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Prayer Shawls: How They Help You While Helping Others

September 1st, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares thoughts on the practice of knitting and crocheting prayer shawls. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

Image of Tender Shawl | Prayer Shawls | Lion Brand NotebookWe do not live in isolation in this world. We live in an interconnected global community. When something difficult happens to someone else, it hurts us. Prayer shawls are a way to heal others while healing ourselves.

Praying for Others

When you make a prayer shawl you are intentionally infusing each stitch with hope, warmth, love, compassion and care. You emanate the hope that the person will be healed from pain. When the gift is received, that warmth is felt, the connection is recalled and healing takes place.

Your Own Healing

When we see pain, loss and tragedy in others, we feel it in ourselves. We feel sad about our own tragedies. We feel fear about possible pains. As we stitch together our connection to this other person through intentional prayer, the meditative action calms us. Our hearts open up through the work of our hands and we feel safe and loved again.

Make a Prayer Shawl

The healing of the shawl is partially about the prayer and partially about the tactile sensation of crafting. The silky texture of Lion Brand Homespun helps with the tactile benefits. You’ll find it used in the free crochet prayer shawl and free knit prayer shawl patterns.

[Pattern pictured: Knit Tender Shawl]

How have prayer shawls helped you? Share in the comments below!

  • Maureen

    I have been doing a number of these of late. I enjoy the comfort of making them even if I do not know the person who will be receiving them.

    • CrochetBlogger

      I love hearing from people who are doing this kind of work. Where do you donate yours?

      • sue

        I take mine to a
        local non-profit hospices, mine is affiliated with a local hospital

      • Jan

        I crochet pray e r shawls for my church but we have sent them out to others in need

      • Bernadette

        We have a ministry at church. The shawls go to the congregation and also to anyone in the community and beyond who are not connected to a church family.

  • Maureen

    I bring them to the local church or a knitting store.

    • CrochetBlogger

      I’m so glad that you mentioned that you can sometimes donate through a local yarn store! I hadn’t considered that option.

  • Barbara

    I am part of a group at my church that makes prayer shawls and when I had surgery the pastor brought one to the hospital and prayed for me and wrapped it around me. It was very comforting. When I feel anxious I wrap myself in it and I feel the love that was knit into each stitch

    • CrochetBlogger

      Thanks so much for sharing the story as someone who has received a prayer shawl. I’ve heard some doubts from people about whether or not people really want to receive these gifts and it’s really encouraging to hear from people who do say that it helps them.

  • mrsdof

    Awhile back, I crocheted 4 Prayer shawls in 14 months. I knew the people who would receive them. Three were done with yarn already in my stash. A light Blue for a bride (she made sure to have it on while a couple photos were taken at the Reception), shades of reds for a mother whose daughter had to be admitted to a mental institution for several weeks, and one of grey and pink stripes for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer. They were all gratefully received.

    The fourth shawl was a request from our Pastor for someone who had a dire form of cancer, and a minister of another congregation in our Conference. I had a friend with me to choose and purchase the yarn for texture and color. Someone else chose the pattern from my book. I had to be so careful with the stitches that I am not sure Prayers were all the yarn heard, but the person and the family loved the shawl very much.

    Perhaps such emotional feelings and concentrated effort during a short time perhaps got me burned out on Prayer shawls. I have not worked on any since then. Although I do continue to make many yarn projects for other Charity events. Cotton potholders move quickly at a craft sale.

    • CrochetBlogger

      Thank you so much for sharing your own story. I can definitely see how such intentional and powerful crafting work could be emotionally or energetically draining. It’s so important to practice self care and I think you made a great choice to pause that work but do the other work for charities like the potholders. Makes perfect sense to me!

    • Bernadette

      I have a friend who put it well when she said, “I refuse to work on a prayer shawl unless I am in a prayerful mood.” It is good to take a break every now and then.

  • Robin

    I made a prayer shawl for my sister-in-law when she was dying from lung cancer. She wore it constantly and after she died, it was returned to me. It took me a while before I could bear to wrap myself in it, but now I wear it in my office when I get cold and it feels like a hug.

