A handcrafted rosary makes a wonderful Christian gift for any occasion. While Catholic rosary beads hold a certain sense of mystery for other Christians, they are actually a fantastic tool anyone can use to improve the practice of prayer, and to increase focus while meditating. Here, we’ll share some valuable information about the rosary itself, plus some handcrafted rosary sources.
The Rosary’s History
The rosary itself, as it is known today has remained the same since the fifteenth century. Even the prayers traditionally associated with the rosary have remained the same; and with the exception of the Luminous mysteries, which were added by Pope John Paul II in 2002, the traditional meditation mysteries have remained the same.
The rosary’s history can be traced back to about 290 AD, when hermits used to use sticks and stones to count their prayers. Later, Irish Monks developed a system for tracking the 150 Psalms they would read, sing, and meditate on each day; this system was later developed into the rosary Catholics have been praying for centuries. It’s not surprising that a handcrafted rosary was considered to be a great gift back in those early days, just as it is now.
Using the Rosary to Meditate
While Catholics and some other Christians may prefer to use traditional prayers long associated with Roman Catholic rosaries, it is also possible to use the rosary as a tool for meditation without saying structured prayers.
At heart, the rosary is a devotional tool that can bring one closer to Christ. One can use this contemplative tool simply as a device to provide a tactile sensation in the hands while meditating. This works very well for people who tend to focus better when holding items in their hands or rubbing a worry stone; bring your thoughts, prayers, dreams, and worries to God while holding the rosary, and you’ll find your mind is less likely to wander.
If you maintain a long list of people you pray for, or if you have a tendency to forget your prayers, you can use the rosary as a way to remember each person on your list. Use each bead to symbolize a person, and bring concerns about each to God as you hold a particular bead in your hand. If you’re often busy and forget to pray or if you find yourself stressed out and distracted by everyday concerns, keeping a rosary in your pocket can help you remember what’s truly important.
Where to Get a Handcrafted Rosary
There are a few different places where you can find a handcrafted rosary to keep with you or to give a fellow Christian. Some Catholic bible study groups make rosaries while discussing scripture as a way to keep their minds focused and to keep their hands busy; some Catholic nuns also make rosaries for distribution.
If you like, you can purchase rosaries online; some wonderfully meaningful ones are crafted in the Holy Land by Christians who make religious gifts for a living. Whether you choose one of olive wood or mother of pearl, you’ll find using the rosary regularly can help deepen your connection with the divine.