The Luminous Mysteries

“Even if the cosmic reality of the divine transcends the human, nevertheless it is through ritual assemblies that the divine is channelled.” (2)

(Click on the Rosaries to play them)

Since the pandemic began ten women a day are victims of forced disappearance and found dead in Mexico (Amnesty International UK, 2021). I’m making these animated alternative rosaries as an offering to the victims and the survivors in grief. The Holy Rosary is a group of Catholic prayers chanted individually or collectively in any event whose aim is to connect with the Divine, including in burials. They are a series of prayers which meditate on the Holy Mysteries of the New Testament. The Rosary is as well the string with beads used to count these verbal or silent prayers. I titled each piece with the names of the ascendant spheres of Heaven and the elements of the celestial Empyrean in Dante’s Divine Comedy.

These pieces are part of a short film that will be exhibited in S1 Art Space in June 2022.

Rosary XII
The Celestial Empyrean
Rosary XI
The Primum Mobile – The Angels
Rosary X
Saturn – The Contemplatives
Rosary IX
The Fixed Stars – Faith, Hope, and Love
Rosary VIII
Mars – The Warriors of the Faith
Rosary VII
Jupiter – The Just Rulers
Rosary VI
Venus – The Lovers
Rosary V
The Sun – The Wise
Rosary IV
The Moon – The Inconstant
Rosary III
Mercury – The Ambitious
Rosary II
The Rose
Rosary I
The Holy Spirit

“One prays together before one prays alone. Meditation aimed at mystical experience is also learned collectively. Even in religions where meditative monks have the highest religious status, monks who meditate alone are initiated by other mediators. “(2) “The Rosary has a ritual aspect that individual prayers lack. It entails the recitation of 150 Ave Marias, clustered in groups of ten, preceded by a Pater Noster and the proposition of a ‘mystery’ upon which to meditate.” (1)

“Repetitive forms of prayer, of which the Rosary is one, existed in medieval monastic practice. The Rosary was first developed by Dominic of Prussia and Adolf of Essen in a monastic setting at the beginning of the fifteenth century. These two Carthusian monks of a charterhouse at Trier, working from the basis of pre-existing devotional exercises, promoted a Marian devotion composed of prayers and narrative meditations. But it was the Dominican Alanus de Rupe, in the second half of the century, who gave the Rosary the momentum that spread it across Europe, and above all amongst the laity.” (1)

“The intricate yet complex relation between ritual and language can be seen in the history of various attempts to explain ritual behaviour. In most explanations, language becomes a necessary factor in the theory concerning the nature of ritual, and the specific form of language that is tied to explanations of ritual is the language of myth” (3). 

1- Ardissino, E. (2018) Chapter 14, Literary and Visual Forms of a Domestic Devotion: The Rosary in Renaissance. From the book: Domestic Devotions in Early Modern Italy. Ed Corri, Faini and Meneghin. Pub. Brill.

2-Swaine Thomas, D. (2010) The Micro-sociology of Religion: Religious Practices, Collective and Individual (COPYRIGHT ASSOCIATION OF RELIGION DATA ARCHIVES).

3- Functions of Ritual, Encyclopedia Britannica.