Rosary prayer

Rosary – Conference of Catholic Bishops

Thursday, October 6, 2022 @ 3:14 p.m.

Rosary beads provide us with a physical method of counting the number of Hail Marys spoken while the mysteries are being contemplated.

As each prayer is recited, the fingers are moved along the beads. The intention behind using the beads is to keep the mind as free as possible, to focus on prayer and contemplation rather than following the mysteries.

A five-decade rosary contains five groups of ten beads (one ten), with additional large beads before each ten. The Hail Mary is said on the ten beads within a decade, while the Lord’s Prayer is said on the large bead before each decade.

A new mystery meditation begins at each of the large beads. Over time different forms of rosaries have become popular including the tens rosaries which are often used as they are smaller and during times of persecution they were easier to disguise and could be used while concealed in pockets.

A ‘rosary ring’ can often be seen worn around the finger with 10 indentations and a cross on the surface, this represents ten of a rosary.

Rosary app

Like most of society, the Church has adapted to the technological advances of the 21st century, and in October 2019 the Vatican launched an electronic Rosary. This one is composed of ten black agate and hematite beads, and a metal cross that can detect movement.

These beads are connected to the “Click to Pray eRosary” mobile phone application and are designed to connect Catholics around the world to pray together. The rosary can be worn as a bracelet and is activated when you make the sign of the cross.

Pray the Rosary

You can download this useful PDF (with thanks to New Advent).

To learn more, visit our page on Pray the Rosary.