Make Time for the Rosary

This is not a helpful essay on how to better pray the Rosary.  This is not a fascinating essay on the history of the Rosary.  This is not even really an essay about the great beauty and value of the Rosary.  This is just an article to encourage you to pray the Rosary sometimes.  Not a very rousing thesis statement I know!  In my experience there are many families with a deep devotion to the Rosary.  They pray it every night and make a point to join public recitations before or after Mass.  Then there are other families who don’t.  And somehow it seems like you have to choose one or the other: Say the Rosary every night or not at all except extraordinary occasions.  This seems a bit odd.

Perhaps the issue is that most people really admire the every day Rosary prayers.  They’d like to do that.  Then somehow at the end of the day they didn’t say it so they decide they just can’t.  It’s not for them.  So they don’t say it at all, which is a real shame.

My husband comes from a family that prays the Rosary together every night.  When we married we planned to continue this pious and spiritually beneficial tradition.  It is a fond memory of mine: lying on our mattress on the floor when we did not have a stick of furniture or a bed frame, counting off the Hail Marys on our fingers because we didn’t have our own rosaries.  We would stare at the crucifix on the otherwise bare walls, the one thing that made that first house in those early days a home, and pray the Rosary.  Every night.

Nine months later, the baby was born.  Somewhere around a year later we woke up and noticed we had barely prayed family prayers beyond God blesses since his arrival.  I think this is where many people in the “not Rosary people” camp find themselves.  It’s just not happening!  Don’t give up.  Pray the Rosary, at least sometimes.

Say it on Fridays.  Say it in Advent.  Say it for Lent.  Say it on first Saturdays.  Say it when randomly you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and in need of prayers.  Say one or two decades a night if you can’t manage five.  Maybe it isn’t every night.  Maybe it isn’t every week, but it’s so so much more than nothing.  The graces that will flow from just one Rosary are amazing! Give Our Lady a foothold in your family.

We continue to struggle towards being an Every Night family again.  Each time we recommit things look a little different at Rosary time.  We’ve had times where everyone kneels, times where toddlers wander off and play while parents pray, or the current version with candles lit, and rosaries handed out.  The older children lead decades and there are long discussions at the beginning of each decade about the mystery we are on.  At the end we sing a hymn and the baby does interpretive liturgical dance, sometimes joined by her slightly older sister.  Her favorite is Immaculate Mary.  We’ll go months and months doing well and then something will throw us off.  Not even a big thing.  One or two late nights out in a row are enough to start the slide and suddenly it’s been half a year!  That’s not a good thing.  But it doesn’t have to be the end.

In this month of the Holy Rosary give it a try.  Every night for a month if you can!  Or less.  Kneeling or sitting, with kids or without.  There is probably a best way to pray. There are definitely ways that are better than others but there are many many ways that will strengthen and nourish your soul and your family more than no way at all.  Be a family that prays the Rosary, at least sometimes.

Caitlin Marchand

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Caitlin Marchand is a home schooling mother of 4 and a graduate of Christendom College. She enjoys writing in her spare time and blogs at theunrepeatables.wordpress.com

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  • Sanctus 3

    Caitlin: So very sensible, encouraging, and benign! Prayer is the very life-breath of our spirit, so it is an absolute requirement for a life pleasing to God. As the wise saying goes, “Pray in the way you can, not in the way you can’t.” Persistent, even though short, strides will bring us home. Thank you!

  • Tina Rodriguez Dell

    You have given great insight. It wasn’t until reading this article that i discovered this is just how i started. My goal was to pray the rosary every day. I begin at bedtime praying a few decades each night building up to a daily full rosary. I set my alarm on my phone to remind me that our local Catholic radio station prays the today at 10 am Monday-Saturday then at 9:30 on Sundays. For more than three weeks this has been a true blessing beyond measurement. Less than two months ago we buried our fifth child. She was born with minimal lung function due to cysts that filled both of her kidneys. She lived for 8 beautiful hours, we were blessed to have her that long. I knew I needed My Mother, Mary, to help guide me toward her Son and she most certainly has.

  • Kelli

    Amen! The worst thing we can do is beat ourselves up. Every day we just have to try and get out of heads this glorious experience of prayer. As a mother of nine, I can assure everyone that sometimes prayer looks crazy! :)) But our families need it and it should be our number one source of strength. I recently saw that you can take little seasonal items, like small craft pumpkins for Fall, and allow the toddlers to take turns placing one in a basket each time a Hail Mary is prayed. I thought this might inspire little ones to pray better! God bless everyone and family prayer.

  • Caitlin Marchand

    I think the devil often uses our perfectionism against us. “Oh I don’t always pray as much as I ought, I should just give up.” It’s a strange way to tempt but somehow it seems very effective! So long as we aren’t complacent or lukewarm about being imperfect and keep trying we’re on the right track. I like that idea for the little ones.

  • Michelle @ needle and nest

    I started praying the rosary at the beginning of the summer and it’s been life-changing. I pray it every night in the quiet after my youngest falls asleep (I like the idea of her hearing my prayers as she sleeps). I also pray a decade with my young children every morning before school (and on weekends when I don’t forget!). I don’t think I’d be as successful if I tried to do it at night with them, but mornings have worked well for us. I also think it’s a great start to the day and an excellent way for my children to learn to pray every morning.

  • Doctormom4

    Every time I read about a family that prayed the rosary “every night”, I know this is not true. It is true but it isn’t. Any family with children has life happen to them. I do not mean this in a negative way and this is why — as a child we prayed the rosary, guess what, EVERY NIGHT!! I am sure this isn’t true, but since I was a child and childrens memories”squish together”… we prayed it so often, that I knew it was important and we did it enough that that memory is ingrained and has turned into “every night” for me. So yes, keep trying, it will definitely leave a mark on your children.

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