The desert fathers and mothers often used beads to help them focus in their prayer times. This is true across religions. Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, Greek Orthodox, and more all use prayer beads. I bought myself a rosary (and I’m not catholic) made of olive wood 15 years ago while visiting Norte Dame de Paris with my oldest daughter. I would pray a verse of scripture and meditate on its meaning
For my birthday my husband bought me a beautiful rosary dedicated to St. James and the Camino de Santiago. Santiago means Saint James. It’s really pretty as you can see.
However I’ve decided to not take it on the Camino. It’s quite heavy and I don’t feel comfortable carrying it while I pray and walk. So I found this smaller simpler rosary to take on the Camino.
Since I’m not catholic I don’t really know how to say a rosary. My understanding is that one starts with the crucifix/cross and recites the apostle’s creed , the next bead is for the Lord’s Prayer, the smaller beads are for the Hail Mary, and then the Glory Be, also known as the Gloria Patri.
The Hail Mary feels a little long for me to memorize so I’ve decided to say the Jesus prayer instead.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
Or…the expurgated version…Jesus Christ have mercy on me.
Most of the time I like to sing the Gloria Patri. I wasn’t really raised in the church but for a time we did attend a Lutheran church and we did sing the Gloria Patri every worship service as part of the liturgy. My heart feels a little closer to God when I sing it.
🎼 Glory be to the Father,
🎼 and to the Son
🎼 and to the Holy Ghost.
🎼 As it was in the beginning,
🎼 is now and ever shall be.
🎼 World without end.
🎼 Amen Amen
So that’s part of my prayer plan for the Camino. I know I’ll be in good company since the desert mothers and fathers, the saints of old, and the great cloud of witnesses all used some type of bead or stone to help them focus on their prayers. I won’t be alone as I take this exciting external and internal journey.