30 December 2014

A Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary according to Sarum Use

This formula for the Rosary of the BVM is taken from The Encheiridion, republished in 1860 from the vernacular primer published in London in 1531 by the printer Robert Copeland, who translated it from the French of its original compiler, John Quentyn of Paris.

There were no opening prayers, nor were there any closing words other than “Amen”.  The Rosary is composed for a chaplet of five decades, to be said straight through, and there is a meditation for each of the small beads.  The larger beads at the time served merely as boundaries between decades, the same way beads were placed between knots on Orthodox prayer ropes.

The form of the Hail Mary, or Ave Maria, is that in the primer mentioned above.  This was the same form in the Canon of the Mass in Sarum Use, save that the latter dropped the cognomen “Christ” from the prayer.

From The Encheiridion:

HERE BEGINNETH THE ROSARY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

Virgin!  This golden Rosary to thee I make oblation; which decked with Jesus’ life shall be, rehearsed in brief narration.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom of the Holy Spirit, thou virgin pure conceivedst, when Gabriel’s word, with meekest
bow assenting, thou believedst.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Thou great with him, forthwith didst haste to give thy cousin greeting; he the unborn John inspired and blest at that most hallowed meeting.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

In Bethlehem whom, a Holy Seed, thou didst bring forth with gladness; in that thy wondrous labour freed from human pangs and sadness.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Scion of royal David’s line, new-born thou didst adore him; whose nurturing breast with love
benign a wailing infant bore him.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom in the manger thou didst lay with swathing bands enfolding, and him to cherish, day by day, no pains or care withholding.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom brightest Angels at his birth with laud and carol hailing, praised God; announcing peace on earth, good will and love unfailing.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom wondering shepherds as of all the Shepherd Prince declaring, yet found, a stable mean and small with ass and oxen sharing.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who, as for human kind was meet, enduring circumcision, was called Jesus, name most sweet, in token of his mission.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who was by Eastern kings adored, as homage due they proffered; when him confessing for their Lord, their noblest gifts they offered.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom thou upon the fortieth day in his own House presenting, didst freewill offerings duly pay to Moses’ law consenting.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom safe to Egypt thou didst bear whilst Herod’s rage was swelling; but bring back with maternal care, to Nazareth thy dwelling.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom once as lost thou didst deplore, when from the Feast returning; but in the Temple find once more, ‘midst doctors him discerning.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom thou didst bring up at thy side, due care and toil expending; and for his food and needs provide, his holy childhood tending.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom, when baptized in Jordan’s flood, John, his forerunner, blesseth; and pointing out the Son of God, his glorious Name confesseth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom Satan laboured to delude, with threefold guile assailing; but he the Tempter vile withstood, in wisdom all prevailing.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who erst the water changed to wine, thou for that boon beseeching; so, by a miracle divine, his weak disciples teaching.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who many souls from sin released, with saving power restoreth; and health upon the poor diseased, ofttimes in mercy poureth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who Lazarus and the widow’s son with mighty word did quicken; and back to life and parents won a maid with sickness stricken.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who oft on earth to eat and live with guilty men consented; pleased all their errors to forgive,
If truly they repented.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whose feet the sinning woman laved with tears in deep contrition; whom he in gracious pity saved from her forlorn condition.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Transfigured who, on Tabor’s height, himself with light arrayeth; and clad in robes of glistening white, his majesty displayeth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom Jews in pomp, with palms escort into the Holy City; yet that fame evening set at nought,
reviling without pity.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who washed his own disciples’ feet, at that Last Supper seated; then unto them that noblest meat, his blood and body meted.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

With anxious soul, he many an hour within the garden spendeth; his sweat for sorrow, like a shower of blood, to earth descendeth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

See! wicked foes at that great Feast, with staves and swords assail him; and unto Annas, the High Priest, in bonds a prisoner hale him.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

With shame and spitting, ruffian bands his countenance disgracing, his beauty with relentless hands, and cruel blows defacing.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom unto Pilate’s judgment seat they hurry, there to try him; and with false witness and deceit
most guilefully belie him.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom Pilate, brought forth to the Jews, to Herod’s rule commendeth; who him doth scornfully refuse, and back to Pilate sendeth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Now to the gory pillar bound, n purple robe they dress him; with thorns his noble brow is crowned, with scourges they distress him.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom soldiers, galled with wounds, deride with ribald jests and noises; and Jews all “Crucify Him!” cried, with loud and savage voices.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom Pilate, by his stern decree, guilty of death declareth: Lo I on his shoulders, he, the Tree,
the Cross, for sinners beareth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Him of his garments they denude, to Calvary they hale him; and there, unto the Holy Rood, by hands and feet they nail him.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Where for his torturers he prayed, so vile, with kind compassion; even when in agony he laid
thereon in saddest fashion.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who put all his offence away from that good thief believing, him into Paradise that day to promised rest receiving.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who unto John the Apostle, thee commended for a mother; and him for thine own son to be appointed as a brother.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whom, when in agony he prayed, and all His friends were failing, his enemies with taunts upbraid, blaspheme and wound with railing.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Then as full mournfully he cried, “I thirst,” with vigor wasted, unto his lips by guards applied,
vinegar and gall he tasted.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

