01 December 2010

Praying the Rosary

I'm not a religious person, but I have a collection of rosaries. (Plus one Eastern Orthodox cross, but we'll get to that in a moment.)

I was raised Presbyterian and am currently practicing nothing unless you count watching classic Star Trek every Sunday morning as some sort of Gene Roddenberry worship (he was, after all, known as The Great Bird of the Galaxy.) But I have always had a fascintation with the liturgy and history of the Roman Catholic church and I was a great admirer of Pope John Paul II. My collection started when a friend and her husband traveled to Rome for their honeymoon, waaaay back in 1998. When they asked me what I wanted for a souvenir, I replied A rosary from Vatican City! That's the white one on the right.

My collection quickly grew from there.
Interestingly enough, all of these rosaries were gifts as well and I've never visited any of those sites. I did, though, have the joy of walking into St. Patrick's cathedral in New York City. But the dark red rosary in the lower right corner isn't from there. I bought that at the original St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, located on Mulberry Street. Ty-man and I were trudging back to our hotel from a dinner in Little Italy and we walked into their beautiful church. Inside the gift shop we spoke to the woman there about rosaries, 9/11, and Little Italy. She sold me my St. Therese rosary (that still, to this day, smells of roses - appropriate since St. Therese is known as "The Little Flower.") and I love taking it out of its box and smelling the rose scent.

The funky, colorful rosary in the lower left corner is my Bonaire rosary. I purchased it in Bonaire and it makes me smile because whenever I see it, I think of Carnivale and the color of my favorite underwater world. I think if I were Catholic and prayed the rosary, I would use this one to put me in a good mood.

Finally, there's my Eastern Orthodox cross. When my friend Eva and her husband returned to their native Bulgaria for a three-week visit this past September, she asked me what I would like as a souvenir. Without thinking, I responded A rosary! But then, I remembered that's just a Roman Catholic thing, not an Eastern Orthodox thing. Eva replied I'll think of something. She came back with a simple Bulgarian/Eastern Orthodox cross from the Holy Trinity Monastery at Cross Forest, Bulgaria. And I love it. I think it's the perfect addition to my collection.

Anybody got any Buddhist prayer beads they want to mail to me? Yeah, I think I need help.


Dave2 said...

Yes. Yes I do. I'll bring them with me my next trip to Atlanta! :-)

Grant said...

Rosaries are cool because, in a pinch, you can use them to strangle people. Plus which they don't look anything like anal beads, so you can put that thought right out of your mind.

Unknown said...

I should never read comments that have been left by others. I just shouldn't.
I had something witty to say about the Pearly Gates and St. Peter and stuff - waving you thru and everything - but then I read Grant's comment and that whole "Anal Beads" thing just threw me off my game and I lost my train of thought and now I'm stuck with this visualization problem for the rest of the day.

Megan said...

I used to have a rosary blessed by the pope (I believe it was the one before John Paul II); I have no idea what happened to it.

Very cool collection. I can hear them clicking now...

Annie said...

Since Dave2 has you covered with Buddhist beads, how about Muslim prayer beads from Cameroon? If I can scavenge a set from Tim, that is.

sybil law said...

Rosaries are actually really pretty, though.
Plus, they can't hurt, right?!

hello haha narf said...

i have very old rosary beads from way back in our family. wish i knew details about them. the plan is to make a shadow box with them and an old tiny family bible. except i don't know squat about securing stuff in shadow boxes.

i love that you mentioned st. therese. mom loved her...said she felt some sort of connection to her. when mom died i wanted to put those little cards out and told the funeral dude they should have st. therese on them. he showed me what he was going to print and i hollered, "THAT AIN'T HER! WHERE'S THE ROSES??!?!!" for a girl who knows very little about the saints, i knew the roses thing and impressed the hell out of my aunt who was with me. anyhow, it made me feel good today to know you have those rosary beads. mom's birthday was the 24th and i've just been feeling kind of weird. somehow you sort of smoothed me ruffled feathers.
love to you.

Expat No. 3699 said...

I don't know if I can find a rosary in India, but if there's something else you want me to look for shoot me an email.

Miss Britt said...

The act of praying the rosary is one of the most calming things, for me.

And I have a rosary that smells like roses, too. The story of The Little Flower is pretty incredible. Look it up sometime. :-)

Michael from dadcation.com said...

If I pray, it's going to be to something or someone more powerful that beads. But I'm weird like that.

RiverPoet said...

I have Buddhist prayer beads and a rosary, too. I converted to Catholicism in 1994, when both of my kids were confirmed. Sean also had his first communion and baptism all at the same time. In his little Asperger-y way, he went back through the communion line unnoticed because he liked the crackers and wanted seconds. :-)

The one time he ever asked me for the rosary beads was when his sister was very sick in the hospital with pneumonia. She was in ICU. He was so worried, that he came to me and asked me how to pray the rosary. I gave him the beads and the little book that came with them. I helped him get started and then he wanted me to leave the room so he could focus. The next day, Stephanie was transferred out of ICU. I don't know if it was the power of prayer or the purity of his unassailable love for his sister that brought her back from the brink that time. I like to think it was the latter.

Neither of the kids was very interested in religion, particularly, and I became a backslidden Catholic (having already been a backslidden Baptist). I later got into Buddhism, which is still a philosophy that appeals to me. And, like you, I love the symbology of it all.

Peace - D

marty said...

We don't have rosaries in Judaism. (That gets me off the hook from having to get you a souvenir although I do have something from my circumsicion, but that would be wrong)