Bridal Prayer Shawl

From the Open Files of:

NW Synod of Wisconsin Resource Center, (715) 833-1153

Contributed by:

Diane Kaufmann, Chippewa Falls, WI


Bridal Prayer Shawl

In December, 2001, as a volunteer for the Synod Resource Center, I uploaded the open file, A Prayer Shawl Knitting Ministry This resource came from the Prayer Shawl Ministry directed by Bette Shellhorn. That Easter I found myself knitting a prayer shawl for my brother who was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. A month later I was knitting one for my mother who had a heart attack. I found the knitting experience to be very rewarding spiritually and emotionally in those troubled times. When my son recently announced his engagement and forthcoming wedding, I found myself thinking about praying for him and his future wife and the idea was born to knit a prayer shawl out of happiness, with prayers for their marriage and future life together woven into it. In doing a little more searching, I found that some prayer shawls used 39 stitches because that is the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew words "the Lord is One". That had implications for their future life together as one in Christ, so I decided to use the same knitting pattern as the original prayer shawls, but to cast on 39 stitches and use larger needles. The shawl is shown at the left about half finished. Then I thought about how I could involve other family members in this happy task. The final part of the shawl is to add fringe, so I cut pieces for fringing and sent them on to relatives and asked them to hold the fringe and add their prayers for the couple. I included the prayer that I'm using as I knit and invited them to send back the fringe to add to the shawl and their own prayers to share with the couple. I will give the shawl to my future daughter-in-law at her bridal shower.

Here is the prayer, modified from the original Prayer for a Mantle of Healing by Cathleen Murtha, DW, to reflect the marriage emphasis:

In the name of God: the Creator, the Giver of Life, and the Holder of Time;
In the name of Jesus: the Savior, the Giver of Gifts, and the Source of Love;
In the name of the Spirit: the Sanctifier, the Giver of Faith, and the Sustainer of Life.

I knit this shawl as a mantle of strength, a mantle of unity, a mantle of patience.
I knit this shawl as a mantle of caring, a mantle of love, a mantle of wholeness.
I knit this shawl as a mantle of joy, a mantle to enfold you, a mantle to encircle you.

Gracious God, you are always faithful in your love for us. Look mercifully upon Amy and Martin, who come to you seeking your blessing on their marriage. Let your Holy spirit rest upon them so that with steadfast love they may honor the promises they will make. May the prayers woven into this shawl fill them with hope and encouragement, through Jesus Christ our Loving Savior. Amen

(For other Prayer Shaw Ministry ideas, visit additional links under Personal Growth Web Links)

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