So, by his Passion and his Cross, the prophecies fulfilling; and, for our first forefathers’ loss to pay the ransom willing.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Now to his Father’s hands on high his spirit he restoreth; and “Eli,” his last doleful cry, with mournful voice outpoureth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

So thus he slept at last in peace, this death of woe enduring, and entered Hell’s domains, release
for his elect procuring.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

And now behold! his sacred side, the soldier’s spear is rending;  whence gusheth forth a plenteous tide of blood with water blending.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Whose sacred body, stark and dead, down from the Cross they hurry, and in a Sepulchre’s hard bed, new-made and clean, they bury.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who in the morning from the tomb, by his own power arising, roused his disciples from their gloom; thee, too, with joy surprising.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who o’er the stars full mightily to heaven in state ascended, at God’s Right Hand sits gloriously,
rhrough ages never ended.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who on the Day of Pentecost sent down from highest Heaven the promise of the Holy Ghost upon the great Eleven.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who now for thee to glory raised, a blessed rest provideth, at his right hand in honour placed, where he in bliss abideth.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who of the sins of earth shalt come once more the Judge unbending, each work shalt try, and fitting doom assign for years unending.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Who wicked men to endless woe shalt hurl in flames infernal; but on his own elect bestow rewards and joys eternal.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Thy Mother's Rosary of gold, sweet Jesus, we repeat thee; so may thy Father us behold with favour, we entreat thee.

Hail, Mary!  Full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!

Amen.


28 December 2014

Ego sum ("I Am") Chaplet

The Scripture passages used herein are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

The formula for this chaplet focuses on the “I Am” statements attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John.  There being seven of these statements and seven days in a week, assigning one to each day of the week seems like the obvious thing to do.  Rather than meditating on a new thing each decade, the idea is to meditate upon the one statement all the way thru the chaplet.

Oh, yes, the name.  It is Latin for, wait for it…”I Am”.

Opening prayers

Sign of the Cross (Signum Crucis)

In the Name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the TransformerAmen.

Still holding the cross, say:

Preces

V. Lord, open our lips.
R. And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
V. O God, make speed to save us.
R. O Lord, make haste to help us.
V. Glory be to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit:
R.  As it was, is now, and always shall be, forever and ever.  Amen.  Alleluia. 

In Lent, in place of “Alleluia” say: Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

On the large bead say:

Lord’s Prayer

Father, blessed be your name.  May your dominion come and your will be done.  Let your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us.  Give us what is sufficient day-by-day.  Forgive us our debts, as we forgive those indebted to us.  And save us from succumbing to temptation.  Amen.

Or this:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

On the three small beads say, meditating on Faith, Hope, and Love:

Trisagion

Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.

On the chain say:

Minor Doxology (Gloria Patri)

Glory be to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit: As it was, is now, and always shall be, forever and ever.  Amen.

For each decade of beads:

On each large bead, repeat aloud the I Am statement of the day, the same statement on each of the five large beads on that day.

Here are the seven statements from the Gospel of John and their assigned day to be meditated upon while reciting the prayers of this chaplet.  The statements and days were paired on a first-come, first-served basis, so to speak.

Sunday: I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

Monday: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

Tuesday: I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. (John 10:9)

Wednesday: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

Thursday: I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live. (John 11:25)

Friday: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Saturday:  I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit. (John 15:5)

On each of the ten small beads, say:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

On the chain at the end of the first four decades say:

Glory be to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit: As it was, is now, and always shall be, forever and ever.  Amen.

On the chain at the end of the fifth decade, say:

            Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will among all humanity.
            Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
            Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
            For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Close out with the following prayer:

May we love the Lord our God who is the One, both compassionate and merciful, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength.  May we love our neighbors as ourselves.  And may we love one another, Jesus, just as you loved us, for there is no greater calling than to love.  Amen.


26 December 2014

New Mysteries/Life Events for the Rosary

The Scripture passages used herein are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

I agree with JP II; the Mysteries of the Rosary should have more of a focus on the actual ministry of Jesus than just on events bookending his life, because that rather large missing part is what the gospel is really all about.  More focus on the message and less on the creeds.  I’ve included all of his new Mysteries below.

Since the Rosary historically substituted its 150 repetitions of the center prayer for the 150 Psalms of the Daily Office, I think the total number should stay at 150.  These can be used with any form of rosary prayers.

Recent changes:  A set of Mysteries for a five-decade rosary is called a “chaplet”, and I have now broken up the fifteen into three groups of five, with the imaginative names First, Second, and Third.  Also, at the end I added a new chaplet of five to be used on Sundays after Pentecost, though not assigned to any weekday.

First Chaplet

To be said Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays from Advent thru Transfiguration Sunday

1. The Baptism of Jesus
(Luke 3:2-3, 15-16, 21-22)

During the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.  He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; today I have begotten you.”

2. The Wedding at Cana
(John 2:1-12)

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.  He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it.  When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”  Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.  After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom
(Luke 4:16-21; 7:20, 22)

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free to proclaim the year of the Lord’s jubilee.”  And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’”  And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.”

