A combox question finally penetrated through my extra-thick cranium to the soft gray matter underneath. Russ asked whether a special rosary was required to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries.
There is, in fact, a version of the rosary that differs from the standard five-decade version that most of us know, and that version does indeed require a special set of beads. The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, also known as the Servite Rosary or the Dolors Rosary, is prayed on beads divided into seven groups of seven (as opposed to five groups of ten).
The basic mechanics are the same, with each mystery including one Our Father, and seven Hail Marys, but there is no Glory Be. Where the standard rosary begins with the Apostles’ Creed, Our Father, and three Hail Marys, the Rosary of Seven Sorrows begins with an Act of Contrition and prayer to the Holy Spirit. The prayers at the end are also a little different.
The seven sorrows are (1) the prophecy of Simeon; (2) Mary flees into Egypt with Jesus and Joseph; (3) Mary seeks Jesus lost in Jerusalem; (4) Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary; (5) Mary stands near the cross of her Son; (6) Mary receives the body of Jesus taken down from the cross; and (7) Mary places the body of Jesus in the tomb.
It’s always been interesting to me that two of the seven sorrows (the prophecy of Simeon and the losing of Jesus in Jerusalem) have corresponding Joyful Mysteries (the Presentation, and the finding of Jesus in the Temple).