White rosary beads

Hello there my dear Rosary lovers! In this post we have the question: do you pray the Rosary all at once? Let’s get to it!

My experience of praying a Rosary all at once

Personally, no, I don’t pray the Rosary all at once. Or at least, I often don’t. Sometimes I do, but I don’t ever seek to try to do so. I never think to myself, ‘Right, I’m going to try to pray a complete rosary in one go now.’

The reason why I never think this is because, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a helpful goal for me to try to achieve. I am less likely to pray the Rosary if I had this goal in mind.

The other reason I don’t ever seek to pray a complete rosary all at once is because I don’t have to. The Church nowhere teaches us that we should try to pray the Rosary all in one go, unless we are seeking a plenary indulgence. But you can only gain a plenary indulgence for praying the Rosary if you pray it in a Catholic church, or as a family.

I almost never pray the Rosary in Church, nor with my family. It is my personal devotion and therefore I can only ever gain partial indulgences for praying it.

This doesn’t bother me, at all. I have experienced the incredible spiritual powers of this devotion and I have no intention of doing it any differently to how I do it.

How I pray the Rosary throughout the day

So how do I do it? I get the introductory prayers done as soon as possible at the start of the day, and then I work my way through 4 rosaries each day, decade by decade.

Very often, I can only pray one or two decades in one go. The rest must often wait until later. This is due to a combination of how busy my life is with my family (particularly my children), and because of how burdensome I would find the Rosary if I felt I had to try to pray 5 complete decades in one go each time I prayed it. This wouldn’t work for me, at all.

So I plod through the day, decade by decade, as and when I can. Often I go hours without praying any of it, sometimes as much as 8 hours. But when opportunity next presents itself, I pick up from the last decade I finished and carry on.

No-one ever taught me this method, although I later discovered it’s a common way to pray the Rosary throughout the day and it’s an acceptable way. I simply began praying 5 decades throughout the day, a couple in the morning, one or two in the car, and one in the evening.

I found this approach so incredibly easy and attainable. I discovered that this method was very simple and liberating and I really liked it because of that.

It also brought great blessings, and was accompanied in my life with a sense of true simplicity in my relation to God.

I experienced how easy it is to be a devoted Catholic, if we merely obey what the Church teaches in her moral ethics (particularly with regards to sexual matters), and if we pray very simply.

I’m in good company with this approach. Pope Benedict XVI used to only pray 2 or 3 decades in one go. He couldn’t give himself to more than that each time. If this approach was good enough for him, it’s certainly good enough for little old me.

Why I don’t think a Rosary all at once is a useful method for everyone

Catholics pray the Rosary in many different ways, but I think a very common and unfortunate misunderstanding of the Rosary is the assumption of many Catholics that it must be prayed all in one go. I think this is so unfortunate because I honestly think this could put many Catholics off from ever praying it. The idea that you need to pray 5 decades in one go is daunting for many of us.

For plenty of us, I think it’s much more sensible to try one decade and see how you get on, and then maybe do another. And then maybe try to finish 5 decades in one day.

And then if you find you want to pray 6 or 7 decades, or even 10 decades (2 complete rosaries), then this is a much more helpful approach. It’s far less discouraging from the outset.

One Rosary in one go is the ideal

That said, praying 5 decades all in one go is no doubt the best way to pray a Rosary, as evidenced by the Church’s teachings on how to gain a rosary indulgence. The Church clearly teaches that we can only gain a plenary indulgence from praying the Rosary if we pray 5 decades all in one go without a break.

Final thoughts

ANY amount of Rosary prayed daily is a VERY GOOD thing. Even if it is simply one decade. One decade of the Rosary prayed well and with attention is quite possibly far better than praying 10 rosaries in one day without much attention and with lots of unnecessary distractions.

As I always say on this site, DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. Your devotional life is between you and God, and possibly your spiritual father or priest. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this, and consecrate your spiritual life to St Joseph. He will guide you wonderfully.

If you have any other questions or comments, leave them below or send an email and we’ll get back to you asap.

Rosary Lovers constantly promotes the glory of Mary and her Rosary. As such, we often direct readers to this gorgeous collection of long-lasting paracord rosaries.

God bless you!

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