4. The Feeding of the Five Thousand
(Mark 6:34-44)

As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.  When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.”  But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?”  And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.”  Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass.  So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all.  And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.  Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand.

5. Anointing at Simon the Pharisee’s house
(Luke 7:36-44a)

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table.  And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.  She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.”  Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “speak.”   “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?”  Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Second Chaplet

To be said Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays of Lent, including Palm Sunday

6. The Confession of Peter
(Matthew 16:13-17)

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.”

7. The Transfiguration
(Mark 9:2-8)

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,  and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.  And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.  Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three shrines, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.  Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”  Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus.

8. The Cleansing of the Temple
(John 2:13-19)

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.  Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”  His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”  The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

9. The Institution of the Eucharist
(Luke 22:14-20)

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.  He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;  for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”  Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

10. The Crucifixion
(Mark 15:23-37)

And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.  And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.  It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.  The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”  And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”  In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.  When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.”  And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”  Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Third Chaplet

To be said Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays Easter thru Pentecost, and Christ the King

11. The Resurrection
(Matthew 28:1-10)

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.”  So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.   Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

12. The Ascension
(Acts 1:6-11)

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.  They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

13. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
(Acts 1:13-14, 2:1-4)

When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.  All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.  When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

14. The Community of Saints
(1 Corinthians 12:22-27)

On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

15. The Beatific Vision
(Revelation 4:1-11)

After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne!  And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald.  Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads.  Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God; and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.  Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:  the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle.  And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing, “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,  the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Fourth Chaplet

To be said Sundays from Trinity Sunday thru the Sunday before Christ the King

16. On the Sabbath
(Mark 2:23-27)

One Sabbath he was going through the grain fields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.  The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”  And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food?  He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.”  Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath”.

17. Samaritan woman at the well
(John 4:5-7, 9a, 10-15)

So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?”  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?  Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?”  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

18. Healing of the Centurion’s servant
(Matthew 8:5-8, 10, 13)

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.”  And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.”  The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed”.  When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.”  And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.

19. The Woman Caught in Adultery
(John 8:3-11)

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.   When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, sir.”  And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

20. Render unto God what is his
(Matthew 22:15-22)

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said.  So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality.  Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?”  But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?  Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.  Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?”  They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.


Notes:

1) The Baptism:  The older manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke have the reading at the end presented here; it is offered in the source as an alternate reading.

2) The Community of Saints is the fourth of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary as said in the Lutheran churches.

3) The Beatific Vision was the fifth Glorious Mystery for Anglicans when use of the Rosary was first revived in the Church of England and PECUSA in the nineteenth century.

4) I included The Feeding of the Five Thousand because it is the only miracle in all four gospels.

5) I included The Cleansing of the Temple for the same reason.  Strangely, even though it is in all four, church hierarchies tend to avoid it.  Too busy counting money, perhaps.

6) In the earlier version of this, for the Feeding of the Five Thousand, I used the passage from John.

7) Likewise, in the earlier version, I called the fifth mystery, The Great Commandment, with appropriate passages.  I have replaced that with The Woman Caught in Adultery, a story so powerful that one of the scribes copying the Gospel of John stole it from a copy of the Gospel of the Nazarenes.

8) I have also replaced the passage for The Proclamation of the Kingdom.

9) The fourth chaplet is entirely new.

10) I have just switched The Anointing at Simon the Pharisee’s house for The Woman Caught in Adultery, because both stories fit better with the group to which they each now belong.

The Rosary, its history and use across various branches of the Church

The Rosary of the BVM has been included in every manual of devotion for Anglo-Catholics since at least 1853, when the Rosaries compiled for use of the English Church was published in London; it was more popular in PECUSA.  The Rosary was included in The Practice of Religion, an Anglo-Catholic manual first published just after the turn of the century (1908; there were several subsequent editions). 

A much more elaborate formula for its recitation has formed part of St. Augustine’s Prayer Book, published by PECUSA’s own Order of the Holy Cross, since 1947, and distributed by the Forward Movement.  A new edition of SAPB came out in December 2013, a welcome renewal since the former most recent edition was in 1967, and the new edition brings the manual in line with the 1979 BCP.

These devotional manuals are what was known in medieval parlance as “primers”, by the way.

The current Rosary of the BVM

When nearly anyone hears the word “rosary”, this is usually the one meant, the Rosary of the BVM first introduced by the Dominicans.  Before going into the history of how it came to be in this form, it will help to sketch a current picture.

The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first developed by the regular Order of Friars Preachers, for which reason it is also known as the Dominican Rosary, is said on a chaplet five decades of small beads separated by a large bead between them, with a short strand of a large bead, three small beads, another large bead, and a cross at the end.  The purpose of the beads and their arrangement is to keep count.

The entire Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary includes twenty decades divided into four chaplets of five decades each.  Many who have used the Rosary before may be used to just fifteen decades in three chaplets.  In the Roman Church, it has had four chaplets since 2002, the year that Pope John Paul II instituted the fourth chaplet of Mysteries, his reason for doing to provide Mysteries that focus on Jesus’ earthly ministry.

