A wooden set of rosary beads resting on a Bible

Hello Rosary lovers! In this post we will ask: Can you pray the Rosary without beads?

Here, we are talking about a set of rosary beads. You can read about the rosary beads in this post.

Short Answer

The short answer is: You, you can pray the Rosary without a set of rosary beads. You don’t need Rosary beads in order to sufficiently pray the Rosary.

There we are, case closed, right?

Not Quite So Fast!

Hang on a moment, we aren’t done quite yet haha!

You don’t NEED a set of rosary beads to pray the Rosary, BUT it is strongly recommended that if you have some you use them.

You don’t HAVE to use them, you are not obligated to and the Church doesn’t even command us to pray the Rosary.

You can be a perfectly good Catholic and never once pray a Rosary in your entire life. You can still become a saint and reign in heaven with Christ as soon as you die.

You can be a perfectly good Catholic and only ever pray the Rosary without a set of rosary beads. You can still become a saint and reign in heaven with Christ as soon as you die.

You Need to Keep Count Somehow

If you are going to pray the Rosary, however, you are going to need some way to keep count of the number of Hail Marys you are doing.

The nature of the Rosary is that it demands 10 Hail Marys per mystery/decade. Believe me, it is impossible to know instinctively which Hail Mary you are on if you don’t count them.

But you don’t really want to be actually counting each one consciously because that will distract you from meditating on the mysteries and the prayers.

This is why the rosary beads are so awesome. You just hold them and move your finger as you pray each Hail Mary. You don’t need to give ANY thought to what number Hail Mary you are on. The beads deal with this for you, so you can focus on praying.

It’s easy enough to subconsciously count 3 Hail Marys, but beyond this – unless you are actually counting each one in your head – you WILL definitely not know which Hail Mary you are on.

I’ve been praying the Rosary for over 2 years every single day, often praying a few rosaries a day. I still don’t know for sure which number Hail Mary is the last one for each decade.

The only ways I can know which Hail Mary I’m on are by the following counting methods:

  1. Using a set of rosary beads
  2. Counting the Hail Marys with my fingers
  3. Reciting the actual number for each Hail Mary before I say each one

The last method is the hardest, and requires me to say: ‘One: Hail Mary … Two: Hail Mary … Three: Hail Mary.’ I often lose my way with this method.

You really want a subconscious counting method and the top two options are good here.

Counting with your fingers is useful, but I still sometimes don’t know whether I’ve prayed 5 Hail Marys or 10 because of the way I use my fingers to count.

Why Using Rosary Beads is Best

The best way by far is to use a set of Rosary beads. Here’s why:

1. Rosary beads should be blessed by a Catholic priest and you will get a partial indulgence every single time you use them when praying the Rosary.

2. A set of Rosary beads is a religious item and therefore will, by its very nature, inspire you to seek God and to pray with more sincerity and devotion.

3. The Rosary was always intended to be inseparable from and ‘married’ to rosary beads. This is why the word ‘Rosary’ can refer either to the prayers themselves, or to the beads. They are two sides of one single coin. It isn’t a good idea to divorce them.

4. A blessed set of Rosary beads is itself a sanctified religious item and is therefore worthy of respect and honour. You cannot throw them away or dishonour them. To hold a set of Rosary beads is like holding God’s hand.

5. Keeping a set of Rosary beads in your pocket or on your person will constantly remind you to pray the Rosary. It’s harder to remember to pray the Rosary without the beads.

6. The Rosary has always been taught in such a way that the beads are included. This is the path of the saints. The vast majority of saints who have been devoted to the Rosary have used a set of blessed rosary beads. It is best to follow the footsteps of the saints if we also want to become saints.

7. A set of rosary beads can be your best friend. They can come with you everywhere and you can use them everyday.

8. Every morning I kiss the crucifix on my set of rosary beads and this brings great blessings.

9. Every night I do the sign of the cross with the crucifix on my beads and this brings a profound partial indulgence.

What kind of beads do you recommend?

I always recommend a set that will last permanently. I’ve had too many sets of rosary beads that I’ve gotten blessed that have soon broken and cannot be fixed. Or I fix them and they break again.

So I always recommend here at Rosary Lovers that you go for a sturdy set, and the best I can find are paracord rosaries.

There is an excellent company that sells paracord rosaries. They are beautiful and of a medium sort of size, possibly on the smaller size. You can’t wear them but you can put them in your pocket. They’re very easy to take out and pray all through the day.

==> The company and some of their products can be found on this link. Check them out! <==

I hope this post has helped and if you have any further questions or just wish to get in touch then don’t hesitate to drop me an email or leave a comment.

God bless you through Mary, Queen of the most holy Rosary!

6 Replies to “Can you Pray the Rosary without Beads?”

  1. you can also gaze at the crucifix and use the bloody wounds on Jesus body as rosary beads. The crown of thorns ,the left hand, the feet, the rib cage and the right hand. Thats five wounds You should be able to meditate on the sacred mysteries and gaze at the crucifix at the same time. do that twice for ten hail Marys

  2. Beautiful web page. I’m saying the rosary more, and my goal is to say it every day. Regarding your article: It is true that the institutional Church does not command us to say the rosary. But this, in addition to other of your statements that in essence, emphasize the option-ality of saying the Rosary, do not serve well. The question the article was addressing was clear and simply answered, but in answering, there is no need to dilute the POWER, efficacy and what our Lady (and many other saints, clerics and lay people) have told us about it, and their exhortations to say it. I would say the Divine Church most definitely instructs us to say the rosary. Though surely unintended, highlighting the optional tends to set the bar low, in an age where we need to raise it up.

    1. Hi there! I see what you’re saying and I’m a bit in two minds about it. Perhaps you are right that I don’t need to remind the reader here that the Church does not command us to say it. But you are definitely right that the Church highly recommends it constantly throughout history, especially recent history. She does this through many saints and Popes. So we might conclude that it would perhaps be foolish to ignore her counsel, simply because she doesn’t obligate us to pray it.

      But in all honesty, I don’t know. I try to remain agnostic where the Church is not dogmatic.

      All the very best 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *