Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Christian Prayer Beads (Part 6)

Ranger Rosary
Photo Credit: Project 59 Canada
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

18th Century
The 1800s are marked by the introduction of pressed glass beads. By the middle of the century glass beads were all the rage. Toward the end of this century, the New World was flooded with ships carrying immigrant Catholics and Orthodox believers who brought their beautiful rosaries into the harbors of New York. Most of these rosaries came from Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. {Rosary Workshop}

Modern Rosaries
In 2003, Sargent Frank V. Ristaino founded a group called the Ranger Rosary Ministry. Their organization began sending “rugged combat rosaries” made from combat-zone-safe materials to troops fighting the wart post 9-11. These Ranger Rosaries were fashioned out of dark plastic beads and black crucifixes and strung on black parachute cords. They were distributed by chaplains to service men and women stationed around the world. {Rosary Workshop}

As recently as 2007, the filigree rosaries that made their entrance in 18th-century Austria and Bavaria were still being made in the Bavarian Forest. {Rosary Workshop} Author Kimberly Winston reports that Turkish Christians regularly carry Catholic rosaries or Orthodox prayer ropes {2008}.

The most popular rosaries made today are those dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Our Lady’s Psalter is counted on rosaries of five decades, separated by four ornate Pater beads, culminating in a “drop,” a crucifix attached to a short string of five extra beads (3 Aves and 2 Paters).

Jump to Part 7

1. Encylopedia Britannica Online. “Rosary.” Accessed October 20, 2012.
2. Laning, Chris. “Historical Rosary and Paternoster Beads.” Paternoster-Row website, 2007-2009.
3. Museum of Anthropology. University of Missouri. “Prayer Beads: A Cultural Experience.” Copyright 2011. Last updated October 22, 2012.
4. Prayer Beads World (website). “Prayer Beads in Islam.” Copyright 2008. Accessed October 22, 2012.
5. Roman, Alexander. To Bead or Knot to Bead: Some Historical Considerations. As found on Chotkis website on October 22, 2012.
6. Rosarium, The. “About” Accessed October 22, 2012.
7. Rosary Workshop. “Journaling the Bead: A History of the Rosary.” Accessed October 20, 2012.
8. Winston, Kimberly.  Bead One, Pray Too. New York: Moorehouse Publishing, 2008.

*Clip-art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

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