In America, Ireland, and some other countries, the opening prayers before each chaplet (or of the Rosary if saying the entire twenty decades) are the Sign of the Cross (Signum Crucis), the Apostle’s Creed (Symbolum Apostolorum), the Our Father (Pater Noster), three Hail Marys (Ave Maria) for Faith, Hope, and Love, and the Minor Doxology (Gloria Patri).

After these are said, the first decade begins. 

On the large, or single, bead, devotees first name the Mystery upon which they will be meditating while reciting the upcoming decade. 

Then they say an Our Father, leaving off the doxology: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen. 

On each small bead of the decade, they say a Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

While saying the decade of Hail Marys, they meditate on the Mystery they have named.

When you get to the chain, or string, they say the Minor Doxology:  Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

They often follow this with the Fatima Prayer:  O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

Then they proceed to the next decade and repeat.

Upon concluding the final decade, they say the Marian antiphon known as Salve Regina, which is followed with a preci and a collect for the Rosary:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

They usually close out with this exchange:

V. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
R. And let light perpetual shine upon them.

May Almighty God bless us, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Joyful Mysteries are said Mondays and Sundays from the First Sunday of Advent through Transfiguration Sunday (Last Sunday after the Epiphany before Lent).  They are the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation, and the Finding in the Temple.

The Luminous Mysteries are said Thursdays.  They are the Baptism, the Wedding at Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.

The Sorrowful Mysteries are said Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays of Lent.  They are the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging, the Crowning with Thorns, the Bearing of the Cross, and the Crucifixion.

The Glorious Mysteries are said Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Easter Day through Christ the King Sunday.  They are the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of the BVM, and the Coronation of the BVM.

The opening and closing prayers used in America, Ireland, and other places are not universal.  In Rome itself and the Order of Friars Preachers (the Dominicans), for instance, the Rosary opens with a set of preces (versicle and response) instead of the Apostle’s Creed.  The same is true with the end prayers; for instance, in the late nineteenth century, the Irish often ended the Rosary with the Litany of Our Lady.

In fact, much of what many devotees consider officially essential to saying the Rosary is not, in fact.  According to the forerunner of what is now the Roman Curia’s Congregation of Divine Worship at the Vatican, the only essential prayers of the Rosary are the fifteen decades of Hail Marys and the fifteen Our Fathers.  Not even the Minor Doxology at the end of the decade is essential.  Even the specified Mysteries, while standardized under the authority of the Vatican in 1559 (and JP II’s encyclical in 2002), are not necessary; all that is essential on that count is to meditate on an event of Christ’s life while saying the decade.

The reason why only fifteen decades are essential, rather than twenty, lies in the history of the Rosary and how it came to be.

Beginnings of the Rosary in the Western Church

The Rosary of the BVM as we have it today originated in the mid- to late fifteenth century, though legend has it that the form first arose from St. Dominic in the early thirteenth century then fell into disuse.  The form was based on prayer traditions using multiple repetitions of the same prayer, at first the Lord’s Prayer, using knots on a rope to keep count. 

In ninth century Ireland, laity began using a string of beads to keep count of the one hundred fifty Our Fathers they said to mirror the number of Psalms said by regular clergy of convents in the Divine Office.  The form was called “Our Lady’s Psalter” even then.  In the similar practice in the Eastern Church, laity more often used knotted rope. 

The intention was to mirror the 150 Psalms.  In the first couple of centuries, some said 150 Our Fathers, some 150 Hail Marys, some 150 praises to Jesus, some 150 praises to Mary.  By the fourteenth century, brief meditations were attached to each repetition of the primary prayer, there being sets of 50, of 100, and of 150.

A brief (very brief) history of the Angelic Salutation in the West

The Angelic Salutation is better known as the Ave Maria or Hail Mary.  It is also called the Memorial of the Incarnation.

The two verses from Chapter 1 of the Gospel of Luke form the base upon which the modern Ave Maria stands.  In Luke 1:28, an angel (traditionally said to be Gabriel) appears to Mary and says, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee”.  At her visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, after hearing the news declares, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb”.

There are better translations, of course, ones which I in fact prefer, but these are the words as they are most commonly used in the prayer.

Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), the same who sent St. Augustine to what was still called Britain in 597, ordered that these two verses be joined as an antiphon (“Hail, thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with three.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb”) and used on the Feast of the Annunciation, Ember Wednesday of December, and the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

Its inclusion as part of the Little Office of Our Lady introduced its use as a stand-alone prayer in the eighth century, when the Benedictine mother house at Monte Cassino appended it to the end of each Hour of the Divine Office (Breviary).  The Little Office was most likely composed by, or at least in consultation with, St. Alcuin of York, chief liturgist at the court of Charlemagne, who wrote the Votive Masses of Our Lady for Saturdays.

Until around the middle of the eleventh century, the Ave Maria remained solely a monastic vehicle for prayer, or rather, acclamation.  At that time, the Little Office, through its inclusion in “primers” for private lay devotion, became very popular.  Shortly thereafter, those lay persons began adding the name “Mary” to the prayer (“Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb”), a practice which soon spread and became the norm.

