Sorry for being a little late on the "official" notice on this album. but you know - better late than never!
On October 7, 2016, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, The Holy Rosary album was officially released. The Rosary, for those unfamiliar with the devotion, is a meditative prayer on the events in the life of Jesus and His blessed mother, Mary. There are two layers to the devotion. The first is the actual vocal (or mental) recitation of the prayers of the rosary. These prayers are common prayers such as the Our Father (the Lord's Prayer), the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Although this is the outside of the devotion, so to speak, it is not the entire devotion.
The true devotion lies in the contemplation of the actual events, their significance in salvation history, and the illustration of virtues that we as Christians are called to imitate. This contemplation is the second layer of the devotion and the true "meat" of the devotion. Although this is the main focus, in our world of distractions, it is given less focus. Although there is some merit, I believe, in the recitation of the words of the prayer, it is lacking in what grace is possible when we contemplate.
Before I get into the actual musical release, I want to lay out the organization of the mysteries. There are (currently) 20 decades of the rosary in total. They are divided into four sets of five mysteries: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious. In this order, the mysteries of the rosary go through the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and a glimpse of the eternal glory of heaven.
The music of the album helps in both of the layers of the devotion that I have outlined above. The first layer is pretty easy - I've recorded myself saying the prayers. Just say it with me and you are saying the rosary. Great - but, what of the contemplation? That is where the music comes in. Using the Wagnerian technique of leitmotif, I developed a number of "themes" that are used throughout the mysteries to call attention to various aspects of the mystery. For example, I have a journeying theme, a Jesus theme, a Mary theme, theme for revelation and angels, and a theme for the sorrows of Mary. Although I have found these useful myself, it is important for the practitioner to actually be knowledgeable of the mystery in order to contemplate; this album will not on its own infuse that knowledge.
With that in mind, I will be developing a mini-site for the rosary and its recitation here at Phrygian Phish. It will have resources on the prayers, the mysteries, and other tidbits that I have learned and run across along my own faith journey.
But, in order to better reach people, I have developed videos for each of the set of five mysteries. As I write this, I have actually released two sets - the Joyful and the Luminous. Below you will see the Joyful mysteries video.
I hope that this album is a blessing to all, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Here is the entire album available for free:
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This is the news blog of Phrygian Phish. Check out here for news on Phrygian Phish projects like Last Rites, Beyond the Dice, and other Sean Bailey projects.