CHRISTIAN PRAYER WITH BEADS
Below are some pdf files with prayers for Rosaries and chaplets. Before having a look at them it is probably best to say a bit about praying with beads and The Rosary
in general for those who may not have come across Christian prayer with beads before.....The term Rosary comes from the Latin rosarium, meaning garland
or crown of roses. It is the name given to a series of prayers and meditations
that are "Marian" or through Mary. Mary is not worshiped but, through
prayer, we stand with her, participating in her life, specifically
participating in her focus on her Son Jesus. Through Mary, we come to know
Jesus and we share her love of Him.
The prayers are repetitive and mantra like.
They have their origin in scripture. The Our Father comes to us from Jesus when
asked by the apostles to "teach us to pray" and the Hail Mary from
the Gospel of Luke, Elizabeth's greeting to Mary before the birth of Jesus
(with the addition of a intersession asking Mary to pray for us added by the
Popes and possibly composed by a Franciscan Friar).. It is probably worth
saying here that there is a difference between saying a prayer and praying.
Just as there is a difference between speaking and conversing. Prayer, like
conversation, is dependant on the presence of the other, God who participates
in the dialogue that is prayer.
There is a great deal more to say about the
history of the practice of praying with beads and the origin of the prayers but
enough for now to say that the Rosary in popular use was developed by the
Dominican Order of mendicant friars as a way of teaching prayer and the Gospel
in the 14th cent. Other orders also developed Rosaries at that time and these
are still in use today, principally the Franciscan Crown (meditations on the
Joys of Mary) and the Dolour Rosary (traditionally in black or red beads and
meditating on the sorrows of Mary) and The Cramelite Rosary
There are other approved devotions in which
beads are counted in praying a sequence of prayers, which are not Marian and
therefore not Rosaries. The two most popular are the Divine Mercy Chaplet and
The Chaplet of The Way of The Cross.
Now for a bit about prayer in general. I can
only speak with any form of confidence about my life of prayer. Not as a
teacher, just someone in love with God who invests time and soul space to
prayer. Everyone has a way of praying that is as unique as God's love for them
and their relationship with God so what follows may well be of limited value to
you, who reads this. Perhaps the first principal of prayer is a recognition
that God is the primary mover and shaker, not me. Even the desire to pray
comes from God. God who knows what I need better than I do. Given that God is
the instigator, and entering in to prayer is entering into a two way exchange, my
control is, rightly, limited. Control is where the difficulty, and the beauty
lies. Trust is about being comfortable giving control to another and it is not
an easy thing to do. It must be learned. Learned through getting to know the
other, getting to know God. There is no shortcut.
All of the prayers given here are intended to give a context and framework in which prayer can take place. The important thing about them is the prayer, not the beads, however beautiful they are.