The statutes of Odo, bishop of Paris, in the year 1198 enjoined his priests to exhort the people to say daily the Paternoster, the Symbolum Apostolorum, and the Ave Maria.  This may be the beginning of its general use in the West.

By the thirteenth century, most orders had added the Ave Maria after the Paternoster (Lord’s Prayer) in the Divine Office.

In 1263, Pope Urban IV affirmed the Ave Maria with the inclusion of the name Mary, and added the name “Jesus Christ” to the end of it (“Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ”).

By the fourteenth century, two forms of supplication were being added in different places, varied forms of similar petitions: (1) “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.  Amen” vis-a-vis (2) “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour or our death.  Amen”.  This innovation took nearly three centuries to gain official sanction.

In the Sarum Use, the Ave Maria formed part of the opening prayers of the Canon of the Mass, following the Veni Creator Spiritus, the Collect for PurityPsalm 43, the Kyrie, and the Paternoster.  The passages from Luke form the whole prayer. 

Public liturgies began dropping the cognomen “Christ” from the Ave Maria in the early sixteenth century (“Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”), at least from the Canon of the Mass in the Sarum Use.  A vernacular primer published in London between 1528 and 1530, however, still included it in its list of daily prayers and in its Rosary of the BVM.

A Sarum Breviary printed in Paris for an English monastery in 1531 gave the full Ave Maria as we have it today, but a Primer published in England in 1556 gave just the Lucan verses.

Not until the Council of Trent in 1566 did Pope Pius V officially add the petition that forms the third sentence of the Ave Maria as it now stands (“Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with three.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour or our death.  Amen”). 

Given the fact that it is this petition which is the basis of objections to the Hail Mary today, it is ironic that a large part of the impetus for its official inclusion was the objection of Protestants and Reformers in the sixteenth century that the Angelic Salutation, at least in its officially-sanctioned form, was merely a greeting and nothing more.

The Angelic Salutation in the East

Contrary to popular belief, the Angelic Salutation is not just a Western aberration.

Nearly all Eastern translations into English render the first word as “Rejoice!” rather than “Hail!”.  St. Jerome, who translated the Vulgate from Greek into Latin, was far from being a linguistic savant.  The Greek word “Chaire” does mean “Rejoice” just as “Ave” does mean “Hail”.  Where Jerome has “gratia plena”, or “full of grace”, the original Greek has the word “kerecharitomene”, or “favored one”.

In the East, the two sentences from Luke joined as one were used in a regular prayer as early as the fifth century.  In fact, it has been a part of the Liturgies of St. James of Jerusalem, or St. Mark of Alexandria, of St. Basil the Great, and of the Abyssinian Jacobites.  Some Eastern scholars and theologians surmise that its use goes back to the fourth century, or date its introduction to the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431.

In composing his formula for the Sacrament of Baptism in 647, St. Severos, Patriarch of Alexandria, included the prayer thus: “Peace be with thee, Mary, favored one, for the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ.  Holy Mary, Theotokos, pray for us sinners.  Amen.”  This is the first instance known of a petition being added to the end of the Angelic Salutation, but it never spread in the East.

As early as the sixth or seventh century, the name “Mary” was added in various places, in others the whole salutation/prayer was preceded by “Theotokos Parthenos”, with the prepositional phrase “because you have borne Christ, Son of God, the Savior of our souls” after.

The standard form used in the Eastern churches today, in English, is: “Rejoice, Theotokos Parthenos, Mary favored one, for the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, which hast borne the Savior of our souls.  Amen”.

Or an English language version a few decades older:  “O Hail, Mother of God and Virgin, Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou has given birth to the Savior of our souls.  Amen.”

On the title “Mother of God”

I did not translate the Greek word “Theotokos” above for the simple reason that it has no real equivalent in English.  Or in Latin, for that matter, for which Jerome can be forgiven.  His attempt to render an equivalent, “Mater Deus”, does mean “Mother of God”.  In Greek, however, that would be “Meter Theou”; some still translate Theotokos that way.  Another attempt at translation is “God-bearer”, though this in Greek is actually “Theophoros”, a title used in many of the Eastern churches in addition to Theotokos.

The best and most accurate translation is “Birth-giver to God”.  This is not the same as actually being a mother to the newborn.  It has the connotation more of “surrogate mother”, though such things were not even possible in the fifth century so none of even the most accomplished of theologians could explain exactly what they meant.

Speaking of the fifth century, that is when the title “Theotokos” was officially given to Mary by the whole Church Universal, at the Council of Ephesus in 431.  A large part of the reason this came to be was that the Nestorians, against whom this ecumenical council was primarily called, had taken to using the title “Christokos”, because their leader Nestorius, sitting Patriarch of Constantinople, felt the title Theotokos compromised the divinity of Jesus. 

Nestorius’ chief opponent, and chief rival for leadership of the Church in the eastern half of the Empire, Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, was also responsible for stirring up the mob which pulled the pagan philosopher and noted scientist Hypatia from her chariot, dragged her naked through the streets of the city, flayed her alive at the basilica, and then burnt her body.  And before that, Cyril had inspired the crowd which burned the famous Library of Alexandria.