    • CrochetBlogger

      I am so touched to hear this story, Robin. It really highlights how powerful this type of crafting can be. Hugs.

  • Joy Dill

    I have made over 100 prayer shawls. Some have gone to people I know and others to persons with a need for care and concern. The first one I saw was given to me because of Post herpetic neuralgia (Shingles pain), which is a very painful and everlasting problem. After receiving one I promptly started trying to do them for others with acute or chronic problems. It has helped me by keeping my mind focused on prayer for others.

    • CrochetBlogger

      Great point that it helps you keep your mind focused on praying for others. That’s something that a lot of us want to have as a regular practice in our lives and this is one way to do that.

      I’m curious, if you’re open to sharing, whether your experience of crafting prayer shawls has been any different when it’s for someone you know instead of for someone who was a stranger. Or is it a similar experience either way?

  • Jpacquin

    I have made several prayers shawls. I do not always know who they go to. The most difficult one I did was for my best friend. She had breast cancer. I made it in her favorite color which was purple. She lived about 5 hours from me.
    Although I would try to call her I know most of the time she did not have it in her to talk. I knitted it as fast as I could. She chose alternative medical treatments.
    Charlotte passed away in April 2012. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.
    Her family told me that she treasured the shawl.

    • CrochetBlogger

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I am also so touched that you reached out to her in that way with the shawl and I am inspired to hear that she treasured it.

      I wonder, was crafting the shawl also beneficial for you emotionally as you were feeling more distant from your friend at that time? Was it a way to connect for you even though she couldn’t talk much?

      And regarding your comment below, I just want to say that I am again so touched by our crafting community!!!

  • Jpacquin

    I was gifted a prayer shawl by a fellow knitter on Ravelry. She had anyone who had made prayer shawls but had never received a shawl themselves contact her. She mailed out I believe more than a dozen shawls. What a generous and thoughtful soul.

  • Becky

    As a cancer survivor, the prayer shawl caught my attention when I first began knitting a couple of years ago. As said, it helps me (for the first time I memorized scripture) and I have found that others consider receiving a shawl a huge blessing. Regardless of what else I am knitting, I am always working on a prayer shawl.

    • CrochetBlogger

      How powerful that the shawl helped you memorize scripture for the first time. I hadn’t thought of that but I can understand why for sure! Thank you for sharing.

  • Marie Roy

    I am making one now for someone I do not know personally. As I knit I will recite the rosary as well. Making them gives me a sense of well being that is difficult to explain. I’m half way through with my latest one in Lion Brand Waterfall. A friend and I went shopping for the yarn, and when we saw this yarn in shades of blue, like a waterfall we knew this was the color we needed. I hope to finish it the weekend and will include a medal from the Lourdes in Litchfield, CT. It is for someone who is battling stomach cancer, which is a terrible disease.

    • Sandra Walsh….Ohio

      I have Prayer Shawl Ministry in our Church. we are a small group of women who have been making shawls for 5 years. They are given to hospice patients, members or friends of parishioners who have lost someone. We consider it an honor to provide comfort to those who are in need of comfort. We pray while we make them and our pastor bless’s them before they are distributed.

      • CrochetBlogger

        I’m really glad you commented because I hadn’t actually thought about or realized that the item can receive a pastor’s blessing before it is sent. I think that adds another level of power to the work.

    • CrochetBlogger

      Isn’t it amazing how we can sometimes see a color, like the Waterfall that you’ve mentioned, and just know that it has the exact right feeling for the piece we’re working on? I think this is even more amazing when we’re talking about intentional crafting like this.

  • Paula Petunia

    Oh I so want to crochet these for friends/family/neighbors who are going thru a difficult medical issue and need a hug.

    • CrochetBlogger

      I love thinking about the prayer shawls as a form of hug when the person wraps it around himself or herself!

  • Chris Watts

    I have been knitting and crocheting these prayer shawls for 6 years now I can’t put into words how I fell making them its a time with just you and The Lord praying for the persons thats receiving them. I also keep a journal on them thank you Lion Brand and the creator of these wonderful shawls.

