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2428Re: recent miscellany

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  • Chris Laning
    Aug 29, 2013
      On Aug 26, 2013, at 10:25 PM, Matthew S.Taylor wrote:

      > How about a Pater noster made of Baltic amber?

      Yes, amber was certainly used for rosaries -- and we know that because we find amber paternoster beads being denounced as too luxurious! The original preachers' motivation was probably not to enlighten future generations, but we'll take any data we can get. ;)

      On Aug 27, 2013, at 4:16 PM, Denise V. McMahon wrote:

      > I think 150 beads would be more that the person was showing their piety since paternosters of 150 beads were meant to parallel the practice that the clergy had of saying all 150 psalms every day. Paternosters replaced that practice with saying 150 Our Fathers. So, demonstrating wealth, maybe, devotion probably, but lets face it- draping yourself with 150 coral beads with all of its talismanic value and splendid color could have been for several reasons all of them valid.

      I suspect that paternosters (or rosaries) of 150 beads may have been more common in the 1400s-1500s than we see today.

      Some of the parameters of modern rosaries, I think (and this is my speculation) may depend on the modern practice of stuffing them into a clothing pocket for easy access -- thus, chain construction (less breakable) and smaller size (6mm beads rather than beads in the 10mm range as we see when they are being worn to show off, and fewer beads overall).

      Alanus de Rupe, one of the earlier writers on the rosary when it became popular (1470 0r thereabouts), certainly regarded 150 beads as the norm, although that may have been influenced by his own status as a Dominican friar. I'd be willing to believe that shorter forms developed fairly soon after that for ease of carrying, but I don't think 150 beads would seem as unusual then as it is now. (For what it's worth, Alanus also hated the term "rosary" because it has too many connotations of sensuous pleasure -- oh horrors! He much preferred to call the beads "Our Lady's Psalter." ;)

      O Chris Laning <claning@...> - Davis, California
      + http://paternoster-row.org - http://www.ravelry.com/stores/medievalknitting
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