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Monday, July 25, 2016

Prayer Shawls

I'm crocheting a prayer shawl. This is the beginning of it. I knew nothing about prayer shawls until my father attended a grief counseling session after my mother died. At the end of the session, he received a prayer shawl. Dad didn't know what to do with the prayer shawl but he thought it was a nice gift. He kept it in his closet. I found it there after he passed away. 

I've always enjoyed crocheting. I wrote a post about how I learned the craft when I was young. You can read it HERE. Last year, one of my dearest friends joined a group which provides hats, blankets, and other handcrafted items for children in hospitals. (Blankie Depot) My friend asked me to teach her how to crochet a hat for an infant. We had a grand time one afternoon as she learned how to make a small hat. She soon excelled and made an incredible amount of very lovely little hats and donated them regularly.

One day my friend asked me to show her how to make a blanket. I found an easy pattern but she struggled with it and admitted she really only wants to make the hats. I promised her I'd make some blankets to donate while she continued making hats. 

I made some pretty little baby blankets like the one pictured on the left. At the end of the day, I enjoyed sitting down with my crochet hook and crafting something special in the hope of bringing some warmth and maybe a touch of love to some small individual.

Then my dear friend told me there's a need for prayer shawls for women in the local hospital. I never made a prayer shawl but I decided to try it. She dropped off a huge skein of yarn, I found a pattern, and my fingers got busy.

In the Jewish faith, prayer shawls are part of a tradition. However, the modern prayer shawl ministry began in 1998. You can read about it at Shawl Ministry. In essence, the shawl is dedicated to giving comfort to those who need it. It's almost as good as a warm hug, but it also comes with prayers the crafter recites as the shawl is being made.  

If you knit or crochet join a local group and use your skill to comfort  someone in need. It'll make you feel good, too. :-)


Barbara Edwards said...

A lovely idea. I was given a prayer shawl several years ago during an episode of poor health. thankfully, I recovered. I also returned the shawl so it could be passed on to someone else in need. It warmed my soul more than my body.

Penelope Marzec said...


I'm glad to know your health improved. Nice to hear how much you enjoyed the prayer shawl, too.