A paternoster is the large bead on a rosary that is placed in sequence before the ten smaller ave beads. When a rosary is used for prayer, paternosters are the beads where the Lord’s Prayer is said. The name is derived from the Latin Pater Noster which translates as Our Father, an alternate name for The Lord’s Prayer.
Langdale Rosary in Gold and Enamel with Large Pater Noster Bead, c.1600.
©Victoria & Albert Museum Collection.