Thursday, March 03, 2011

Whatever have I been doing?

The answer to that question is "Not much of any interest to anyone but me..."

Sorry about that...

The truth is that I'm working and working and working... and as much as I want a new job, I haven't had time to even think about applying for one. The only time I have is on Sunday afternoon... and I usually spend that asleep.

I work, I go to church on Sunday and to the classes when I can drag myself there... These are from one of the classes on a Wednesday...

They're an Anglican Rosary... We strung them ourselves at the class... my little summary of the class is this... Almost all major religions of the world use some sort of prayer beads, to repeat a prayer or mantra. In the mid-eighties an Episcopal pastor, during one of their study groups, created these, and they've been slowly catching on ever since. To find the complete history of them, and other stuff like suggested prayers and how to make them... go here

Anyway... my church is non-denominational... and the former Catholics were missing their rosaries... for no good reason really, none of the rest of us are stopping them from saying them, but they missed the communal rosaries that are often said in Catholic churches and most of us just don't know what it's all about, and the former Baptists, Methodist, etc... who do know what it's about aren't objecting, they just are most CERTAINLY not praying to the virgin Mary.

The Anglican Rosary or Protestant Prayer beads are a very nice compromise. As you can tell by looking, there aren't as many beads, and they aren't as large as most rosaries that you see. You go through the entire strand 3 times. And while the church has distributed prayers that we will all recite together every Monday during Lent if we choose to participate, there are no hard and fast rules for saying them. You can make up your own prayers. You're kind of expected to actually. So while I have memorised the prayers the church sent out, I made up my own for myself... for several reasons.

1) the prayers the church will be saying during the mass are heavily focused on mercy. The phrase, "Have mercy on me..." is chanted a hundred times during the rosary... and while I'm not perfect, I don't think I need THAT much mercy. I just don't feel that pitiful.

2) The prayers are all directed towards Jesus... which I don't object to by any means... It's just that I had the sudden realization that even though I was definitely raised Christian, our church prayed more to God than Christ. Primarily because, in the New Testament, Christ never said pray to him, but to pray to his Father... and I guess my particular sect took that pretty seriously. Oh, we prayed in Jesus's name a lot, but not too Jesus... kind of a petty distinction, but... still...

3) There are certain prayers and phrases that I remember from my childhood which give me comfort for some unknowable reason. They fit just fine into the beads, and I will use them...

Now... the purpose of the beads is more meditative than anything else... repeating a prayer, mantra, phrase or any word really, can, bring about a very calming state almost like a trance.

Provided it's done right... like one of our assistant pastors pointed out... if you're gonna be like her brothers when they were growing up, and have contests to see who could get through the beads first... well, then don't bother.

Anyway... We made our prayer beads in class, and I got home and started trying to memorise them... and the beads promptly broke. Scattered all over the floor. And my first thought was... "great... now I'm damned to hell."

The cats however were thrilled to no end... and were chasing beads all over the place... and they made a nice maddening high pitched rolling sound on the floor as the cats batted them across the room...

The above pic is a restrung set that I made myself. The cross is from the church beads, the others are hematite and silver beads that I had in my flea market stuff... they look pretty good actually.

So... now that I've gone on and on about some things that most of you probably don't care that much about... I guess I should probably let you go...

No comments:

Post a Comment