How do you hold a rosary?

This may not be the proper place to post this, and it’s maybe a silly question, but I figure Trads would know the answer.

Whenever I see a statue or picture of someone devoutly praying the rosary, they always hold it in a manner that allows them to fold their hands together, with the crucifix hanging down between them, and the rosary kind of wrapped around both hands. I’ve tried to do this but really can’t figure out how to do it in a way that allows me to count the beads. Anyone know?

Most people just run the rosary simply through their fingers as they pray. There is no right or wrong way to hold them. The beads are an aid to prayer, for counting the number of prayers already said. Obviously the statues don’t pray or count beads so it’s a custom to hang the beads thus. Joined hands is a symbol of prayer, but you don’t have to join your hands to pray

God bless you for your good intentions and your prayers

Hold it however it works for you. I tend to pray it while walking and cup the cross in the palm of my hand while running the beads between my thumb and forefinger. When sitting down for a slow, contemplative recitation of the Rosary, I place it in my lap and hold it with both hands, “working” only one hand.

I never could figure out how to hold one with hands clasped in prayer either. So I stick with just threading it through my fingers, like so:

Hmmm … you’d want to keep your hands together, but separate the thumbs a little from he rest of the hand, then you can hook the Rosary into the space between thumb and palm and let the rest of it fall forward so people facing you see most of the Rosary.

Mind you, this technique is pointless if you’re actually trying to use the Rosary for its intended purpose, to count prayers. :shrug:

i was taught to hold the crucifix in my hand always instead of letting it swing.

Some monks and nuns wear rosaries as part of their habit, usually hanging from their belt - usually swinging freely. :shrug:

I swear the pastor of the parish I grew up in could do that – Not with the crucifx hanging free, but he had some method of wrapping or weaving it in his hands so the whole circuit of beads could (for lack of a better word) circulate. I regret that I never inquired to learn his trick.

Thus, I remain: A palm-cupper.


If it’s of any use, I always use my left hand to count the beads. I heard somewhere that the left side was the side on which satan and his angels attack, and so the rosary acts like a shield against them. I dunno where this comes from, but I always thought it was a really beautiful symbol for the rosary being a spiritual weapon so I keep it alive in my own personal prayer. Anyone hear of this too? Where’s it come from??

Here’s a free-swinger:

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Wow. I have never heard of this before, but after reading it I took an accounting of all my major injuries from the past (and my current sprained ankle) and they are ALL on the left side of my body…no kidding! Don’t know if there is truly anything to this, but what a coincidence.

Without rendering judgment along the truth-superstition scale:

That is also the reason spilt salt is thrown over the left shoulder – So it will fly into the eyes of the devil and blind him. :hypno:


i can’t speak for the religious, but to me it is a sign of respect to cradle the crucifix in your hand. i don’t like to see it crash into the back of the pew and whatnot all the time. holding it in your hand is not a bad thing.

I have seen mother Theresa and other religious (mostly nuns) holding it that way- idk if they are just holding it and praying without actually counting the beads or what, but it just looks devout.

I’ve never heard that, but I do know from heraldry that the left side (the right if you are looking at the shield, which would be the holder’s left) is called the ‘sinister’ side… as in a ‘bend sinister’

I will not say all my major injuries were on the left side (I injured both achilles tendons), but many have been.
I have a scar on my left shin. I broke my left ankle twice. l tore my left rotator cuff…

I have a way of wrapping them around my right fingers and by moving them in order and pushing with my thumb, I can get the beads to circulate. Don’t ask me to explain it because its just something that happened one time and don’t really get how it works but it does.

I would like to suggest a way to hold your Rosary. Please I have answer you at my blog at the post “How to hold the Rosary”:extrahappy:

Vidaemsociedade, which fingers are you praying on? For instance, are you counting with the three lower fingers (thumb, pinky and ring) or are you counting with the top two (index and middle)?

The two fingers that represents the two natures of
Christ hold the Rosary let´s say “as a cigarret”. With the two bigger of the three fingers that represents the Holly Trinity we “pull” down the counts. In the picture I have to hold de camera with my right hand so maybe so is not so clear. But is that clear now?

You hold your Rosary like your fingers where scissors, and with the others you pull down. I intended to make a little clip and put at You Tube. Maybe it doesn´t look like at the beggining but is the best way to hold. There is a picture of Johannes Paulus II where he is holding the Rosary these way, but I could not found at Internet to attached here. And as you problably kwon Poland is a very catholic country so when I saw how he was holding the Rosary a look after why and I found the explanation that I gave above and at the other post reading about Christian Icons.

Thanks for your atenttion and I will be glad to visit the link you suggest me.

How to hold the Rosary