Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beautiful Religion

How To Pray The Rosary - The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries, the five Luminous Mysteries, the five Sorrowful Mysteries, and the five Glorious Mysteries. http://www.rosary-center.org/howto.htm

I was at the launch of Spiro Zavos’ book How to Watch the Rugby World Cup 2011 at Unity Books in Willis St Wellington. Spiro grew up in Wellington and has lived in Sydney for 30 or so years. He writes rugby for the Sydney Morning Herald. He’s a journalist, historian, author of several political - and rugby books - and brings the full erudition and nuance a Greek can to any script. It’s no wonder his column is called Rugby Heaven. (See a rave review for Spiro’s book from the heartland of NZ rugby, The Southland Times).

Book launches are as lively a place to meet people as a country pub, and at Unity I met Mary O’Regan, who with lifelong friend Jan Kehoe, makes rosary beads. When in Rome, these two Irish Catholics hunted for rosary beads to buy as gifts for their mothers, but couldn’t find the perfect set. A contemporary beautiful set. Their epiphany: make their own. Back home in Wellington, they are doing just this.

“A lot of ritual and ceremony has gone out of our lives,” says Jan. “We thought contemporary rosaries would resonate with many people and we’ve had a very positive reaction, not just from Catholics – lapsed or otherwise – but from anyone who appreciates beautiful things.”

Made from emeralds, pearls, jade, glass, painted wood, coral and other materials, their rosaries are designed to link ancient tradition (from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam) with contemporary ritual. The luxurious part: they’ll customise them for you.

It’s satisfyingly meditative (in this case the slow click-click of beads through the fingers) using the senses to reach deep into emotions and refresh the spirit. Or you can just appreciate Mary and Jan’s sparkling rosaries as simply beautiful pieces of jewellery that honor a time-honoured ritual. Pattern recognition as prayer.

And great to see two friends follow a dream. The role of business is to make the world a better place – if beautiful religion is what you love, wrap your fingers around Rosaries by Regan Kehoe here.

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