Wearing a rosary around your neck can be seen either as an act of irreverence or as a more visible reminder to pray the rosary.
Many Catholics, and sometimes even non-Christians, wear rosaries as if they were necklaces. This might outrage some Catholics, who think the person treats the rosary irreverently.
Is it OK to wear a rosary around your neck?
The Church has no official statement on the wearing of the rosary. When blessed, a rosary is a sacramental, and some sacramentals (such as the brown scapular) are worn around the neck.
However, the original saints and religious who promoted the Rosary never said what you should do with the beads when you are not praying. Even the religious found inventive places to keep them. Dominicansfor example, wear a rosary attached to their belt.
During the last years, Rosary rings and Rosary bracelets have become popular. They are intended to be used as a prayer aidfacilitating the prayer of the Rosary, and not primarily as jewelry.
There is nothing wrong with wearing a rosary as a necklace, as you would a religious medal or a scapular; indeed, it is a common custom in many cultures. In this way, it serves as a reminder to pray the Rosary.
On the other hand, it’s probably not a good idea for Catholics to wear a rosary, especially if it’s blessed, like a piece of jewelry or a fashion statement, with no intention of praying it. This is a misuse of the sacramental. However, wearing a rosary in a deliberately mocking or sacrilegious manner, or as gang identification as some do, can be a sin.
The main thing to remember is the intention of the wearer. Do you wear a rosary around your neck as a sign of devotion and to remind you to pray, or just because it goes well with your outfit?