    • CrochetBlogger

      Wow – I love the idea of keeping a journal about the prayer shawls. Would you mind sharing what kinds of things go into that journal? Is it your prayers and thoughts or is it more like a scrapbook of what you made and why? So curious!

  • Judy

    I have been trying to start a prayer shawl ministry at my church, with no success. Last month I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The lumpectomy was successful with no cells in the sentinel node. THANK YOU, GOD!!! My daughter knitted me a prayer shawl. I love it. The couple of times I have been chilly enough to put it around me, I feel all the love involved in crafting it. The local Breast Cancer Support Group has been most supportive. I am crocheting my second prayer shawl fro them to include in the “goodie” bags they give to all those in the county diagnosed with breast cancer. It is my way of “giving back” for the many blessings I have received. The pattern is filet crochet and has two breast cancer ribbons on each end with a cross centered in the back of the shawl.

    • CrochetBlogger

      Thanks for sharing your story Judy. I’m so glad to hear that your lumpectomy was successful! And also glad that you’ve been able to find a place to share prayer shawls in the Breast Cancer Support Group.

      I’m curious, what has the resistance been to starting a prayer shawl ministry at the church? Has there been no interest or is there some other thing blocking it from happening there?

  • Sue

    I purchased 8 skeins of Vanna’s Worsted Weight ‘Barley” to make a Wallaby for my grandson. Before I could do two rows the “pull out skein” got tangled and I got frustrated. At $3.99 per skein, I thought I was getting a good product and good deal. The color with its beige poof fleck is really gorgeous. I realize now there is not enough in each skein and would need more than a typical 4 skein bunch to do a sweater so in the end it would cost more. Regretfully, I will return all I purchased and search for another brand.

    • Dee bee

      I have had this problem at one time or another with just about every brand of yarn. I would contact the company, they may want you to send it to them for quality control.

      I just don’t understand what this post has to do with the beauty and significance of prayer shawls.

      What’s a Wallaby?

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

      Hi Sue, I’m sorry to hear that. Please contact support@lionbrand.com so that our team can record the issue for our mill and replace the yarn. Please note that some of our specially colored yarns do have slightly different amounts and/or fiber content than the solid colors in that line; the specific information is always on the individual color’s label and listed in the yarn specifics on our website. Again, we hope to work with you to help your issue, and our Support Team looks forward to hearing from you.

  • Suzanne Smith

    I am a volunteer donations coordinator with my local non-profit Hospice’s Hospice House. One of my many jobs is to find churches, clubs or individuals to create prayer shawls for the Hospice House. We give a prayer shawl to each patient and in turn when they pass it goes home with their loved ones. I can’t even begin to tell you the stories that I have heard from families on what these shawls mean to them.. knowing that someone took the time to create a beautiful memory for their loved one. I also make the shawls… it is truly one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.. If you are wanting to make shawls to donate please look into your local non-profit hospice organization… we also service patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities… the need is great and sorry to say in some locations it is very hard to find people that still enjoy making them.

    • CrochetBlogger

      I am so happy to hear from someone in your position. It’s empowering to hear that you’ve seen the value of these shawls in the lives of people. And I’m touched to hear from you and a few others here that the shawls go on to provide comfort in the lives of others after the intended recipient has passed away. That’s really amazing. The shawl itself has a story that keeps on going!

      Also thanks for mentioning the option of donating to local hospice care!

  • KarenT

    A friend of mine gave me a prayer shawl from her church group that makes them. My husband had passed away suddenly, and even though I haven’t worn it yet, I sleep with it every night as a “security blanket”. It has helped me feel a little more secure, and not quite as lonely at night. Don’t know when I might switch from sleeping with it to actually wearing it, but maybe one day I will!

    • CrochetBlogger

      I am sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your husband. It’s wonderful that the prayer shawl has been able to be such a comfort to you during this time. It sounds really comforting!!

