Students have taken on a unique fall trend. Some are trading the blinged out medallion chains for something simpler that has a deeper meaning: rosary beads.
The rosary beads are Catholic symbols consisting of ten beads held together by a chain that is used to recite Roman Catholic prayers.
According to the religious information website, mb-soft.com, a rosary, also known as prayer beads, are used in the recitation of the Hail Mary (Ave Maria) and the Lord’s Prayer.
During the recitation of the prayers, meditation on a series of biblical themes, called the joyous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries, are recommended.
However, students are wearing these long wooden symbols solely for fashion purposes and some do not even understand the necklaces are religious symbols.
Many religious leaders feel it is sacrilegious for non-Catholics to wear rosary around their neck or on their wrists.
“If I saw somebody with one on, I’d ask them why [they were] wearing that rosary,” said Rev. John Sullivan of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. “Then I would take the opportunity to explain to them what the rosary is for and I would recommend they wear some other religious symbol like a cross or a crucifix.”
Many Catholic students on campus agree that this new religious fascination is inappropriate.
“It bothers me because if they are not really Catholic, they should not be wearing stuff that represents Catholicism,” said Renee Brady, 20, a third-year actuarial science student from Fort Lauderdale.
Despite the original religious intent of the beads, most students say they are just following the new, seemingly contagious trend.
“I have no idea what the rosary signifies so I cannot relate to it,” said Rontel Batie, 21, a third-year political science student from St. Augustine. “I don’t wear it for any special reason, I just wear it because it was given to me as a nice touch to my wardrobe.”
Cheniece Webster-Jones, 19-year-old from Atlanta, agrees with Batie.
“Honestly, I have not done any research on the origins of rosary or the purpose behind Catholics wearing them,” said the criminal justice student. “They are stylish and I wear them with everything.”
This trend is sweeping The Hill and gaining popularity due to Hollywood’s interest in the style as well.
Sean “Jay-Z” Carter, Lil’ Wayne and rapper Julez Santana, have been spotted rocking this controversial style.
Some stars have opted to go above and beyond and have the rosary tattooed on their bodies.
Nicole Richie, who is Catholic, has one tattooed on her left ankle. Alyssa Milano also has one located on her right shoulder.
With no signs of slowing down, rosary jewelry could be here to stay until the next fad sweeps the campus.
“I don’t think people are going to wear other religious symbols, but who knows? Next fall we could all be wearing Buddhas on chains,” Webster-Jones said.