tisdag 21 maj 2013

Saying the Rosary without falling asleep

The pilgrimage from Skänninge to Vadstena  Saying the Rosary is a good way to get to sleep. In fact, I normally fall asleep when trying to say the Rosary. I rarely get past the first decade. There is something in favour of this if you are trying to sleep. It is safer than tablets, and if it did not work you will have prayed the Rosary, so you win either way, but it is not the point of the prayer. I have now found a solution to the problem.

On Ascension Day I went with a group to Skänninge and after Mass in the church there, we walked to Vadstena, about 12 miles away. Ending at the shrine of St Birgitta, this was a pilgrimage organised by Kardinal Dante-Sällskapet, which was set up by priests from the Institute of Christ the King (IKC) to promote the Tridentine Mass in Sweden; it has the support of the Bishop. Fader Marcus Künkell led the pilgrimage, and on the way, we prayed all fifty decades of the Rosary. So there was no falling asleep even though it was after lunch. The conclusion is to say the prayer whilst walking, which is presumably one of the uses to which monastic cloisters were put.

I learned one further thing. IKC are keen on Latin and so we prayed the Rosary in Latin. It took a while to remember without having to look at the paper sheets with the text on, which had been handed out. Now I have never been too keen on the Rosary in English. One difficulty is that it is too easily said in an Irish accent, or worse still, a parody of an Irish accent. There is also the difficulty with the word "hail" which is what Londoners to when they want to pick up a taxi in the street.

Then I took the trouble to learn it in Swedish but now it has been changed and I cannot remember the new translation. I do not go along with the idea that God only understands prayers if they are said in Latin, or Hebrew or some other special language, but the Latin does have a particular quality which is certainly of help to the one saying the prayer. I recommend giving it a try. The Latin text of the Rosary, the Fatima prayers and the prayers to St Michael can be found here. Future-proof your prayers by saying them in Latin.

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