A Gratitude Rosary
If you grew up Catholic, you will be intimately familiar with the Rosary: it’s a set of beads, used by both religious and laypeople to focus on specific prayers. There are five ‘decades’ of ten small beads, separated by larger ones; there are three smaller beads on the end, finished off by a larger bead and the crucifix. Each bead is associated with a particular prayer: the small beads at the tail end indicate three Hail Marys, the large beads are for the Lord’s Prayer, with a Hail Mary for each bead of each decade, and ‘mysteries’ associated with each decade as a group. Oh, and then there’s the Apostle’s Creed at the crucifix, and the Doxology on the spare bits of the chain. It’s all terribly complicated, symbolic, and theological.
I choose to let all that go. The way I use a rosary is easier to remember, and serves the same purpose of getting you into alignment with God or your version of the Divine.
Note: I used to use a hematite rosary on the Catholic model – that is, five decades (50 smaller beads), with a large bead between each decade (five larger beads), plus the three smaller beads and one large bead at the tail leading to the crucifix. That’s 59 beads in total, which was a bit unsatisfying from the viewpoint of sacred geometry. I lost my favorite rosary on a recent plane trip. After my initial dismay, I realized that it didn’t serve me any longer, so I went to ebay and found a colorful crystal Anglican rosary. This has four sections of seven smaller beads, with a larger crystal bead between them, plus one extra large bead at the end with a sparkling light crucifix. Using this rosary feels less like drudgery; I can be more joyful and light-hearted.
Anyway, this is how I ‘tell’ a Gratitude Rosary:
- With the Catholic rosary, I speak the Lord’s Prayer at the larger beads, and for each decade I say “thank You for _______” in the areas of
- (first decade) health including improved eyesight, digestion, vitality, and rejuvenation
- (second decade) wealth, prosperity, abundance, my house, paying my bills
- (third decade) relationships including friends, romantic relationships, family
- (fourth decade) self-expression, meaning Geotran, writing, chocolate, clients
- (fifth decade) things of eternity: divine inspiration, provision, and connection
- The three final beads I dedicate to the Mother, the Son, and the Daughter.
- I finish up with the Lord’s Prayer (again) and any other thanksgiving that comes to me.
The Anglican Rosary has four x seven beads with larger beads between sections and one extra large bead connecting the crucifix, for 33 beads in total – meant to symbolize the years Jesus Christ lived in body. I love the rainbow-colored beads of this particular rosary – it reminds me that what makes us human is our ‘hues’ and also humor.
- With the Anglican rosary, I say a gender-inclusive version of the Lord’s Prayer at the larger (cruciform) beads, then for each section I say “thank You for _______” in the areas of
- (first ‘week’) health including thanks for what is already improving, in the Now
- (second ‘week’) wealth, including all forms of receiving
- (third ‘week’) relationships of any kind, including my relationship with myself and God
- (fourth ‘week’) self-expression, meaning all the ways Spirit works through me here
- The fifth large bead I dedicate to thanking the Mother (for rejuvenation), the Son (for redemption) and the Daughter (for reclamation, wisdom, and forgiveness)
- I finish up with the Lord’s Prayer (again) and any other words of thanksgiving that come to me. (By the way, HERE is a discussion of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic.)
There you have it! This focus on gratitude opens the valve to receiving, and sets the tone or vibration to carry me through the day. Try it and see!
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