The word “Parthenos”, by the way, simply means “Virgin”.

The Carthusian Rosary

Toward the end of the fourteenth century, a Carthusian monk named Henry Kalkar divided the 150 prayers into fifteen decades, to be said on a chaplet of five decades.  Elsewhere, another Carthusian monk, Dominic of Prussia, assigned a verse of Scripture to each bead of an entire chaplet, making fifty Mysteries in all.  This form, still used by the Carthusians, is called, naturally, the Carthusian Rosary or the Life of Christ Rosary. 

The Carthusian Rosary is very flexible and adaptable, and it is not even considered necessary to say all fifteen Hail Marys, which in this case lack the petitionary third clause.  In place of this third clause, which in any case did not exist at the time this formula was composed, a meditation or theme is added at the end of the Memorial of the Incarnation, followed by an Alleluia.

Usually, the whole rosary begins with an Our Father and ends with the Minor Doxology, after which this prayer is said:

Oh Immaculate, ever blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God; oh Temple of God, the most beautiful of all temples; oh Doorway of the Kingdom of Heaven through which the whole world has been saved, do hear me mercifully, and become by sweet protectress, for me a poor and wretched sinner.  Be my help in all my needs.  Amen.

The Dominican Rosary

In 1483, an anonymous Dominican friar published a booklet called Our Dear Lady’s Psalter, which reduced the number of mysteries to fifteen, the same as those of the Joyous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries, except for the last two, which in this case were “The Assumption and Coronation of Our Lady” and “The Last Judgment”.

In 1521, another Dominican, Alberto de Costello, assigned a major Mystery to each decade while retaining individual meditations for each bead.  Around the same time, the Gloria Patri was added to the end of each decade.

The Rosary’s Joyous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries were formalized by the Vatican in 1569, more than a quarter century after the separation of the Church of England from the Church of Rome.

In the nineteenth century, different prayers began to be appended to the end of the Rosary of the BVM.  Though the Salve Regina is now the standard, though not official, closing devotions, in the nineteenth century it was still anything but.  In the Philippines, for example, Salve Regina was sung before the Rosary rather than after it.  As late as 1883 in Ireland, each chaplet of the Rosary was often concluded with the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.  It only became standard in the very early twentieth century.

The Fatima Prayer (“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.  Amen.”) became part of the recitation common across the world after 1917 (the year of the supposed appearances at the town in Spain).  When used, it follows the Gloria Patri at the end of each decade.  It is not, however, and officially instituted part of the Rosary and the Jesuits, for example, always omit it.

In the Roman Church, the recitation of the Rosary usually concludes with the Salve Regina, with the collect after its versicle and response in form presented above replaced by the following:

“O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by his life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.”

In 1973, the National Council of Catholic Bishops in the U.S.A. (now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB) sent out a pastoral letter on Mary that approved of the composition and use of new mysteries for the Rosary and encouraged experimentation.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical instituting the Luminous Mysteries as part of the Rosary in order to have a chaplet, as a single five-decade set is called, focused on the earthly revelatory ministry of Jesus.

A Brief History of the Rosary in the Anglican Communion

That devotees used a form of the Rosary is demonstrated by manuals for private devotion such as The Encheiridion, published from 1528 to 1530.  A primer published in London translated from the French in which it was compiled was published under that name in 1531.  The last devotion before the appendix is “The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin”.  

This Rosary follows the older formula of having separate meditations not for each decade but for every small bead.  Even its themes or meditations are virtually the same, though longer.  The main difference is that where the theme is appended to the end of the Angelic Salutation in the Dominican Rosary, in the case at hand, the Hail Mary comes after.

After the meditation is read on each bead, devotees said the Hail Mary thus:  “Hail Mary! full of grace, the Lord is with thee!  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ!”.  At the end of the decade, devotee said the Our Father, the Apostle's Creed, and another Hail Mary.  There were no opening or closing prayers.

The practice of saying the Rosary as we know it today returned to the Anglican Communion via the Church of England during the Oxford Movement that began in the 1830’s.  It wasn’t until 1853, however, that one of its adherents published a devotional manual for Anglicans which included the Dominican Rosary, called Rosaries compiled for the use of the English Church

In this 1853 primer, the last two of the Glorious Mysteries—the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary—were changed to the Triumph of the Church in the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints (Church Triumphant for short) and the Consummation of the Bliss of the Saints (Beatific Vision for short), respectively. 

The first Rosary in the primer is called the Rosary of the Psalter, and was intended to be used for all fifteen Mysteries at once.  In place of the Ave Maria (Hail Mary), the manual here substituted the Pater Noster (Our Father).  Each decade was preceded with a scriptural passage relating to the Mystery in question and concluded with the Gloria Patri and a collect tailored to the mystery just meditated upon.

