small beads, "Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation."

The following form is suggested as being one that is simple with this configuration of prayer beads.

The petitioner praying this devotion on behalf of the dead begins this Chaplet on the Crucifix by reciting Psalm 130, also known as the "De Profundis":

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt observe iniquities; Lord, who shall endure it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and by reason of Thy law, I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him plentiful redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all her iniquities. Amen.
Then, there are 5 introductory beads: 1 large bead, 3 small beads, 1 large bead. On each large bead, the person prays:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual Light shine upon them; may the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
On each small bead, the person prays:
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
The petitioner begins and ends the 43 bead circle of this chaplet on the medal by reciting 1 Our Father and 1 Hail Mary. Then, there are 40 small beads separated by 3 large beads. On each large bead, the person prays:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual Light shine upon them; may the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
On each small bead, the petitioner prays:
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
The petitioner concludes the 43 bead circle of this chaplet on the medal by reciting 1 Our Father and 1 Hail Mary, adding the following prayer:
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful,
grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through our pious supplication they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
In this case, the person praying is not petitioning for anything for him or herself. This set of prayers is a petition on behalf of the dead as well as a devotion to God, and the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix.

Some suggested forms of prayers did also state that a person could name a particular deceased individual, or individuals, in one's intentions, such as, "These prayers are particularly for my grandmother L. Long who passed away on September 4th" or "These prayers are particularly for those who perished in the earthquake in Chile 2010."

It was also suggested that one could insert a particular deceased individual's name during prayer. For example:

Eternal rest grant unto my grandmother, L. Long , O Lord, and let perpetual Light shine upon her; may the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Chaplet for the Dead Examples

Via Rose
www.viarosa.com/VR/AllSouls/Rosaries+Chaplets.html#ChapletForTheDead

Rosary And Chaplets
www.rosaryandchaplets.com/chaplets/chaplet_for_the_dead.html
(Oddly, all the beads on this one are the same size, but the total count is 48 beads.)

Gardenias 4 Lina
www.gardenias4lina.com/Chaplet_for_the_Dead.html

copyright 2010 Myth Woodling

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