A Personal Rosary

By MARIANNE WOOD

My friend Susan Englerth reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman, she who is referred to as “The Wife of Noble Character” in the Old Testament. For evidence I offer that her husband adores her; we can see that. She is strong and trades profitably. Ask her about a certain sailboat deal! And I have no doubt that she cares well for her family. She is clothed with strength and dignity. And she speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction.

One of her wise instructions, given as a suggestion, hit me as very profitable: saying the Rosary. Her description of this practice included her report of waking with the beads in hand, imprinted on her arm. I told her: “I want that.” I was trying to say that I want that nearness to God that she suggested in her ritual. But I’m not Catholic! What’s a reformed Presbyterian woman attending a non-denominational church going to do? Google it, of course.

Marianne Wood Rosary

Aha! I found that there are lots of reformed versions of rosaries out there. Being prone to write, to create with my hands, and to teach, I had to first learn how to make my own by studying those of others. 

Now, ten days after Susan spoke life to me through her description of a tangible practice of devotion, I can report that I am well…or at least better than I was the night at dance class when she offered me this gift. I have a practice and an actual handmade rosary from objects and materials that I treasure. Thanks, friend. 

What follows is my most recent version of a rosary based on my current needs. It will change over time as one season or experience of life follows another. This particular iteration is for sorrowing people. I am happy to send the template to anyone who asks. 

All photos are mine, and if you recognize the Tiffany window from the Met in New York, I’d like to award you extra credit. I’ll always be an art teacher at heart.

Link to “A Rosary for Reformed People”: http://www.mariannewoodart.com/new-blog2015/4/25/5h1xi7blxjgs4da04w0h5cs7nycxfm

Marianne Wood

Marianne Wood works as an editorial assistant and researcher for Bill Wright and teaches art education at Hardin-Simmons University

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