Smile for the camera! May 24, 2015 16:05

I love researching the history of prayer beads down through the ages. I spend a lot of time looking through old pictures and records from the early days of Christianity and earlier times too, looking at how rosaries and religious jewellery have shown the faith of their designers and how they have been chosen and used by centuries of faithful people.

I am always struck by how all early photos show such stern and unsmiling people! Were times so grim back then that the people in the photos - adults and children alike - had nothing to smile about? And how did they get all those babies and young children not to smile for the camera?

I may have found an answer to my question in this extract from an old book I have uncovered, written in the early 1700's, which was a manual on how to "behave like a Christian" ......

“There are some people who raise their upper lip so high… that their teeth are almost entirely visible. This is entirely contradictory to decorum, which forbids you to allow your teeth to be uncovered, since nature gave us lips to conceal them.” – Jean-Baptiste De La Salle, The Rules of Christian Decorum and Civility, 1703





Well ..... there you have it! And to think that I never knew that was what my lips were for!!