Family Rosary

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Anybody have any tips for a family considering starting a regular family Rosary in the home? I’ve always wanted to have one, but have always been afraid of the negative reaction from the kids. My kids, who have been occasionally asked to pray it, know all the prayers, so that’s not a problem. They are already 16, 15, and 9, not particularly rebellious and would do it if asked, but not without a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth, I’m sure. :eek:

As the Dad, my instinct is just to jump right and say 5 decades a night, every night. My wife suggests we at least start out less ambitious, maybe a decade a night. Any ideas? :confused:
Five decades only takes 15 to 20 minutes. The larger dose may be easier to swallow if each family member “claims” one decade for an intention that is near to his/her heart. Maybe once a week, or for special occasions, listen to and follow along with one of the rosary cd recordings accompanied by music and scripture. I recommend the one offered through
My kids love the Cd’s “Rosary for Teens” and “Rosary for Children”. They actually ask to do it! It takes a bit longer, like maybe 30 minutes, but the kids really like it alot.
I agree with the prayer intentions. My children are younger, so we only do a decade a night, but the kids get to have a prayer intention for each Hail Mary.

Cute Story: My 4 year old is very, ahem, talkative. Every night it is a struggle to get him to wait his turn for his prayer intention (which is actually very sweet). the problem is that I wasn’t sure he was “getting it”. One night, while I was collecting the rosaries, he points to the picture on his of Our Lady of Lourdes and says, “Is she a poor banished children of Eve?” “Yes,” I said, "but she is more. “She is the new Eve.” “Oh,” he says. Then, he turns his rosary over and points to the shrine at Lourdes on the back and asks “Well, then, is this the valley of tears?” LOL LOL! n I just laughed and gave him a big hug. I guess he’s paying attention 😉

We do a family rosary once a week. Things we do are:
  1. allow each child to say a decade
  2. have these great sheets of paper called Rosary Reflections for kids. These allow the kids to draw each mystery. That is a big hit, even for the big kids.
  3. When we start the rosary we let everyone have a turn for their offering up time.
I would love to do a daily rosary but right now my dh doesn’t think it would work. I am working on it. 😉

Hope that helps you some. I personally don’t think with the ages of your kids that you should start out slow. Just jump in! 👍
We say a family rosary once a week. There really was a very minimal gnashing of teeth when we started, although our oldest (twins) were 13 when we started. There was no real room for negotiation; this is what we are doing, and this is when we are doing it.

We say it every Sunday evening. The exact time depends on our schedule for the day, but we NEVER miss it. My husband would probably go for 5 decades a day, every day, but I think the kids WOULD start to rebel a bit.

The older kids and we (parents) say the chaplet of Divine Mercy during the Novena time for it (Good Friday through the Sunday–Divine Mercy Sunday–after Easter). For Lent this year, our boys decided to say that chaplet every night before bed, and they didn’t miss a day.

I think the family rosary is a good thing to start. Start once a week. Let each child take a turn with a decade. Ask for special intentions at the beginning. It’s really a valuable time here. VERY often, we gather in the living room for it, and end up talking together for an hour or more before and afterwards!! It’s great.

Hope that helps! 😃
This is off topic but I love your sig line, kristalyn! I have a tshirt that says those very words! I love that! And I only have 5 kids! 🙂
You have all made me feel so guilty.
My son came home earlier this year with rosary beads he made at school.
I never sat down and told him about them, and I have never sat with him and prayed the rosary.
He is 6.
I just hoped that he was taught properly at school.
I really need to shape up as his primary educator.
I want him to feel like he can pray whenever he wants , and not be embarassed, like I feel if I pray and my parents see me.
Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiring me to do better
Love Kellie
I think that praying a rosary with you family is a great and holy thing to do. I also think that you should do 5 decades a night altering the mysteries according to what day it is, and go for it. You might as well start the kids out with everything instead of working up to it. Also give them ownership to the rosary by letting them lead a mystery and or the whole thing a few nights so that they get involved themselves. That might make it more fun for them.
This is off topic but I love your sig line, kristalyn! I have a tshirt that says those very words! I love that! And I only have 5 kids! 🙂
Thanks–I “only” have 5 too, and I don’t own the t-shirt but I WILL before too long!! 😃

Only in Catholic communities can I say “I only have 5 kids.”

Out in the rest of the world, I feel like I have to be ready to start CPR when I tell people I have 5 kids!!

Now back to the regularly scheduled thread on family rosaries…

And Kellie, it’s easy to start!! Don’t feel guilty if you didn’t start when your little guy brought them home! Tell him TODAY to go and get them, and start to pray it together. If he doesn’t have them, or can’t find them, take him to a store (or your church!) and get each of you a set and start! 🙂
I agree with the “jump right in and do it” camp.