  • Albertina McNeill

    I wondered if anything particularly denotes a shawl as a “prayer shawl”? Does it have to be plain/simple/easy to make? Surely any shawl made with love could be a prayer shawl?

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

      Hi Albertina, many people consider a “prayer shawl” to be one with a simple pattern that is easy to meditate and pray over as it’s being made. However, you’re absolutely right that any shawl made with love can be a considered a prayer shawl that brings comfort and warmth to someone in need of solace.

      • Suzanne Smith

        I second that. They come in all shapes and sizes… from a simple stitch to some that are very complex… it is the intent when someone makes the shawl I think that is the important thing. Some of the shawls I collect are not long enough to wrap around someone at times… so I like to think of those as “prayer lap robes”.. :)

  • C.S. Weaver

    I’ve made prayer shawls, which, I’m assuming, are rectangular, almost like a thicker scarf with or without fringe. Correct? I know our congregation has a pregnancy support ministry that gives handmade layettes to new moms, but I don’t think they have a ministry that gives prayer shawls to those suffering from illness or what have you. This article has given me a light-bulb moment, I think I’ll see about starting one. Thanks.

  • irishdiva49

    I have made a number of shawls for both happy and not so happy occasions. Sometimes I know the reason I am knitting and other times I just start and pretty soon the recipient becomes obvious it’s an interesting process. When I retire I hope to start a “creative crafting ministry at my church. So if people knit and want to make chemo caps or prayer shawls, or quilts or dolls and stuffed toys, or woodwork as long as it goes to a charitable purpose that helps people whatever but we will get together work and help each other. I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Mary

    I have only crocheted about four at this time, but I donate them to our church here in Paris, TN. I sometimes know the recipients & am so glad to be a part of this Ministry.

  • Minnie28

    Several Churches in our town got together and were asked to present prayer shawls to a battered woman’s shelter. It was so rewarding knowing that something you made and prayed with was going to someone who really needed prayers and just some comfort. I have made several for Christmas presents for my administrative staff who are all very religious and they so appreciated the shawls.

  • Ravens Fan

    I’m part of Strings of Hope at my church. We donate our prayer shawls to local nursing homes and the seniors at the church.

  • Marie

    I knitted a prayer shawl for a co-worker recently diagnosed with cancer. I was hesitant to give it to her, not knowing her very well or how it would be received, but here is her response to me:

    “I am finally coming out of the fog I’ve been in for the past month and have thought of you often. I was so touched by your lovely gift and couldn’t believe you went to that much trouble. It’s become my favorite item to keep by my side. One of the side effects of the medication I’m on is chills and hot flashes. I have your shawl on my lap right now– it’s never far from my side– I use it all day, every day. I think I’ll bring it to chemo with me too. I don’t know how to thank you, I just love it!”

    Gifts of the heart really do touch people in a special way. Keep on crafting:-).

  • Marie

    I knitted a prayer shawl for a co-worker recently diagnosed with cancer. I was hesitant to give it to her, not knowing her very well or how it would be received, but here is her response to me:

    “I am finally coming out of the fog I’ve been in for the past month and have thought of you often. I was so touched by your lovely gift and couldn’t believe you went to that much trouble. It’s become my favorite item to keep by my side. One of the side effects of the medication I’m on is chills and hot flashes. I have your shawl on my lap right now– it’s never far from my side– I use it all day, every day. I think I’ll bring it to chemo with me too. I don’t know how to thank you, I just love it!”

    Gifts of the heart really do touch people in a special way. Keep on crafting:-).

