Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Rosary: A Question

Okay I have a rosary question for everyone. I've meant to ask it on CAF a number of times, but I never get around to it and I thought I might get some answers here on my blog. Here goes:

For the past couple of years I've prayed at least five decades of the rosary a day pretty regularly (when Sadie was born I took some months off doing it daily... but then again all those days seem to blend together into one big seven month long day without sleep... I digress, back to the original question....).

I usually add five or ten (or fifteen when I'm really feeling motivated) decades during Lent and that is usually when this question would pop into my mind.

When praying ten or fifteen or twenty decades would you A) stop and start over between every five decades, re-reciting the Apostle's Creed and the Salve Regina and all the other prayers at the beginning and the end or would you B) pray the beginning and go around and around until you'd completed the mysteries and then pray the closing prayers?

Instinctually I guess I lean towards B because the starting and stopping (even though it's just a momentary pause) is almost jarring and it kind of breaks my focus and momentum.

But every time I read anything about praying the rosary it usually gives the simple starting and stopping after each set of five decades. So... what do you do personally? If you are praying more than five decades of the rosary do you do the closing prayers and start over, or do you opt for option "B"?

I don't know why this question keeps coming up in my head, but it's something I've been curious about for a while!


  1. Okay, well I personally have to read the prayers as I'm saying the Rosary since I'm still not too familiar with it.

    But it were me, I would start and stop. My reason being, is for me, it would help me focus on the words I'm saying. For me, I notice if I get into a repetition of repeating something over and over, I stop focusing on the words, rather just going through the motions.

    But that's just me! I obviously don't know how it's meant to go if there's a set way to do it :)

  2. Hi Cam, I've done both. If there is a pause longer than just a few minutes, then I will start from scratch. Have you measured distances/time by the rosary? :) It is three decades from my house to the landfill, five decades to the little town of Yoder, and often less than one decade to fall asleep at night. Also, I've heard that you should ask your guardian angel to finish your night prayers if you fall asleep first.

  3. It doesn't matter. You can continue or you can start and stop. The Rosary is a grouping of prayers. It is meant to help you meditate.

    Personally, I don't like saying the Rosary because I can't meditate while trying to say a prayer. I learn and remember things by repeating them out loud (aural learner) so it's nearly impossible for me to think of something else at the same time. I find that other types of prayer are better for me.

    A lot of people like saying the Rosary because it's guidelines are well set up. My MIL and I have trouble with that because we like the flexibilty of experiencing Jesus's presence without so much focus on his life. For me the easiest way to experience God is not to say anything at all. I like going before the Blessed Sacrament and I like to use basic meditation techniques of opening up the floor for God to present.

    Yeah, I know. I sound like a hippie. Oh well. It doesn't matter how your relationship with God works as long as you develop one. Right?

  4. I continue all the way through and say the closing prayers at the end, makes my life MUCH easier :)

  5. The Rosary is a very beautiful and very necessary prayer for Catholics. I look at the 15 decades as one whole Rosary, so if saying in full, I would only say the beginning and end prayers once. I think Catholics need to get back to saying the Rosary every day (at least in part, say 5 decades). Thanks for doing your part Cam :) Have you seen the movie The 13th day? It's a really beautiful reminder of the message of Fatima.

  6. Hi Cam,
    That is a great question. Before we devoted ourselves to saying five decades every day we started saying the Scriptural Rosary. Not too long after that our little girl was born - on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. :) But I digress...In the Scriptural Rosary you say the beginning prayers at the beginning and the ending prayers after you have said all of the mysteries. I don't think in the end it matters when you say the beginning and end prayers if doing more than five decades, but whatever works best for you. I am sure that Our Beloved Mother and her Son are just so happy to hear you pray and reflect on their life here on earth. That is what matters in the end.

  7. Thanks for all the great responses. They made me feel better about doing it both ways! And I'll definitely have to check out the movie The 13th day (thanks Andrea!)! I tend to only have time for five decades at a time, so most of the time I do the opening and closing prayers, but when I have a little extra time I'll probably fit in as many as I can, without worrying (I don't why I was worrying in the first place, it was just something that bothered me!).

    And Cliff- I definitely have been using the rosary to tell time, especially driving or when I take Sadie on walks. It's five decades from our home to our parish and if I can manage to focus (since I'm usually in the car with Sadie and her music in the back or my dad's music in the front) when we go into the "city" I can get 15 decades. Good for drives to the doctor!


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