We said the rosary everyday during Lent. We say it just like you’d see on EWTN, only I get to be Mother Angelica:D. I start the first half of the prayer and my wife and children say the response.

The kids like it when I change announcing the mystery into a Q&A. “Who knows what the 4th luminous mystery is?” “Who can tell me about the Transfiguration?”

My kids usually start the rosary still wound up and excited from the day, but it slows them down, gets them quiet, and they are ready for bed by the end.

Now, we usually do the rosary 2-3 times per week. The other days, I’ll read a bible story. Then we discuss it and close with some prayers. Lately, we’ve been working on learning some more traditional Catholic prayers, like the Memorare and St. Michael the Archangel.

My youngest boy and my little girl both like to sit on my lap while we say the rosary. I was chatting with my 85 year-old mother-in-law yesterday, and she pointed out that they will both remember sitting on Dad’s lap and saying the rosary when they are her age.
Thanks for all your advice everyone. We actually had a family rosary tonight after dinner and it went remarkably well! 👍

We warned the boys ahead of time, and before we started darkened the room a bit and lit several candles around our little bedroom shrine to make it more special. We tried to keep it as simple and no frills as we could. Each of the boys brought a pillow and got to choose a rosary from a box we have. We found the simplest, shortest meditations we could and each took turns leading the decades (there are five of us so it works out perfectly). They fumbled a little over the prayers and my youngest asked how much longer after the first decade (which frustrated my oldest a little), but other than that it was a warm, positive, family experience which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂 We decided to do a weekly family rosary (every Wednesday) to kind of recharge our spiritual batteries between Sundays.

Again, thanks for the suggestions and please keep us in your prayers.
I have two young daughters and we say the rosary several ways: they each get to lead a decade, we might say one decade a night, we listen to rosary CDs and we have a vedeo of children saying the rosary as well as another more oriented to adults but the girls enjoy the commentary and music. Using variety such as talking about the mysteries of the rosary without actually saying the rosary prayers is a form of prayer too. I try to also apply it to their daily lives to show them how to live the rosary daily. They have become more and more comfortable thinking and saying the rosary and now join us in church for the entire rosary.

Just some ideas.
I am both shocked and sadden by the replies to this thread. I just can’t imagine children rebelling against prayer. I also can’t imagine thinking that saying an entire rosary for any children beyond toddlerhood is expecting too much. Or that once a week is all the family prayer time.😦

Praying as a family does not need to be sitting in a room, kneeling, quietness, and low lights. You can pray as you walk, drive in the car, wash the dishes, fold the laundry, doing absolutely anything. You can pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in less than 5 minutes, so it is a prayer that you can recite anytime you climb in your car. You don’t have to recite the entire rosary in one sitting. If you pray part on the way to school/work and the other part on the way home, you have said the whole thing.

It may seem irreverant to some people to pray this way…but far better to pray this way, than not at all. If our children aren’t taught that prayer is our highest priority daily, than we are failing in raising holy children. Jesus should not be an afterthought, nor a source of rebellion. He should be what our entire day is for and about, constantly in the fore front of every decision we make.
You know, once you and your family get used to praying together, it’s a natural thing to do. Getting started is the hard part, if you’ve never done it before.

When my one son got hurt last week, my other son and I came home and said the chaplet of Divine Mercy–our emergency need prayer.

Both sons and I said it again last night (AFTER our rosary!) for healing for his hurt leg. A few years ago, it would have been completely weird to try to pray together like that. We’d never done it. I would have prayed in my room…the boys would have prayed in their room–but probably not together!

It is an amazing thing to pray together as a family, and as soon as you start, you realize how natural and important it is!!
I have been encouraged by reading through these ideas. Does anyone have some ideas to get older family members involved (ie husband and 20 yr old college student). I am the only member of our family that says the rosary, and I am the only convert!
We’ve prayed the family rosary each night for nearly 5 years now. We just jumped right in and started each night with 5 decades. I am so moved when I realize that 5 of my kids have heard/prayed this beautiful prayer each night for their entire lives. It’s not always a quiet peaceful time, but who knows what fruits will come of even the more rowdy roseries!!

We have always used different visuals to help the children meditate. There are numerous books and videos available. I do recommend alternating what ever type visual you happen to use in order to keep their interest. We even change up locations every now and then. Sometimes we are in the living room, sometimes everyone piles into our bed, sometimes we go for a drive, on the front porch, while walking around the block, etc… We’ve even been known to pile a bunch of pajama’d kids into the van and drive over to the nearest chapel (we’re smack in the middle of the city, we are blessed w/ many perpetual adoration chapels to choose from!) and pray together in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

My absolute favorite way to pray the rosary though, is not with rosary beads, but to keep track on tiny little newborn baby toes! 🙂
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