  • Nancy DeHaven

    We started a prayer shawl ministry at our church an some of the surprises were how the crafters were effected. They all pitched in with the value of prayer woven in the yarns for the benefit of someone in a dark place or to help them celebrate a life event. little did they expect the meditative, calm, healing effected on the crafter. We have so many stories form our group…
    One knitter was part way into a shawl when she receive a call that her son’s family had lost the beloved dog of 16 years. The knitter, upset from the call made a mistake in the weave that she did not notice for a few rows. Rather than ripped out stiches, she made a small tassel and tie it in the mistake and the shawl was given to her son’s family recognizing their loss. A shawl ws given to a woman on the death of her father. Her 7 year old daughter absconded with the shawl after hearing the letter we send with shawls explaining their purpose, and she hid in her room under the shawl with her dolls. Ehen asked what she was doing, she replied simply, “teaching my dolls to pray” Finally the wife of a man who lost his mother confided that he prayed daily with the shawl given to their family and kept it at the bottom of the bed for comfort, Our team recognized high school and college graduates with shawl in their school colors to remind them that our church family keeps them in prayer as they venture out in adulthood. Finally, a desperately ill little girl who spent a lot of time in doctor offices and hospital testing was given a small version and mom & dad report she carries it with her to every appointment.
    All have been blessed through this ministry

  • kozmikaren

    As with other several women in our spiritual center knit and crochet for others in our community – even chemo caps for a local hospital. We know that we are filling our work with love and healing energy – for those who receive the item as well as for ourselves. It’s all part of the “Secret” of life.

    • mrsdof

      I used cotton yarn to crochet a hat for my mother, who is going through chemo treatment for leukemia. She likes to sleep while wearing it, saying the cotton is more soft and does not make her so overheated like the acrylic hats do. So I crocheted 15 hats of cotton yarns for her to take to the treatment center, telling her to put them in the “freebie” bin. This week, I got a Thank You note from the Director of the center, which says the clients love them– the soft cotton yarn is appropriate for weather changes. I believe there might have been also a gentle, tactful hint that more hats would be greatly appreciated. Not sure I should chide my mother for giving out my street address, she was only showing pride for a daughter’s ability and generosity….

  • Dot

    Our church has a prayer shawl ministry that I’ve been a member of for seven years and we’ve made over 600 prayer shawls and we’ve sent them everywhere. Our minister prayers and annoints them with oil to be sent out to whom ever. We also make Oncology caps.

  • kao

    I have knitted several prayer shawls with a local church group since 2007. I have also made some for my senior clients with whom I volunteer and some family friends. I always found it uplifting.

  • Delfina

    I was asked to help out at our church, the Health Ministry wanted to make prayer shawls for the members of the church who were ill. I went in and there were about 8 women who wanted to make the prayer shawls. Well come to find out they didn’t know how to knit. So i taught them how to knit and we are on out way to having prayer shawls for our ill church members. We have taken a prayer and printed it out and all of the members sign the prayer and attach it to the shawl before gifting them to the church members. This has been such a wonderful experience, that all the women want to continue meeting every week and making other items, and continuing the prayer shawls also.

  • Karen

    Thanks so much for this posting. I am in the beginning stages of starting a prayer shawl ministry at my church. With your permission I will use some of these wonderful statements in my publizing of the ministry.

  • Carole

    I am a part of a Pray Shawl Ministry at my church in North Carolina. I love doing this and when I am feeling sorry for myself, I read through the thank you notes from recipients and know that God has touched my life in a special way. As long as my hands keep working I will be a prayer shawl knitter.I

  • Laura

    With the loss of my 21 year old son I felt my soul so empty until someone sent me a beautiful shaw which was like a soothing healing touch in turn I wanted to share this with others so over the last 4 years I have made many homespun shaws thank you

  • Sharon

    When our mother passed away in 2009 in Hospice the staff gave each child a beautiful homemade prayer shawl. It has been the greatest gift of beauty and comfort. We immediately placed them around us and cried because we felt the love and compassion overshadow our sorrow and loss and grief. What a wonderful ministry of giving. Thank you to all who give in such a loving manner to those hurting and in need of a hug. We always keep it close whenever we need a hug and comfort.

  • Sharon

    When our mother passed away in 2009 in Hospice the staff gave each child a beautiful homemade prayer shawl. It has been the greatest gift of beauty and comfort. We immediately placed them around us and cried because we felt the love and compassion overshadow our sorrow and loss and grief. What a wonderful ministry of giving. Thank you to all who give in such a loving manner to those hurting and in need of a hug. We always keep it close whenever we need a hug and comfort.

