Sunday, January 07, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
Anyway, one of the gifts I am giving to my friend (who is married to the bitter wife mentioned above) is a special rosary which the MonkeyWife and I found at some Catholic supply store in Cambria. Another long story, not worth getting into right now. The rosary itself is actually very nice, with polished beads and a bit of wax from a candle used during a mass said by Pope JP2. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but for firebreathing Catholics (like my friend) it's about as big as it can get. Perhaps the only thing bigger would be a piece of the true cross, or maybe a preserved finger of some saint or other.
But I digress. (As an aside, I would never get anything from Pope Benny - nee Ratzhitler – he isn’t my kinda Pontiff).
Not my kind of pope
Anyway, thinking about this gift reminded of the rosary said for my uncle’s funeral, about a month ago.
For those of you who don’t know anything about the bizarre Catholic ritual, here is a very quick and dirty Catechism for you. The rosary (verb) is a special mass usually said when someone dies. It's not a funeral per se, but part of the entire funereal cavalcade of whimsy. The rosary (noun) is a string of beads, with a cross. There are five groups of ten small beads which are separated by a larger bead. The beads are there to keep your place while reciting the various prayers – the Hail Mary’s (small beads) and the Our Father’s (large beads). Each time you say one, you move on to the next bead so you can keep your place, because if you lose count around the 37th Hail Mary, you damn well don’t want to start over.
Say "Hail Mary" 50 times real fast
So, there we were in this little chapel. The priest begins the recitation of the Hail Mary, saying the first part aloud, followed by those of us in attendance muttering the second part as softly as possible. We aren’t Southern Baptists by a long shot. Anyway, he finishes the first Hail Mary and begins the second. Then the third, etc. By the time he’s on the sixth, the MonkeyWife (who continues to be befuddled by the whole Catholic thing) elbows me in the ribs, and looks at me with a puzzled expression:
MonkeyWife: Why's he saying this again?
FM: What do you mean?
MW: He’s done this prayer like five times already. Is he stuck?
FM: No, he’s doing the first round of ten.
MW: First round of ten?!?
MW: How many rounds are there?
MW: Five rounds of ten?
MW: We have to say this thing 50 times??
FM: For a full rosary, yeah.
MW: Boy, that Mary is a demanding woman.