Saying the Rosary at Maximum Speed? No Ways!
Fr Ralph de Hahn, Cape Town – There is normally a universal appeal and emphasis on the rosary over October month as we prepare for the Advent season. The popular form, I gather, is to recite the five decades of beads ending with the “Hail Holy Queen”.
There appears to be a different approach and purpose (or motivation) in saying the beads. Of course, the basic question is: do we say the rosary or do we want to pray the rosary? I was interested in recent letters to the editor on this matter.
In reply to the argument that “the rosary took too long to say”, a member of the “knights” came to the rescue declaring — even with a stopwatch, as proof to support the claim — that it took “only 12 minutes max”. That is to say, the 50 Hail Marys plus the Paters and the Glorias.
Now, surely not everyone would want to rush this beautiful prayer because of “more important matters to attend to”. Or am I wrong?
I have always seen the rosary, with its recommended mysteries, to be a meditation on the life of Jesus and Mary as recorded in Holy Scripture. Time is not a factor; it is far beyond time.
It is suggested that we meditate on the joyful, sorrowful and glorious events in the lives of Jesus and his mother. The rosary beads act, somewhat, as a “counting mechanism”. Meditation simply means that we are with Mary when the archangel comes to her, we are with Elizabeth and John the Baptist when Mary calls (and that beautiful Magnificat), we are with the shepherds and the magi at Jesus’ birth (the incarnation), the journey with the Holy Family to meet Simeon in the Temple, and so forth.
Now, with the sorrowful mysteries we actually live the Stations of the Cross, nothing less. With Jesus in Gethsemane, with Pontius Pilate in judgment, we are inside the torture chamber, the whipping, the crown of thorns, on the Via Dolorosa in every event on that cruel journey, Calvary and the meaningful words of the dying redeemer, and so on.
Then, of course, the joy and triumphant song in the glorious news of the Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost and Mary’s crown as the worthy, suffering mother of God’s only Son.
Behold that beautiful prayer called the rosary. “12 minutes max”? No way!