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by Abigail Van Buren

Ties Still Bind Wife to Mom After Five Years of Marriage

DEAR ABBY: I have a set of beautiful rosary beads I received after my mother's passing. I brought them to work and put them on to show a co-worker, and I received comments from three different people about how they never saw anyone wear rosary beads as a necklace. They said they weren't sure it was appropriate.

It made me very uncomfortable, so I took the rosary off. I would not want to be disrespectful. Could you find out if it is appropriate to wear rosary beads as a necklace? -- VAL IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR VAL: While putting the rosary beads on may have made you feel closer to your mother, and your intention was to display them for your co-workers, rosaries are not an item of jewelry, and they are not intended to be worn. Rosary beads are an aid to prayer, meant to move gently through your fingers while praying.