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CHAT: Rosaries (was: Ave Maria)

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 28, 2000, 19:53
At 2:09 pm +0200 28/6/00, BP Jonsson wrote:
>At 07:05 27.6.2000 +0100, Raymond Brown wrote: > >>It was in the 11th cent. the words started to be used as a form of popular >>devotion (a bit like a mantra). > >It *is* a mantra, fair and square, as the word actually translates as >"prayer". *We* even use rosaries, you know! There are 108 beads in a >Buddhist rosary -- somewhat fewer in yours I believe.
Depends whether you mean the full rosary of 150+ beads, or the smaller one of 50+ normally used by us lay folks :) The Muslims also have their rosary of 99 beads. The full rosary is now normally used only by certain religious orders where it forms part of their dress. The rest of us, whether lay or not, in fact, normally use the smaller one as since the 16th cent. the common practice has been to recite only five of the fifteen mysteries at any one time. If one wants to recite all fifteen mysteries, then you simply go round your beads three times :) I said above 150+ or 50+ since the beads are arranged in groups of 10, or decades, one for each recitation of a Hail Mary. But the decades are separated, originally with a larger bead, now normally with a single bead of the same size as the others but with a small piece of chaine each side. One of the 'dividers' is now normally replaced by a medallion showing a figure of Mary to which is attached a small piece of change with some extra beads to which is appended a crucifix. It means the small rosary, in fact, has about 60 beads & the full rosary about 160 beads. Thus FWIW the number of Beads in your Buddhist rosary is almost exactly the midway between the number of beads in the small rosary most of Catholics use and the full rosary used by some of our religious orders (and, I have no doubt, by some lay people). Interestingly, if my information is correct, Muslims have a full and short form of their rosary. The full form has, as I've noted above, 99 beads for reciting the 99 names of God which occur in the Koran. But I believe the rosary normally used has only 33 beads as one recites only a third of the names at a time and if one wishes to recite the full 99 one simply goes round the beads three times. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================