Hello Rosary lovers! In today’s post, we will ask: do Christians use Rosary beads?
Rosary or prayer beads are common all over the world, in many different religions.
For instance, in Islam. Prayer beads are VERY popular in Islam. Check this out! Sometimes it is even called a rosary!
Rosaries are also very common in Buddhism. Have a look here.
So prayer beads and rosaries are used all over the world, by all sorts of people. Evidently, there is something special about a string with beads on it!
Why Prayer Beads are so Universal in Humanity
The reason for this is because meditation of the transcendent realm and on the Divine is universal amongst humanity.
Repeating an ‘incantation’ or a simple prayer again and again has been used by many religious traditions to help people to step into the Divine and the transcendent realm above us and beyond us.
This practice helps us come into contact with our very own souls, and to step beyond the material we see all around us. Sometimes we can even meet with God or the Divine in a special way.
Sets of rosary or prayer beads help us keep track of how many of these simple prayers or ‘incantations’ we are praying.
As for whether Christians specifically use rosary beads, let’s begin with Protestants.
Protestants and the Rosary
Not all Protestants use Rosary beads. In fact, most don’t use Rosary beads.
But many do.
In fact, the very first Rosary I ever bought was from an Anglican gift shop, and Anglicans are Protestants.
I loved that Rosary, but unfortunately after a few months of using it, it broke. As did all the others I bought from various places.
Eventually I began buying paracord rosaries, because they don’t break. You can have a look at some here.
Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformer, used to pray the Rosary. He kept up devotion to the Rosary even when he left (and was excommunicated by) the Catholic Church.
Luther had an extremely high view of Mary for a Protestant. Apparently he always believed in her immaculate conception and her ever-virginity.
All his life, Luther quite possibly believed in all 4 of the modern Catholic dogmas on Mary. If he did, then he was probably the only Protestant Reformer who did so. This is significant, since he is the main founder of Protestant Christianity.
Coming back to the Anglicans, many Anglicans are devoted to the Rosary. However, they tend to use their own version of the Rosary. You can see that here. Anglican rosaries tend to have clumps of 7 beads, instead of clumps of 10, as in the Catholic rosary.
Outside of Anglo-Catholics, Anglicans will tend to avoid the Hail Mary, because it is a prayer to Mary. Most Anglicans are not comfortable with prayers to Mary, so they’ll use another prayer instead, such as the Jesus Prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.’
Some Orthodox Christians are also devoted to the Rosary. In the marvellous Orthodox classic ‘Way of a Pilgrim’, the pilgrim constantly uses his ‘rosary’ to pray the Jesus Prayer.
Devotion to the Rosary has been taken up by some parts of the Orthodox Christian world, particularly Western Orthodox Christians. Western Orthodox Christians try to incorporate some Western (or Roman Catholic) practices into their form of Orthodoxy Christianity.
The Byzantine Orthodox (most Orthodox Christians) have their own version of the Rosary, with their own set of mysteries to mediate upon. The main prayer they use is an alternative version of the Hail Mary Catholic prayer, but both prayers are in truth extremely similar.
The Orthodox version of the Hail Mary goes like this:
Rejoice O Virgin and Theotokos, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.
Catholics and the Rosary
Then, of course, there are the Catholics. Catholics are most definitely Christians (even though when I was younger I used to deny this!!).
Catholics are very devoted to the Rosary, although not all Catholics are devoted to it. Catholics do NOT have to pray the Rosary. Catholics don’t have to be devoted to the Rosary. But many are.
Catholics are the largest group of Christians who publish the Rosary beads worldwide. Jesus wants Catholics to publish the Rosary all over the world, and Mary requested this of St Dominic.
Devotion to Mary in the Rosary equates to greater devotion to Jesus Christ. We cannot love Mary more than Jesus does, and Mary always directs attention to her Son.
Focus on Mary is focus on Christ, because Mary is the New Covenant Temple of the living Christ. To turn towards the Temple is to turn towards the God who dwells in the Temple. It is not possible to turn to the living Temple of Mary and to fail to turn to Jesus the God who dwells in her.
So, yes, all sorts of Christians use Rosary beads. Rosary beads are extremely popular worldwide, and they are one of the most popular forms of religious devotion in the world.
Should you be interested in getting hold of a Catholic rosary, then click here.
I hope this post was helpful, and if you have any questions, please get in touch.
God bless you.