In addition to that rosary and the Rosary of the BVM or Rosary of St. Dominic, the Rosaries compiled for the use of the English Church also included rosaries of the Most Holy Trinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, of our Lord’s Passion, of the Heart of Jesus, of the Faithful Departed (two of these), and two Eucharistic Chaplets.

In its introduction, the 1853 primer suggested the Roman Ave Maria may be substituted by the Eastern Orthodox version Theotokos Parthenos, giving the following version:  “Hail, Virgin Mary, Mother of God, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, which gave birth to the Savior of our souls.”  The text I provided above comes from Eastern Orthodox sources.

For its own version of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, however, the manual simply omits the petitionary second half of the Ave Maria.  Each of the three sets of Mysteries, called Chaplets by the 1853 primer, concludes with the Angelus.

The devotional manual The Encheiridion mentioned above was republished in 1860.

The Practice of Religion, first published in 1908 in London and New York City, follows the 1853 Rosaries in its listing of the Glorious Mysteries in its Catechism section, but in the section instructing the reader how to say the Rosary uses the Roman Catholic originals.  It offers no alternate form of the Hail Mary and concludes with the Salve Regina.

St. Augustine’s Prayer Book, first published in 1947,  gives no alternate to the names of the last two Glorious Mysteries anywhere.  It also adds the seasonal Marian Antiphons from the Daily Office in the Roman Church to the end of the Rosary.

Other historic rosary-based prayers in the RCC

In approximately 1198, the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives began saying the Rosary of the Holy Trinity on a chaplet of three groups on nine beads.  The prayer around which the chaplet was structured is the Trisagion.

In 1233, the Order of the Servants of Mary, known as the Servites, instituted their rosary known as the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.  The form is used with a chaplet of seven decades.

In 1422, the Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscans) established the Rosary of the Seven Joys of Our Lady, also known as the Franciscan Crown.  This rosary is said with seven decades of Hail Marys, bookended by an Our Father and a Minor Doxology, with two more Hail Marys added at the end.

In 1851, the Vatican approved the Chaplet of St. Michael, consisting of nine groups of three small beads separated by a large bead.  The prayers used are the Paternoster and the Ave Maria.

In 1912, the Order of the Visitation instituted the Rosary of the Five Wounds, said on a chaplet of five decades but with different prayers.

In 1935, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy instituted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, said on a chaplet of five decades but using special prayers.

In 1983, the visionaries at Medjugorje, Croatia, introduced, or revived, a form known as the Jesus Rosary.  This consists of seven meditations of five beads each, before which the mystery and intention are said aloud, followed by five Our Fathers, concluding with this collect: “O Jesus, be strength and protection for us”.  At the end, seven Minor Doxologies are said.

There’s actually dozens of these.

Divine Mercy Chaplet

Established in 1935 in Lithuania, this chaplet uses a traditional rosary but has short prayers that have been specially written, the English translation of which is copyrighted by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, one for the large beads and another for the small beads, with the Trisagion at the end with the conjunctive phrase “and the whole world” added onto the end of the traditional petition.

There are optional opening and closing prayers also.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is used by some Episcopal religious (certainly the Society of Saint Anthony, a Franciscan order which recommends it along with the Rosary of the BVM and other private devotions to its members), and there is an Anglican Divine Mercy Society.

The first Sunday after Easter, often called Low Sunday, is called by devotees of this prayer practice Divine Mercy Sunday.

Orthodox Rosary

Yes, there is an Orthodox Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, not as common among Orthodox as the Rosary of the BVM is among Roman and some Anglo-Catholics, but it exists nevertheless.  And it uses similar prayer forms and can be said using a five-decade chaplet designed by St. Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833), who said he was merely reviving an Eastern practice from the past. 

The Mysteries are somewhat similar to the Western version, but more focused on Mary.  The fifteen mysteries are meant to be said all at one time all the way through.

For each decade, the Mystery is named:

1- The Birth of the Theotokos
2- The Presentation of the Theotokos
3- The Annunciation of the Lord's Birth
4- The Meeting of the Theotokos and St. Elizabeth
5- The Birth of the Lord
6- The Prophecy of St. Simeon
7- The Flight into Egypt
8- The Boy-Christ among the Doctors
9- The Wedding of Cana
10- The Crucifixion of the Lord
11- The Resurrection of the Lord
12- The Ascension of the Lord into Heaven
13- Pentecost
14- The Dormition of the Virgin Theotokos
15- The Crowning of the Theotokos by the Blessed Trinity

Then the Eastern version of the Angelic Salutation is said for the ten knots:  “O Hail, Mother of God and Virgin, Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast given birth to the Savior of our souls.  Amen.”

Each decade is followed with an Our Father and the following: “Open unto us the door of thy loving-kindness, O blessed Mother of God, in that we set our hope on thee, may we not go astray; but through thee may we be delivered from all adversities, fix thou art the salvation of all Christian people”.

For this prayer, some substitute the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”).

After these, a collect about the mystery just meditated upon is said.  There were more than one set written, but for the most part it was up to the individual to personalize.

It continues through all 15 mysteries.

Though there is some resistance to its use, especially in America, where many Orthodox shun it because of its Roman association, use of the Rosary as above is growing throughout the Eastern Orthodox churches.

