What is the Saikarali?
Saikarali is a Sanskrit word that means something
like, 'a string of pearls'. Church of the East has been using this word for
a very long time to refer to a string of beads that is sometimes called
prayer beads. The Saikarali has been used since the fourth century, and
according to tradition, St. Siphor (the captain who became one of the first
priests of the Church in North India, about 60A.D) used the Saikarali to
teach catechumens. The Saikarali is made of a string with 21 beads, the two
ends meeting each other where two more beads and a cross are strung. A
Saikarali fits over your hand, so that the beads can be slid through your
thumb and forefingers.
The Little Prayer on the Saikarali is the primary
meditation used with this ancient devotional aid. The Little Prayer is still
today the best catechism any one can do.
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