Sunday, May 10, 2009

Family Rosary

Since it is May, I was wondering, do you have a family rosary routine? We grew up praying the rosary as a family any time someone was sick or dying, which, with both grandmothers coming from large families, was often in my childhood. The women in our family prayed private rosaries before bed, we saw grandma kneeling but were not forced to join in. I have heard of many who pray a regular family rosary, though, and I would love to do so. I have made a few false starts with this one, can't quite figure out when to do it, how to get everyone through it, how often, etc. Whenever we do it, it is a disaster with lots of whining and rolling on the floor. I love the crocheted roses idea, but I would love some more reflections from our readers on when and why you pray a family rosary, and if you think it bears fruit.

Thanks!

15 comments:

Michael and Kristine said...

We ususally pray our family rosary right after dinner/right before our little one goes down. We have a 14 month old and, as of right now, she plays on the floor with her toys - including her large wooden rosary. Sometimes she'll even sit on one of our laps and "join in!" We haven't been as consistent as we should be with this, and I definitely know that it bears fruit in our life. I hope to keep up with this more regularly, and do think that once our children get older, they will be required to join in. We pray this together because, although it requires much effort sometimes, the Rosary is the most powerful prayer outside Mass and we desire the fruits and promises that comes from it. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

In my home, it's often helped to pray just one decade of the rosary. It really is a very deep prayer, hard to pray, I think, for the uninitiated. We also like the scriptural rosaries, which intersperse a verse of scripture related to each mystery between each Hail Mary.

Kathleen said...

We have two small children and most often go for Rosary walks. But if the weather is bad, we have been known to walk around our kitchen table and loop through the kitchen. I think one of my favorite images is of my daughter imitating her Dad's walk with her rosary in hand. With older kids, it may keep them from fighting, but we aren't there yet.

I just read Bishop Burke's (who I think must be a living Saint!) speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. http://blog.beliefnet.com/pontifications/2009/05/full-text-archbishop-raymond-b.html

He encourages us to say the daily rosary with our nation in mind. Perhaps older kids could come up with intentions for each decade to help them "own" the Rosary a bit more.

Gina said...

It also helps if Dad leads it.

Joanne said...

We don't do a family rosary yet, our household is a little too crazy for it. But my mom always said a rosary with her three brothers, led by her dad, kneeling on the stairs on the way up to bed and I always like the idea of that - making it part of our bedtime routine. Our bedtime routine is something that really restores everyone's sanity, coming out of a crazy late afternoon / dinner hour time and I'd like to add the rosary to that.

Right Said Red said...

At present, we only do one decade, on Sundays. We need to add more, but this has worked well for now. I think doing a decade before bed is a good idea. I have found one decade to be about the breaking point for my pre-school age children. I think older children can do an entire Rosary, but we need to build up to that. Mr. Red talks about the decade with them, and usually uses Tomi DePaola's book of bible stories OR this great Marian book for kids we have, to show them a picture and talk about the mystery. The kids then take turns leading each Hail Mary. We usually end by singing the Salve Regina.

4ddintx said...

We try to do a family rosary before bedtime once a week. It's taken some time to get in the habit, but it has been good for our family.

I like the idea of one decade a day, too.

I haven't finished them yet, but I bought pictures of the mysteries of the rosary from Leaflet Missal (they could be downloaded and printed from the internet, as well) and I'm putting them into mini photo albums from the dollar store so the kids can look at the pictures as we pray.

Now that I have a 10, 8, and 6 year old (as well as 4, 2, and 6 months) getting through the whole rosary is easier and the kids lead the decades. Even the four year has just started leading a whole decade by herself!

Any progress in prayer, no matter how small, is greatly rewarded!

texas mommy said...