Orthodox Prayer Ropes

These come in designs of 100 knots separated by one or two beads every 25 knots; a rope of 50 knots separated by a bead every 10 knots, a design similar to a typical Roman rosary, and a rope of 33 knots, often separated by a bead every eight knots with an extra above the tassel.  Speaking of which, instead of a cross, the Orthodox prayer ropes have a tassel.  They are used to pray the Jesus Prayer, one hundred repetitions at a time.  With the hundred-knot version, you go around once, with the fifty-knot version twice, with the thirty-three-knot version, you go around three times and then add one on the tassel.  The thirty-three-knot version is the normal, and nearly all Orthodox regular and most of the secular clergy wear it on their left wrist.

Though many still use prayer ropes, more often now strings of prayer beads are used.

Lutheran Rosary

This is of special interest to me as an Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian because of the PECUSA’s partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) in Project Canterbury and because of PECUSA’s intercommunion with ELCA.

There is no “official” Lutheran Rosary, but one form is dominant, used by Missouri Synod and ELCA Lutherans.  They usually begin the Rosary with only the Sign of the Cross; in some places the Apostles’ Creed follows.  On all the large beads, they recite an Our Father, with its doxology usually added in Protestant circles.  On the small beads, they recite the Jesus Prayer.  After the decade, they recite the Minor Doxology. 

While they say each decade, they meditate on Mysteries that are the same as those of the Roman Catholic Rosary of the BVM, except for the two last Glorious Mysteries, which is the Lutheran version are (4) The Community of Saints, and (5) The Heavenly Jerusalem.  These two are almost identical with those placed in that spot in the 1853 Rosaries compiled for Use in the English Church:  (4) The Church Triumphant, and (5) The Beatific Vision.

At the end, then they recite the Hail Mary, but leave off the third supplicatory sentence.  Usually, this is followed with the Magnificat.  Lastly, devotees recite the following prayer, written by Martin Luther: “O Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, what great comfort God has shown us in you, by so graciously regarding your unworthiness and low estate. This encourages us to believe that henceforth He will not despise us poor and lowly ones, but graciously regard us also, according to your example.  Amen.”

The ELCA has another, specially-designed rosary intended for Lenten use, with a cross, a large bead, and three small beads leading to a circlet of forty-two beads in groups of one large and six small beads.

A Swedish Lutheran pastor named Martin Lonnebo created yet another Lutheran rosary he calls the Pearls of Life.

In 1999,  a Lutheran man married to a Catholic woman introduced the Ecumenical Miracle Rosary, used on a standard five-decade rosary.  It begins with the Apostles’ Creed and the Our Father, then uses prayers he wrote.  On the large beads, a prayer he wrote based on the Great Commandment is said.  On the small beads, a prayer based on the Great Commission is said.  At the end of the whole chaplet, the Jesus Prayer is said.  There are three sets of five Miracles, grouped by theme.

Anglican Chaplet

This was developed by a prayer study group at a PECUSA parish in Texas.  Its thirty-three bead pattern—four groups of seven-bead “weeks” separated by four “cruciform” beads, with a cross and an invitatory bead—was designed by The Rev. Lynn Bauman of the Church of the Good Shepherd parish in Cedar Hill, TX.  Essentially, it is the 33-knot Orthodox prayer rope turned into beads, with five of the “knots” made differently.

As most often used, it begins with the Sign of the Cross, followed by the preces from the Daily Office on the invitatory bead, then proceeds with the Trisagion on each cruciform bead and the Jesus Prayer on each bead of the following week.  Do this three times, then say one more to make one hundred, mirroring exactly the practice of Orthodox prayer ropes.  Finish with the Lord’s Prayer.

One later variant substitutes the Our Father on the cruciform beads and ends instead with the Priestly Blessing.

The Society of St. Francis, the Anglican Communion’s main Franciscan order, uses the Anglican Chaplet, but uses it instead for what they call the Angelus.  On each of the cruciform beads, they say one of the following, in order:

1. The angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary; and she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
2. Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.
3. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
4. Pray for us O Holy mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

On each of the weeks beads, they say the Hail Mary.  They use no closing prayers.

King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia, offers several formulae for prayers to be used with the Anglican prayer beads.

The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Shelby, North Carolina, a progressive parish which stresses its inclusivity, offers an Anglican chaplet of five weeks instead of four, and uses most of the same prayers (including the full Hail Mary) and Mysteries as  the Roman versions, only its last two Glorious Mysteries, like those of our Lutheran cousins, are different:  “Reconciliation of the World to God” and “Prophetic Witness to the World”.

Current Use of the Rosary of the BVM in PECUSA

Most of PECUSA’s sixteen traditional orders and eleven Christian communities use the Rosary of the BVM as part of their regular worship and contemplation.  The same is true in the rest of the Anglican Communion.  It is also a staple of Anglo-Catholic spiritual life and has been since nearly the beginning of the Oxford Movement in the 1830’s.  Which is true even more so for PECUSA than the rest of the Communion because while England may have been its birth-place, America was strongest base for the Catholic Revival.