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Community rosary recitation

A Report by Sofia Walker '11

Rosaries are prayed on the first Wednesday of every month in the basement of the Chapel.

For those of a prayerful persuasion, a communal recitation of the rosary is held on the first Wednesday of every month in the chapel. Brief as it is, Margaret Boyle '12, who leads the prayers, finds that it creates a valuable break in the week. "It's just nice to quietly reflect for half an hour, thank God for what's going well and ask him for the strength to deal with what isn't."

The 81 prayers associated with the beads are mostly 'Our Father's and 'Hail Mary's, but there are also a few lesser-known ones to Mary. Margaret cited 'Hail Holy Queen,' which contains this line: "To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears." "It's just so raw," she said, "it really expresses that we're mortals, and we need help."

The rosary is traditionally said together, with one person leading and others chiming in or praying silently as the mood takes them. "One thing I like about praying in a group," observed Margaret, "is that we create intentions, and can all pray for something together." Rosary also creates a real sense of belonging for the Catholic community at Smith. Margaret herself met her best friend at a rosary meeting in her first year.

But the community connections extend beyond Smith. Local priests are frequent attendees at the rosary meeting. Area nuns donated many of the beads after their deaths. "It's nice to think about the beads, and who prayed on them before. How many prayers have been said over these beads?"