My apologies for not posting this on Friday. St. Patrick’s day threw me off a bit. I hope you all had a great weekend and had fun celebrating this great saint!
Last week I wrote an article about the origin of the rosary. Today I will inform you about what the Scriptural Rosary is and how it may shape the way you use this great prayer in your daily life. Wednesday, will be Part 3 in this series. The 15 promises of Mary to those who pray the rosary. I am very excited about that post!
I wrote earlier about how many believers in the early centuries prayed using beads to count their “Hail Marys” and “Our Fathers”. They did this to model those in the monastic life. During the Dark Ages, monasteries prayed using the 150 Psalms of David. These Psalms revealed prophecies about Jesus’ life through resurrection. Believers could see the beauty and power of these prayers, but many could not join in because of their inability to read. Instead, they would pray 150 “Hail Marys” and/or “Our Fathers” throughout the day to model the monastic prayer. They started by carrying 150 pebbles around to count their prayers. It soon evolved into beads on a string – later known as the rosary.
In the early 1400’s, Dominic the Prussian, applied 50 thoughts about Jesus and Mary to 50 “Hail Marys” – this was the first time anyone had done anything like this. Over the years, Dominic’s way of praying evolved some. By the late 1400’s, Alan of Rupe, a Dominican, founded the first Rosary Confraternity. Through the work of him and the Dominicans, the model of the first Scriptural Rosary was based.
As the world moved into the Renaissance Ages, the Scriptural Rosary became less used. Shorter versions were preferred. It wasn’t until the early 20th Century that a resurgence was seen. Today there are numerous books of the Scriptural Rosary to use as a guide. Each a little different, but the same concept.
So why is this way of praying the rosary important? I’m not sure that extra graces are bestowed on one who prays the Scriptural Rosary over the “regular” type, but I can be sure that your level of understanding and attention are bound to change. If you are like me, and your mind wanders a LOT during prayer, this is a way to redirect your thoughts. Normally, I listen to each mystery when it is read, but by the time I am a few “Hail Marys” into the decade, I wondering what’s for dinner and if the laundry is done. When praying with the scriptural verses, I am reminded of the importance of each mystery and through praying I am able to unfold the stories of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
As stated, there are many versions and guides available for this rosary. I prefer the book shown in this article’s picture, “Scriptural Rosary” by the Christianica Center (copyright 1961 and renewed in 1989). In this book, 197 of the 200 scriptural passages come straight from the bible. Some other versions are just merely thoughts or reflections by the author. The “Scriptrual Rosary” booklet can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Scriptural-Rosary-English-Christianica/dp/0911346163/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490020005&sr=8-1&keywords=scriptural+rosary or at many Christian bookstores. It is also really handy because it can easily fit in a purse, pocket or bag as it is fairly small.
Today the 150 Psalms are still important in monastic life. It does not seem to carry the same importance for lay people. In a world that is on to go and always looking for convenience, less in typically better. I encourage you to try the Scriptural Rosary at least once this Lent. You can google it to find the scriptural passages for each decade and there are also apps available that will pray it for you; perhaps you could listen on your ride to work? It only adds about 5 minutes onto your rosary time and you may just find that you love this version. For me, the rosary no longer feels so tedious.
Have you tried praying the Scriptural Rosary? What are your thoughts? I am thinking of doing a recording of it if readers find that it will be helpful. Please comment below, “like”, “share” and “follow”. Stayed tuned for Wednesday’s post – Part 3 on the Rosary: The 15 Promises of Mary for Those who Pray the Rosary.
Have a great day!