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Monday, May 20, 2013

Shopping for a Rosary; Scandalized by Prices, Kitsch, and Fashion

Oh, Lord, no.
Oh, come on! Is it THAT hard being married to a Spice girl?
That does it. I'm converting. 
Back when I was a grad student at IU, really poor and owned almost nothing, I used to pray the rosary on my hands.

I don't like doing that because, with no beads to guide me, I have to focus on which prayer I'm saying. With the beads to guide me, I can lose myself in the prayer.

I found someone's lost rosary and began to pray with beads, again, and never looked back to the old days of praying on my hands.

I pray when I walk. I've got rosary, handkerchief, sunglasses, and walkman in my pockets. All of these get lost eventually.

I inevitably lost the rosary I had found. I discovered a website that gives away free rosaries. I lost that one, too. Finally I stepped up and bought a rosary at St. Patrick's cathedral gift shop.

I gave that one to my niece the other day, and now I need a new rosary. I'm shopping online.

I was hoping to find a sturdy, durable rosary. I pray the rosary every day. The beads, and the material that strings them together, has got to be tough to take that daily handling.

I want a rosary with a good drop. The beads have to be heavy enough, and the stringing material has to be flexible enough, that the beads easily drop down. Otherwise, the stringing material becomes entangled in itself.

I would like a rosary that isn't an eyesore. Blue is my favorite color. Was hoping for blue beads.

Thought I could have all this for about twenty dollars.

Oh, oh, oh. I was so naïve!

There are millions of rosaries for sale on the web. A cursory glance reveals that 99% of them are merely decorative. They exist to be pretty. They don't exist to be prayed on. If you prayed on most of these rosaries daily, they would begin to disintegrate in about a week.

There are sturdy looking rosaries.

These cost an arm and a leg.

Think, four, five hundred dollars.


Some rosaries are identified as "men's rosaries." Others are identified as "women's rosaries." This bugs me. Men's prayers and women's prayers?

And then there are the kitsch rosaries: Basketball rosaries, Skull rosaries, Panda bear rosaries, Jewish rosaries.

I'm fighting with the urge to be judgmental.

I'm judgmental of everybody. Justin Bieber and David Beckham wearing rosaries as fashion statements? Arrest them!

But I'm also judgmental of the folks buying these very pretty, very expensive rosaries that are obviously never meant to be prayed with.

And then I argue with my judgmental side. If owning a pretty rosary that costs five hundred dollars makes someone feel good, who am I to judge?

The plethora of novelty rosaries tells me this: Commentators constantly predict the end of the Catholic Church. But our many imitators want us to keep on keeping on, so they can have something to imitate.

Basketball rosary.

Skull rosary

Panda bear rosary

Jewish rosaries


  1. One reason some are so high is because most of the durable ones are handmade and the largest catalog/supplier of rosary parts charges very high prices ($80+) for a kit with just parts.

    I make jewelry and have thought of making rosaries, just to make some available that were high quality and not crazy expensive, but I wasn't sure if there was a place for that in between the cheap ones that will fall apart and the $100+ ones.

    1. Hi, Michelle! Thank you for posting! I enjoyed checking out your blog!

  2. Please, check your e-mail. It will be Friday when I send it.

  3. If you're still looking for a sturdy, yet cheap rosary, these are a good choice. Unfortunately no blue beads but at least they're not basketballs.

    1. Anonymous, thank you! I did find that page. I ended up buying a very cheap, sturdy looking rosary on Amazon.

  4. As amusing as the first photo is, it fails logically by committing an association fallacy, e.g. If A is B, and A is also C, then B must be C. Wrong.