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We all have seen Rosary Beads on the hit MTV show Jersey Shore, but where did they come from? Why are they here?
The earliest version of these actually came from the east. Early Hindus began to use knots in long length of cord as they recited prayers. As each prayer was said, they would tie a knot in the cord. These knots helped them keep track of the prayers as they went to assure that the correct number of prayers was said.
Over time knots on a cord were replaced with more durable beads on a string. This form was far easier to use than the knotted cord as it required no counting, which further assured that the right number of prayers would be said. Due to the increased ease of use, the beaded cords began to spread far and wide. As Christianity began to intermingle with other culture, the beaded cords were found and integrated into Christian prayers as well.
A typical rosary is made up of five groups of ten. Each of the groups represents a different prayer with each single bead being a reminder to say the prayer. As the prayers are said, the cord is slipped through the fingers as a means of keeping count.
What was once a simple religious item has grown in popularity in recent years. With increased popularity has come increased variety. Some rosaries feature multicolored or different shaped beads to help remind the user what prayer needs to be said next. Still others are ornate affairs complete with expensive with decorations made of precious stones, silver, and gold.
Despite the once humble and very religious beginnings, Rosary Beads have risen to the status of fashion and cultural icon. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, these beautiful symbols of faith are the perfect accessory for anyone.
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