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United Reformed Church Spirituality articles:

Pearls of life

Kathryn Price
4 August 2018

The Pearls of Life are an ecumenical rosary that comes from Lund in Sweden.

They were created to be an aid for all Christians to deepen their journey with God. The beads are in a circle and you start and finish at the same pearl: the large gold bead which symbolizes God, who is our beginning and our end and all that is beyond. In between differently coloured beads signify identity, baptism, the desert, serenity, silence, love, mystery, night and resurrection.

At a quiet day based around the pearls, different stations were set up:

  • Pearl of God (gold): variants of the Lord’s Prayer for prayer and meditation;
  • Pearls of silence (long, beige): sit in silence;
  • “I” Pearl (small white): a mirror to look in; writing your obituary, or moulding a clay pot, reflecting on God as the potter moulding you;
  • Pearl of baptism (large white): sit by the font and remember baptismal commitments;
  • Desert Pearl: labyrinth to walk;
  • Serenity Pearl (blue): sit by a water feature, light a candle, look and listen;
  • Love Pearls (two red): read George Herbert’s “Love bade me welcome” or write a love letter;
  • Pearls of Mystery: (3 small white): private prayer;
  • Night Pearl (black): listen to music on Walkman or MP3 player — e.g. requiem — and reflect on the need for God;
  • Resurrection Pearl: different images of Christ for reflection;
  • return to the Pearl of God: anoint yourself with oil.

A separate room was available with refreshments, books and other activities, someone to talk to.

The early part of the day included some discussion/teaching on different ways of praying, with the Pearls of Life offering a similar range.

The web site www.rukoushelmet.net/English.htm has further information about the Pearls, together with other ways of using them.

In the UK, Wild Goose have produced a book with the Pearls attached.