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My prayer rope is ten years old and starting to show wear. Honestly, I sorta like seeing the signs of use on it.

When is it time to replace?

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Christ is in our midst!!

Veronica,

I don't have an official answer. I replaced mine when it physically came apart. It was made of wool, had become stretched, and one day separated between two knots. It was in bad shape, but I had had it for about 41 years.

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Hi Veronica,

As a maker of prayer ropes, I'd encourage you to keep using your current prayer rope unless it's either falling apart or you've become overly attached to it.

That last bit sounds odd, I know, but I have a tendency to get attached to the prayer ropes that I make for my own personal use. When that happens it's usually a sign that the Lord is about to put someone in my life who needs a prayer rope, and I end up passing my personal rope along to them. Then it's months before I finally take the time to make myself a new one.

Signs of wear on a prayer rope are like signs of wear on a Bible, in my opinion. It makes the item unique to you and almost an extension of yourself. Wear on your prayer rope is a sign of growth in your life with the Lord.

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It doesn't sound odd to me, at all. My prayer rope is beautiful, and was made for me by a monastic. I worry sometimes that I am too attached to it, when it is only really a tool for counting prayers.

I like your practice of passing the prayer ropes along. I used to do that when I was in the habit of making rosaries.

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Well, I am the beneficiary of a number of prayer ropes by the great Master Beadsman, Phillip Rolfes! I've given some of them to others and it is very true that there are people who come to us because they have been sent to receive these from us for their spiritual benefit. I've a prayer rope I've kept all my life and it broke. My heart broke with it and I went to a seamstress who sewed it back together. She refused to take payment for that service too. It just has to be with me all the time. Something is missing when I don't have it with me. Can't explain it, but that is the way things are.So don't any of you be getting any ideas of taking it from me when I'm not looking!

Dear Veronica - a worn out prayer rope is a true ladder to Heaven!

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I gave my grandmother my own baptismal rosary when she was baptized. It gave her great comfort in the last months of her life, and she was later buried with it. I dream of someday being buried with my own prayer rope.

I am terribly attached to some of my sacramentals. I just finished taking my crucifix to get repaired, although the soldering wasn't free. So I can understand why you brought your prayer rope to a seamstress.

So maybe it is ok to be attached to our devotional items. They do prepare us for great grace.

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Nothing wrong with it at all.

Something tangible that we like can excite devotion in us. It becomes part of us. As a Saturday religion teacher, I've always given items to the students which they keep for years in many cases. Especially during Covid, they texted me to say their items helped them through the difficult times.

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I don't intend on ever replacing mine. That said, if it becomes worn from use, I will simply start using another one. But I am not parting with it, except, maybe to give to one of my yet to exist children. I've had rosaries repaired before (remember, I'm a Latin), chotki repairs may actually be in demand.


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