Last week I attended a talk about the Rosary. A Dominican priest, Wes Dessonville, came to Spirit of Christ Catholic Community to speak about the rosary. We learned that in ancient times, pebbles or rocks were used to count the prayers that were being said. In time, the rocks evolved into beads and as they were strung together it became the rosary as we know it today. It was interesting to know that all religions have some sort of bead connected to their prayers. For Catholics, praying the rosary is the most popular devotion to Our Blessed Mother.
The priest mentioned that Dominicans wear a Rosary around their waist and it hangs on the left side with fifteen decades and not the normal five. Around the 1200's when men wore swords, the sword was on the left side making it easier to draw the sword with the right hand. That was the reason he gave for having the rosary on the left side. He did not mention what happens to the left handed knights! As the rosary is said, it is a repetition of prayers and becomes a mantra or chant. One reason for the repetition was that the majority of people were illiterate, yet they could memorize the words to the rosary.
Later, the mysteries were added; joyful, sorrowful, glorious, and luminous. As we pray the rosary we should meditate on the mysteries.
Joyful: Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, and the Finding in the Temple.
Sorrowful: Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion.
Glorious: Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Assumption, Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Luminous: Baptism of Jesus, Miracle at Cana, Proclamation of the Kingdom, Transfiguration, Institution of the Eucharist.
"Through the eyes of Mary we get to God, which is the heart of prayer" was a comment I liked. We then prayed the Rosary and the hum of the voices and the murmur of the group was soothing in a musical sort of way.
About fifty persons attended the interesting talk about the Rosary and I, for one, am happy I was able to learn a little bit more about the Rosary.
"Grant we beg you, O Lord God,
that we, Your servants may enjoy
lasting health of mind and body
and by the glorious intercession
of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin,
be delivered from present sorrow
and enter into the joy of eternal happiness,
through Christ our Lord. Amen."
From Pray the Rosary Booklet