  • Fran D.

    I have had a long term membership in a women’s therapy group. When I first saw this ministry on Lion’s web site I knew it was what I needed in my life. I have made several shawls for the women in my group. The last one completed was for a Jewish woman who had been raped at gun point several years ago. I knew I needed to pray the shawl making in Hebrew. I went to another friend who is also Jewish. She taught me the Hebrew prayer for healing. It was a powerful shawl for me to make. It was a great lesson to just concentrate on the prayer not the event that led my desire to make it. When the shawl was given I told her I had prayed in Hebrew for her healing. She looked at me and we said the prayer together. This was the one most powerful spiritual experiences of my life.

  • Nancy

    Hi everyone. I have never heard of a prayer shawl before but it sounds like something I would like to do to help others. I’m retired and would like to find a way to use my time wisely. I’m encouraged by reading your comments. How can I find a charity organization in my area that would accept and use the shawls besides asking someone at my church. Thank you

  • Maggie

    Several years ago, I made several prayer shawls for our church. I never knew the names of the people many of the shawls went to. However, the ones who knew me, either sent a thank you note or have talked to be at church about the shawl.
    One day, I realized I was really tired of making prayer shawls. While I liked the concept, I wanted to do something different. I started making “lapaghans” I make them about 36″ by 45″. I felt these were more appropriate for men, those in wheelchairs or bedfast, or those undergoing cemo. The first one I made was for a lady who had been in a terrible car accident. She was only semi-conscious at that time so I knew her husband, who was sitting by her side, was in as much distress as she was. I added a “lapaghan” for him also. He called me after they received their “lapaghans” to thank me and tell me how much they meant to each of them. Since then, I have done a pair for by Uncle (age 97) and Aunt (age 90). Every time I see them, my aunt tells me how much the “lapaghans ” mean to them. I did one for a lady who was dying from ALS and mostly confined to bed. She dictated a beautiful thank you note that her daughter wrote me. After her death, another daughter who was going through a very messy divorce received the “lapaghan”. More recently I have done four for family members who are ill. Two cancer victims, 1 new hip, and 1 multiple problems. Each have called me and cannot complete their thank you without chocking up with tears. They are so appreciative that someone really cares about them. That is when you know you are doing something right.
    What I get most out of making the prayer shawls or “lapaghans” is knowing I am doing something for someone else. It takes my mind off of any problems I might be having at the time.

  • Jo-Ann

    When my grandmother had to leave her home, I knit her a prayer shawl. I wanted to embrace her with love, solicitude and faith – a prayer shawl was the most appropriate gift. So, full of lacy pattern, in her favourite colour and in a wool she never imagined to own, I knit her my love and devotion. Her sight may be failing but she sees so much farther than most of us” when I see her fingers caress the edges of that shawl, my heart glows.

  • Linda Shultz Bowton

    I decided to start a prayer shawl ministry at my church from the very appreciative comments I received after making the first two prayer shawls for a neighbor suffering from pancreatic cancer and a former colleague/kindergarten teacher who helped me my very first year of my teaching career. Both of their families told me of their personal experiences in how much their loved one appreciated their prayer shawls.
    I have always been a ‘gift-giver’, so prayer shawls were the perfect thing way for me in my retirement to 1) satisfy that need, 2) get more involved in my church’s Time, Talent, & Treasure stewardship and 3) make some new friends who share the same values as I do.
    I have about 10-12 ladies who stitch with me. The shawls, made primarily for our parish members, are turned into our church office where Father John blesses them before Sister Agnes takes them with her on her visits to the hospital, nursing homes & retirement communities. A card is included with each one telling the recipient where their shawl came from, that Father John blessed it and who lovingly made it for them. Parishioners can also pick one up at the office at any time. They are stored individually in ziplock bags to keep them clean and easy to transport.
    I have received so many wonderful verbal and written comments too many to mention here. But one sweet lady I made a shawl for has tapped me on the shoulder several times in church to thank me again! I have been greatly blessed sine I befan this minustry!

