Rosary beads

‘I forgot to give you something,’ my mum announced when I walked in the door at her house a couple of weeks ago.

Advice? No, mum never forgets to give me advice.

‘Andrew gave me these to give to you for Miss BG,’ she said producing a red velvet box. Inside were the most gorgeous set of Murano glass…rosary beads.

“They’re for when she makes her first Holy Communion,” she said.

‘Ok,’ I said very carefully ‘I’m not sure if she will make it. I know she would look beautiful in a white dress and she would jump at the chance to get dolled up, but…’I trailed off as I popped the beads in my bag.

It was a lovely gesture from a godfather to his goddaughter, and the beads are exquisite. Miss BG loved them when I showed them to her, announcing they were ‘so beautiful’ and promptly wore them as a necklace. I know she would look beautiful and angelic in a white Communion dress, almost as cute as she was when she was baptised.

But…

I hadn’t really planned on bringing the kids up as Catholics.The have  both baptised, but that was more a superstitious thing on my part than any desire to join the congregation. The superstitious pagan Irish in me wanted protection for the kids, and the whole blessing, water and anointing by the priest seemed to be just the ticket.

And it’s not that I haven’t made a concerted effort to turn them into little atheists either. When they have stayed with my parents, the kids have attended mass with them. Master BG currently does Religious Instruction at school, in which he asks his teacher ‘if God made everything, did he make vampires and zombies?’

It’s just that after growing up in a fairly observant Catholic household which included the church every Sunday, observance of Lent and the whole Catholic schoolgirl thing (which may seem kinky, but the reality is SO not), I didn’t want that for my children.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the rosary either. I just look at them and remember endless decades being droned, at school, in church as penance after confession and in bed, as a way to fall asleep (it never worked). Which is a shame, as the rosary venerates a woman, a mother and someone who didn’t wear pink.

The funny thing is that my brother is not particularly religious. He does, however, take religion and its rituals seriously. He had quite strong views about my wearing a very non-traditional red dress for my (civil) wedding. And as my daughter’s godfather, he feels responsible for her moral guardianship.

So, the rosary beads are in a safe place for now. If Miss BG wants them for their intended purpose, she is more than welcome to them. Though I couldn’t let her play with them like a piece of jewellery. I realise I’m much more Catholic than I think 🙂

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10 thoughts on “Rosary beads

  1. Hmmmm, much the same thing happened to me. I did go through the whole first communion/confirmation thing with my kids, more because it seemed to be important to their dad (who, like your brother does not go to church but holds onto the religious symbols that framed his childhood) and because the Catholic guilt I majored in at high school wouldn’t let me NOT do it.

    I will confess though, that when Mr14 made his confirmation 2 1/2 years ago I walked out of the church thinking ‘I never have to go there again, I’ve done my duty now’ and you know what? I never have been back. I think you can take the girl out of the Catholic church but you can never quite take the Catholic church out of the girl….. I also hated the Rosary, but have a soft spot for Rosary beads and these beads do sound lovely….

  2. It’s a difficult issue. I am sure you would be bringing up your children to treat others as they would like to be treated and I guess that is one of the aspects of a Christian upbringing. You don’t need to be a regular church goer to live a Christian life.

    • There are many positive aspects to a Christian upbringing, but there are many other faiths and beliefs which offer the same positive attributes you described. One of my close friends is an avowed atheist with the sweetest kids in the world!

  3. I am personally of the opinion that such decisions are best made by the individual anyway, so while I’m bringing up my kids in a so-called “Christian household” I expect them to make their own decisions on what values to base their lives once they reach an age where they have some mature understanding. But it’s a lovely gift all the same and the sentiment of love & care for her spiritual well being behind it is probably the thing to be valued.

  4. I would love to say it was 100% godfatherly duty and for her spiritual growth, but…..its hand crafted venetian murano glass darling!!! Gorgeous!!

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