Roses are such a beautiful gift of love. The best kind of roses that we can give to Our Lady is praying the Rosary which means “Crown of Roses.” Each Our Father and Hail Mary is a rose for Our Lady; therefore, the praying of a Rosary is a full crown for Mary.
The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is on October 7th and the whole month of October is dedicated to the Rosary. So, this is a timely reason to consider beginning or continuing to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is one prayer tradition that every family should consider recalling back regularly into their spiritual lives.
For my family, we have tried to add praying the Rosary especially throughout the school year. There are weeks when we easily complete it but not all weeks. My children have increased in their ability over time. But it takes time, wiggles and patience. When my youngest started, she struggled to keep up on the beads and asked after every Hail Mary “Where should I be?” until I started holding up my fingers to help her know what bead we were on. I know Our Blessed Mother understood that she was trying to learn and must have smiled down upon her. Prayer is not perfection but communication of love!
How do I pray the Rosary?
Simply, there are prayers to be said upon each bead as events of Jesus’ life are reflected upon with Our Lady. The Rosary is a powerful combination of both vocal (recited out loud or quietly within) and mental prayer (silent reflection without words). The Rosary can be prayed alone or together in a group.
There are many places where you can find out how to pray the Rosary. Having a guide or selecting a video option of the Rosary can help you gain confidence and be more capable of meaningful prayer. There are also audio and video options on Formed.org for praying the Mysteries of the Rosary as well as learning more about each mystery. The Rosary does take time to feel comfortable for children or those new to the Rosary, but it has abundant eternal benefits when prayed!
How could I start adding it into my family’s spiritual life?
A great place to start or a simpler option for families with younger children is praying a decade a day. Over the course of 5 days, you will have prayed a complete set of 5 mysteries and therefore you will have said a whole Rosary.
By praying a decade, you will have focused on a specific set of mysteries for the week, or you can say the mysteries that are traditionally said on that specific day- Joyful Mysteries (Monday and Saturday). Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Friday), Luminous (Thursday), and Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday and Sunday). When doing a decade a day, it is easier for my family to just focus on one set of mysteries for the week that connects with the liturgical year (i.e. Joyful during Advent and Christmas, Sorrowful during Lent, Luminous during Ordinary Time, and Glorious during Easter.) Find a way that works for your family.
Pick a consistent time to pray such as in the car on the way to school/work/sports or at home before homework, dinner, or bedtime.
What if my kids won’t sit still?
Being patient and consistent is the first step. Kids learn through time and observation. Show them how and over time they will get better. Don’t expect perfection from the start. As their minds or bodies wander, gently call them back to focus.
Another interactive and moving way to pray the Rosary is a walking decade of the Rosary. You can walk outside using sidewalk chalk to create beads to walk on, or draw on a long piece of paper or cardboard. This walking Rosary is used in a beautiful Rosary Garden that you might have seen with stones to walk upon for the beads. Walking while praying is great for the kids (or adults) who cannot sit still but can focus better with some movement.
What other practical tips might help to pray a meaningful family Rosary?
- Create rules and expectations for how to act during the Rosary.
- Provide each person with their own Rosary and take time to learn about it.
- Be patient with your children as they will learn the prayers with repetition.
- Allow time to offer up intentions making it personal and relevant to all.
- In time, watch in wonder as your children will want to lead the Rosary.
How can I teach myself or my children more about the Rosary?
If you are looking for more adult-level inspiration then consider watching this amazing hour-long video by Fr. Donald Calloway speaking on the Power of the Holy Rosary, check it out here!
A fun way to share with your children the gift of the Rosary and its prayers is through the Brother Francis video on The Rosary: A Special Way to Pray available on Formed.org. It might help them to visualize and understand this gift to Our Lady a little bit easier while learning some of the prayers.
Use art skills to teach them how to pray the Rosary by drawing a Rosary.
Watch together an animated Rosary Story and learn how its importance has been around for a long time within the Church.
Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks for an exploration of the “3 R’s” of the Rosary to add to our love of this beautiful Catholic prayer.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Author: Laura Stephens, FF Homeschool Coordinator