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Rosary for Persons with Alzheimer's

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A Rosary for Alzheimer's Patients:
Praying the Sorrowful Mysteries

Agony in Garden
For the length of time it takes to pray 10 Hail Marys, I meditate on the Agony in the Garden. I picture Jesus, troubled and afraid, asking his closest friends to wait with him, and begging his father to “take this cup” away. Then I hear him, I see him saying, “Not my will but yours.”

Summary Prayer:
Father, please let this sickness pass away from me. I can feel myself so much less “together” these days, fading away, and it makes me distressed and sorrowful. I know some of my old friends who want to help, who say they want to be with me, but they are uncomfortable around me now and don’t know what to say to me. Neither do I.

I beg you to take this away, to stop this erosion of my mind. But Father, this is not about what I want, but what you want. Let me find freedom in my inabilities and let me rely on you more in everything I do. Please help me to feel how much you love me.

Scourging at Pillar
For the length of time it takes to pray 10 Hail Marys, I picture Jesus being scourged at the pillar. He is beaten and whipped, completely helpless, and humiliated and in a very public way. He becomes weaker with each painful lashing and those who love him are unable to do anything to stop it.

Summary Prayer:
This disease is like torture, Lord. With each passing day, there is something else I am unable to do, some new inability in a situation where I always used to know exactly what to do. I make so many mistakes now and every day is filled with lashes of humility on my ego. Give me the grace, loving God, to accept this lack of control in my life and to humbly ask for your help. Give me the grace to let go of so many things I cling tightly to and to rely only on you. It is in the letting go that I will find the real freedom from this disease that I long for.

Crowning with Thorns
For the length of time it takes to pray 10 Hail Marys, I meditate on the crowning with thorns. I can picture the pain that Jesus goes through as he feels the crown being roughly pushed into his head. His head is filled with searing jolts and he is unable to think clearly. He looks around but he can’t focus well and his agony is so great because of the throbbing in his head.

Summary Prayer:
Jesus, I understand some of what you are going through. On many days I feel as though a crown of thorns were on my own head, taking away my memories, making me forget the everyday things and keeping me from completing the simplest of everyday tasks. I ask you, Lord to help me to accept this disease with grace. Let me not snap at those around me out of my own frustrations and let me accept my inability to finish conversations or follow a train of thought. You gave me the gift of my mind, Lord. Let me thank you for this gift and ask how you would like me to use it to glorify you.

Carrying of Cross
For the length of ten Hail Marys, I meditate on Jesus carrying the cross. The burden is heavy and becomes heavier with each step. He stumbles and falls heavily and is kicked until he struggles back to his feet. The rough wood tears at his already bleeding skin and as he drags his cross through the streets, he faces those he loves so much who weep for him. He looks at them and wishes it could be different for him – and for them, and he loves them.

Summary Prayer:
Loving God, I can hardly carry this burden of my life. This disease robs me of myself and I can’t bear it alone anymore. I know there are so many who love me but they can only stare helplessly as I face this cross alone. I have to accept so much help now and I feel humiliated. But I am not alone if I remember that your strong and loving arms are there to help me carry this. All of my suffering, all of the things I am afraid of, all that I cannot remember and do anymore, they are the cross you help me to bear each day. Help me to remember to thank you for being with me on this journey.

For the length of ten Hail Marys, I meditate on the crucifixion. It is such a cruel form of punishment and death. I see Jesus, pushed beyond exhaustion and trembling with pain. Through a dim awareness of his pain and grief, he hears the jeers of those who mock him and the sobbing sorrow of those who love him the most. Yet in a most human moment in this inhumane scene, Jesus is thirsty and longs to drink. In his pain and faith, he gives up his life to his Father.

Summary Prayer:
Jesus, this is where my life most resembles yours. I feel so much pain and burden in this cross and at moments I wonder where God is in my life. I feel like I have lost so much; so much has been taken away from me. I want to yell in anger, and bewilderment. Why me? And then I look at you loving me from the cross and I see you in your own pain. You turn it over to your father and I know I must do the same. Help me to give up this pain and sorrow my Lord. I must rely on your father – my father – for comfort and support. Into your hands, I commend my spirit.


Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Our Father
Our Father,Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Glory Be
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.



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