Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Rosary Express

On Sunday the children and I were asked to be involved in the Annual Rosary Pilgrimage in our Parrish. This was the third year we had been asked to be involved.
As it is too much for us to complete the whole day we usually attend the part at Our Lady Of Lourdes where we attend Mass each week.
So we join in here at 3:00pm for the Divine Mercy Chaplet and then the Rosary.

The children had been asked to bring in the statue and the candles leading the procession into Church. I will not bore you with the details about some of us being late and missing some of the Chaplet, although the reason we missed it has relevance in this story.
The reason for this post is the frustration our family feels in saying the Rosary in a group.
As we only came into the Catholic Church almost 3 years ago we have not been involved in group/public Rosaries much.

In fact we had taught our selves to say the Rosary even before this using only pamphlets to help us get started.

We had been for many years due to our Anglican upbringing and background participating in many of the feast days and customs of the Catholic Church. It was only the Rosary that we added along with wearing of the Miraculous Medal and the Scapular when we became Catholic.
Well, these are significant but not in the way I am trying to convey.
When we taught ourselves to say this as a family, which we mostly do on a daily basis, (We do lapse every so often but try to get re-established back into routine), we have always recited the whole rosary aloud together. We know now that you take parts but our family culture still likes to say it aloud together.
We do however announce the mystery, have a little blurb on them and announce the fruit of the mystery.

The problem we have with group Rosary is they seem to skip prayers (which I am told is OK) but mainly it is the speed at which the Rosary is said. This, I believe does NOT allow for any meditation on the Mystery at ALL. At first we thought it was just a local problem but Stephen assures us it also happens where he is too.

My question is:
Why would you bother saying the Rosary at all? There is no time to contemplate on anything, in which case why bother?
By rushing through this beautiful meditative prayer you miss the beauty of it. You miss the symbolism of it. You miss the conversation you could be having through the prayer.
I am at a loss to understand why people do this and why it is socially acceptable. Yes I know people have schedules to keep, but if a job or prayer is worth doing, it is worth doing properly.
Our children have said they do not want to participate in public rosary again as they do not want to say "The Rosary Express." This is such a pity for them as I think it could be done so beautifully and we have as a family developed an attachment for this mode of family prayer.

We have found it a lovely way for our little ones to go to sleep as we pray the Rosary. Many times we have had to carry up 2-3 sleeping children who have fallen asleep with these lovely words for a calming nights sleep.

As I write this I am finding I am more deeply affected by this than I thought. I cannot believe that Our Lady would be happy to hear her prayer said in such a "get it done" mentality.

Having said that I do think the Pilgrimage a wonderful idea and I am glad that we have the opportunity to be in a community that allows us to be involved. I just would have liked it to have been more reflective and contemplative. is that too much to ask?

Here are the only pictures we were able to get as everything was packed up and whisked away before we could get very many.
Autumn, Vellvin, Eden, Rogan, Saxon and Moran (in front.) These are our children who carried in the statue of Our Lady and the candles.
On the way out, most of the congregation had already left before the Procession
The organiser always wants a photo of our family in front of the Statue, we have yet to work out why this is.
Everyone who was present for the Rosary Pilgrimage on the 18th October 2009.

The beautiful Rosary images are actually Anne's own beautiful work. She is a beautiful craftsman of these. I have a lovely St Anne Chaplet I got for Christmas last year. Anne is a beautiful designer and I am saving up for a full Rosary soon. So if you are looking for beautiful quality Rosaries this is the place to go.



elm said...

I understand your frustration!! I can also relate this to family before meal prayer with my husband's large extended family. When our children were much smaller and we would go for a large family meal, their eyes would widen with such shock as this prayer, "Bless us, oh Lord..." was rattled through with such speed that it was hard to understand what was even being said! Our children are interested in learning many prayers and we have learned quite a selection of mealtime prayers that we say at our home together in a way that is meaningful to all of us. The littlest one loves prayers that can incorporate any kind of hand motions! Anyway, when any of that side of the family comes to visit our house, it is interesting, because if we say the meal prayer that we all are taught and know - "Bless us, oh Lord..." then we are so slow and the guests are rattling through and realize that they have left us in the dust, so to speak, at OUR home!! They usually stop and fall in where we are and continue much more slowly as we are - but with sometimes some obvious irritation.

I so dislike feeling that prayer is an "obligation" and something to rattle through to "get it done." It is an "opportunity" to realign our hearts and remember what is truly important and to thank and praise our God - as well as to ask for blessings. But, it seems that the thanks and praise are so often shot through at warp speed.

Karen said...

Hi, Gae,
I'm so glad you stopped by! No, I did not make the appliqued heart quilt. I have never done applique work, but I have made a few quilts and lapquilts. You have a very lovely blog! I hope to get to know you better. Blessings~ Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi Gae,
What a wonderful photo of your family!

Amber said...

Hi, Gae,
Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving me a comment. Your blog is very pretty! I love your header!

Anonymous said...

HI Gae

I like your term Rosary express. We do several decades each night as it is October and my son whit autism can do th hail Mary and Our Father but we rattle them off sometimes. However I have been told that the mediative effects of event rattling them off can put your mind to reflecting on things. I often think of the old saying the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak applies to most of us when it comes to long prayers. I often say th erosary in bed last thing at night before I nod off and the cat has a lovely time sitting on me purring. She makes for a quiet pleasurable rosary companion


Anonymous said...

what a beautiful heartfelt post Gae . I can only mange a decade per day with children . I get impateint just like the kids . I am in my work as intercessor very much a silent alone prayer person so any public prayer is extremely hard for me and very distracting . That said I beleive it is also a good social teaching for our children there are times we pray do things publicly and together like singing God Save the Queen or at church the Apostles Creed etc. we do rosary at church before mass each sunday as a congregation .I have to say I have to pray silently along for as soon as I join in I even say the wrong part of the hail Mary at times . Some of us are actually called to silence more so than others and thats ok too .
To fall asleep I learned and have taught my children to just pray one hail Mary . And it works one will not even remember what happened after recieting the prayer :-)
My dear friend Mary purchased a olive tree rosary from the shrine of Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky . When we arrived home my ds13 showed me Mary had given it to him ! I think no matter how frustrating , what is important is the efforts we make .It really leads for our children to then respond in healthy holy ways .
Personally I can take 40min praying my rosary I haven't a clue how some people pray this in 15-20 min lol to each his own I guess .


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