The structure of the Rosary prayer, recited using the rosary beads, is as follows: . The praying of the decades then follows, repeating this cycle for each mystery :. Instead of ending each decade with the Gloria Patri , Pope Pius IX would add "May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Common pious additions to the Rosary occur after each decade and after recitation of the Hail Holy Queen.
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Some add the Miraculous Medal prayer "O Mary, conceived without sin Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! In the practice of the Brothers of the Christian Schools , there is an additional decade for the intentions of the students or the Virgin Mary. In some cases, the Litany of Loreto may be recited at the end. In the practice of the Dominican Order , the beginning prayers of the rosary correspond to the beginning of the Divine Office : .
When a group recites the Rosary, it is customary that the prayers that constitute the decades are divided into two parts. The second part of the Our Father begins with "Give us this day our daily bread Sometimes a leader may recite the first half of the prayer while the other participants recite the rest. In another style of praying the Rosary, the recitation of the first part of the prayers is sometimes entrusted to different persons while still maintaining the traditional Leader versus Congregation style of praying.
The Mysteries of the Rosary are meditations on episodes in the life and death of Jesus from the Annunciation to the Ascension and beyond. These are traditionally grouped by fives into themed sets known as the Joyful or Joyous Mysteries , the Sorrowful Mysteries , and the Glorious Mysteries. Below are listed from the appendix of Louis Marie de Montfort 's book Secret of the Rosary for the original 15 mysteries, with other possible fruits being listed in other pamphlets bracketed:.
The full Rosary consists of praying all 15 mysteries, with the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious considered the minimal amount. Alternatively, a single set of five mysteries can be prayed each day, according to the following convention:. The rosary beads provide a physical method of keeping count of the number of Hail Marys said as the mysteries are contemplated. By not having to keep track of the count mentally, the mind is free to meditate on the mysteries.
A five-decade rosary contains five groups of ten beads a decade , with additional large beads before each decade. A new mystery meditation commences at each of the large beads. Some rosaries, particularly those used by religious orders , contain fifteen decades, corresponding to the traditional fifteen mysteries of the rosary. Both five- and fifteen-decade rosaries are attached to a shorter strand, which starts with a crucifix , followed by one large bead, three small beads, and one large bead, before connecting to the rest of the rosary.
Although counting the prayers on a string of beads is customary, the prayers of the Rosary do not require a set of beads, but can be said using any type of counting device, by counting on the fingers or by counting without any device at all. Single-decade rosaries can also be used: the devotee counts the same ring of ten beads repeatedly for every decade.
During religious conflict in 16th- and 17th-century Ireland severe legal penalties were prescribed against practising Catholics.
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Small, easily hidden rosaries were thus used to avoid identification and became known as Irish penal rosaries. The beads can be made from any materials, including wood, bone, glass, crushed flowers, semi-precious stones such as agate, jet, amber, or jasper, or precious materials including coral , crystal, silver, and gold. Beads may be made to include enclosed sacred relics or drops of holy water. Rosaries are sometimes made from the seeds of the " rosary pea " or " bead tree.
A Beginner's Guide to the Rosary
It is common for beads to be made of material with some special significance, such as jet from the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela , or olive seeds from the Garden of Gethsemane. In rare cases beads are made of expensive materials, from gold and silver to mother of pearl and Swarovski black diamond designs. Early rosaries were strung on thread, often silk, but modern ones are more often made as a series of chain-linked beads.
Catholic missionaries in Africa have reported that rosaries made of tree bark have been used there for praying due to the lack of conventional rosaries.
Roman Catholic Rosary Instructions
Our Lady's Rosary Makers produce some 7 million rosaries annually that are distributed to those considered to be in economic and spiritual need. Most rosaries used in the world today have simple and inexpensive plastic or wooden beads connected by cords or strings. The major cost is labor for assembly. A large number of inexpensive rosary beads are manufactured in Asia, especially in China.
Italy has a strong manufacturing presence in medium- and high-cost rosaries. Rosaries are often made for sale; hundreds of millions have also been made and distributed free of charge by Catholic lay and religious apostolates worldwide. There are a number of rosary-making clubs around the world that make and distribute rosaries to missions, hospitals, prisons, etc.
To comply with safety precautions in prisons, special rosaries are donated using string that easily breaks.
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The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood writes that the Virgin Mary encourages the faithful to wear the rosary and scapular because "it will help them to love Jesus more" and serve as a "protection from Satan. A rosary hanging from the belt often forms part of the Carthusian habit. If the reason for wearing a rosary is as a statement of faith, as a reminder to pray it, or some similar reason "to the glory of God," then there is nothing to object to.
It would not be respectful to wear it merely as jewelry. This latter point is something to bear in mind in the case of wearing a rosary around the neck. In the first place, while not unknown, it is not common Catholic practice. While a Catholic may wear a rosary around the neck for a good purpose, he or she should consider if the practice will be positively understood in the cultural context in which the person moves.
If any misunderstanding is likely, then it would be better to avoid the practice. Similar reasoning is observed in dealing with rosary bracelets and rings, although in this case there is far less danger of confusion as to meaning.
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They are never mere jewelry but are worn as a sign of faith. A rosary ring is a ring worn around the finger with 10 indentations and a cross on the surface, representing one decade of a rosary. These and other kinds of religious rings were especially popular during the 15th and the 16th centuries. Rosaries like these are used by either rotating or just holding them between a finger and thumb while praying.
A hand rosary is a decade in a complete loop, with one bead separated from ten other beads, this is meant to be carried while walking or running, so as not to entangle the larger type. In addition to a string of beads, single-decade rosaries are made in other physical forms.
A ring rosary, also known as a " Basque rosary ," is a finger ring with eleven knobs on it, ten round ones and one crucifix. A rosary bracelet is one with ten beads and often a cross or medal. Another form is the rosary card. A rosary card is either one with a "handle" that moves like a slide rule to count the decade, or it has a whole rosary with bumps similar to Braille and ancient counting systems.
Some households that cannot afford Christian artwork or a crucifix hang up a rosary. The Lady of the Rosary reportedly encouraged the praying of the Rosary and the wearing of the Brown Scapular. Throughout history, the Rosary and the Scapular as objects for devotions and prayers have been encouraged and associated by a number of popes, and specific indulgences have been attached to them. It is connected to the "Click to Pray eRosary" mobile telephone app, designed to help Catholic users pray for world peace and contemplate the gospel.
The rosary can be worn as a bracelet; it is activated by making the sign of the cross.
How to Pray the Rosary
The app gives visual and audio explanations of the rosary. The use of Novenas which include a rosary is popular among Catholics. Indulgences are provided for rosary Novenas that include specific prayers, e. The longer "day Rosary Novena" consists of two parts, 27 days each, i. It is an uninterrupted series of Rosaries in honor of the Virgin Mary, reported as a private revelation by Fortuna Agrelli in Naples, Italy , in The second phase which immediately follows it consists of five decades each day for twenty-seven days in thanksgiving, and is prayed whether or not the petition has been granted.
During the novena, the meditations rotate among the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries. Rosary beads are at times used to say rosary-based prayers that do not primarily involve the Hail Mary and the mysteries of the Rosary. Some forms of the Catholic rosary are intended as reparation including the sins of others. These prayers often use rosary beads, but their words and format do not correspond to the Mysteries.