With our 3 boys, we do one decade in the evening during our family prayer time (followed by a prayer and our family litany). We have a prayer corner with an icon, cross and candle. Lighting the candle is the cue for the boys to settle down. They are allowed to look at a book quietly during prayer time. In that sense, they don't really participate (which is why I loved the crocheted roses idea) though we do have laminated cards for the mysteries of the rosary for them to look at if they choose (but they don't). If they run around or do not remain quiet during prayer time, then they lose the privilege of blowing out the candle (a big deal since they love doing it.) This is the "natural consequence".

I think the 3 yo would be capable of participating if the 2yo was not in the same room, but with the two of them together, we settle for mostly quiet from them.

I liked to comment about dad participating. Even if dad can't be there for your family prayer routine during the week, making sure they know he prays the rosary on weekdays and then having him join in on weekends could help teach the importance?

texas mommy said...

I should also add, we add extra decades in the car (when everyone is strapped in!). It takes 20 minutes to get anywhere around here, so we can easily pray a decade before I will turn on music or a story.

Mary Alice said...

Did you make or buy the laminated cards? That is all very montessori/good shepherd of you, tex!

We used to have a candle holder that was a church (from a christmas village scene), and we would light that candle to be aware of the light of Christ in our domestic church. I did it with a moment of silence when the children would bicker and it really worked. This was in my idealistic, homeschooling with only four children days...

I think that the candle light is magical to them, I am going to think about putting up an altar area!

Kat said...

We have been privileged enough to be with Tex and her family as they do their family prayer time, and it is beautiful! The kids do a great job and know that it's time to at least play quietly, and it's good practice for eventually being able to participate more fully as they're developmentally ready. We were also inspired to add a family altar and family prayer time, just need to get organized!

texas mommy said...

It's funny...I thought you had passed along to me the link to the rosary 3-part cards, MA. It's from Bookworm.

We love our family altar. We have 4 small cloths (white, purple, red, green) for the liturgical season (from a discount fabric store) and a vase that we alternate flowers (sticks in a purple vase for Lent, lilies for Easter season, etc). I think these simple things help me to feel the church year more (as well as my kids). A behind-the-sofa table would be a good size place to set up the altar area.

Our candle is a homemade paschal candle. I used wax sheets from Magic Cabin and cut out a cross and letters and adhered them to an Ikea candle. I let the boys pick out the colors, but hopefully in a few years they will be able to make it themselves.

nancy said...

I grew up saying the rosary as a family once a week, I think on Saturdays, kneeling in the TV room around the coffee table. And we often said the rosary in the car on longer trips. I think for your little ones one decade is enough for now. It is easier to train kids who come to the task able to behave than to break habits formed by children who are too little to comply.
Nancy

momof4 said...

A very wonderful Marian priest in our parish implores all families, especially those with young children, to pray a daily rosary together. He states it simply, "Because Our Lady of Fatima asked us to do it and why would we not listen to her request??" kind of makes it difficult not to.. right?? Our family falls off the wagon at times, and I can tell you our home suffers when we do not make time for our family rosary. There is more tension, more whining (i have 3 girls) and less structure when we lose sight of what is really most important and that is family prayer time. When we started praying the rosary daily as a family my children were 5,3 & 1. we would do the rosary in the living room just before bedtime after teeth and pj's were on. Most of the time the children would just fall asleep midway through. Now the children are 7,5,3 and 9 months the older two will sit and pray the entire rosary, they like to lead the decades the 3 year old makes it through atleast one decade and then she stays in the room and sits quietly on the floor looking at saint books or the child's rosary book until the rosary is over. the 9 month old is usually nursing :) Our parish priest says that it doesn't matter if your little ones are not totally engaged and participating in the rosary. If they are in the room, they are absorbing the prayers and quiet reflection time. it instills in them a love for the rosary and Our Lady. It definitely helps them in forming a solid prayer life. MA, do I think it bears fruit?? Absolutely! and I am so grateful to our parish priest who challenged my family in the first place. God Bless you all.

Kevin said...

One thing we do is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. We can usually complete the full Chapet with the kids since it is a lot shorter. It gets them used to using their rosaries.