Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

This used to be Good Shepherd Sunday. That is now the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Today is (and has long been called) Low Sunday and also “Quasimodo Sunday", not the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s actually from the old Introit at Mass, which used to always be sung in Latin: "Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite." As I have mentioned though a couple of times now, it is also Divine Mercy Sunday for many. Yesterday I spoke of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and I would like today to tell you a little more about it.

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a Roman Catholic devotion based on the visions of Polish nun and canonized saint, Sister Mary Faustina Kowalska, whom I mentioned here yesterday. The chaplet is often said as a rosary-based prayer with the same set of rosary beads used for reciting the Holy Rosary. (Now since I am an Episcopalian, I should point out that there are two types of rosary beads and what I mean here are the standard Roman Catholic beads that some Episcopalians use, not the so called Anglican rosary beads used by others). However, the chaplet may also be said without beads at all, usually by counting prayers on the fingertips.

It can be said or sung and there are several sung versions. I mentioned that my mother prays it in front of her television. This sung version of the Chaplet, featured on the EWTN Network, was filmed live at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts - home of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception. You can watch it by clicking HERE.

First of all, you will say The Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Apostle’s Creed.
Then: On the Our Father Beads you will say the following words:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On the Hail Mary Beads you will say the following words:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

In conclusion ThreeTimes you will recite these words:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world

A blessed Second Sunday of Easter - Low Sunday - Divine Mercy Sunday - Quasimodo Sunday to you all! Alleluia!

1 comment:

Марко Фризия said...

There is another type of Rosary (or prayer beads) used by many Eastern Christians called a prayer rope or "chotki." The Bulgarian word for this Rosary is called a "броеница." This Rosary can be made of a knotted rope or have beads (mine has wooden beads) and usually consists of 100 knots or beads with a cross and tassle at the end. The tassle is there "to wipe away one's tears" and is a symbol of penitence and joy (people sometimes shed tears when they are joyful as well as sorrowful). This Rosary is usually held with the left hand so the right hand is free to --spontaneously-- make the Sign of the Cross (and sometimes people make prostrations or bow when they pray with a броеница). And sometimes the броеница is held wrapped around the left wrist to remind one of the need to pray without ceasing. I sometimes wrap my броеница around my left wrist when praying the daily office or praying colloquially (and when praying in front of icons or the Blessed Sacrament)). The Jesus Prayer can be said on each bead: "Господи Иисусе Христе, Сине Божий, помилвай мен грешника." (This is the Bulgarian version we use). Some Christians just pray the Sacred Name of Jesus (or Mary) on each bead (or sometimes an Eastern form of the salutation to Mary the Theotokos). When saying the Jesus Prayer, I usually meditate on a passage from the Gospel (sometimes the upcoming Sunday Gospel). I find praying with beads a very beneficial practice. When I use prayer beads, I find that the Jesus Prayer "spills over" into my daily life and I find myself praying the Jesus Prayer spontaneously as I go about my day-to-day life and duties. I also find it helpful to carry my броеница when I am walking, to stay centered and prayerful as I take a walk. Michael, this is a great discussion about spirituality! I think it is wonderful and very helpful when Christians use practices from other Christian traditions like prayer beads or the Rosary. And in a way, this promotes stronger ecumenical ties between all of the baptized from all of the different churches.