  • jcochran

    I started a prayer shawl ministry at my small country church, and I have lost count of how many I have made over the past decade. We usually give them to people from our church or their family or friends, but we have also reached out to the community when we have seen a need. I knit or crochet my shawls, and I usually have two or three in progress at a time: one in my car to take to appointments, etc, one at my computer to wait for bootup and some slower programs, one by the sofa where my husband and I watch weekend movies and they turn up in other odd places too! I always make them with a three-stitch theme of some sort to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Granny Stitch is perfect for this for crochet, and I usually make a simple knitted shawl with a three-stitch border which is where the increase is for the triangle shape. These patterns help keep me mindful of my faith and my purpose in making these shawls. A real boost for me personally was the receipt of a couple of reports back from people who received shawls, or from their families, citing real miracles of healing that they attribute to our shawls. What a blessing!

  • Bernadette

    It is amazing the thoughts that run through my mind while working a shawl or cloak (what I call the finished product when the recipient is a male). If the shawl/cloak is for a specific someone, the prayers have a definite direction. If the finished work will go into the stash at church, I find myself praying for a nameless someone and only God knows why. It is a privilege either way, and the response from those who receive the shawl/cloak keeps me in this ministry.

  • J

    my mother used to be a fabulous knitter and when she developed Alzheimers she could still manage squares for some time if I helped to cast on and off etc. After she passed away and we could no longer care for my father at home my daughter, sister and I collected my mother’s squares, some that my daughter had done while she was learnign to knit and some that I had done and made them into a blanket or shawl for my father to take into the care home with him; it helped all of us I think and I like to think that my father could still feel us all with him. when he was wrapped in it. It was perhaps not strictly a prayer shawl but after same idea,

  • BK

    I wanted to share this with some fellow stitchers…I’ve been stitching prayer shawls this year and giving them my local hospital volunteers to give to patients in need of prayer and a hug. ( My goal for this year is a shawl each month. So far I’ve met my goal each month! ) A few days ago I told my mom I was going to put away the crochet and knitting after Christmas to finish some quilting and her response to me was…”but the shawls mean so much to those people”….

  • Junieann

    I belong to a Pray Shaw group of knitters and crocheters, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. There are only a few of us and we have knitted 149 shawls or lap robes for men, in the last 18 months. Today, we placed 6 shawls for the sick of today with people. One of our ladies is talented making lovely hand made cards. Our craft room is busy doing all sorts of hand made hats for the military, etc. I stopped by this evening hoping to find a couple of balls of your Wool Ease Chestnut Heather yarn. Yarn that was donated to us. I have this man’s lap robe 1/2 done and see I am running out of yarn. we attach small silver, charms of crosses or other related charms. Our Pastor blesses all the shawls or lap robes. Wool Ease is a nice yarn for these robes. Thanks for making such wonderful, washable yarns…Sincerely, June P. North Bend, OR.

  • Marilyn

    We have a prayer shawl ministry at church. We meet once a week and our group is called Sisters’ Circle. The bonding between the sisters is incredible. When we finish a shawl it is placed on the altar for the priest to bless it. Then we put them over the pews in the church and encourage people to bless them when they see one and to take them to give away. Some of the older ladies in our church will put one over their laps during the service if the church is too cold.

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  • HospiceNurse1

    Many hospices accept throws, shawls and blankets for hospice patients. One of the nicest things anyone ever did for for the nurses at the hospital was make prayer shawls for the nurses — there are times when this job breaks your heart, and it helps to step into the staff room, grab a shawl, and shed a few tears or get yourself together. Like my first preceptor said, when you lose a patient, everyone in that room gets to mourn, weep, and grieve, except you.

  • EV398E

    I’ve only made prayer shawls for people I know, so far. I intend to make them for others, people I don’t know, but need the comfort. I’ve received one such shawl, from someone who did not know me. I cannot tell you how much that shawl has comforted me, and given me hope. They are powerful and bring hope and comfort where previously there may have been none.

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