Hello there my dear Rosary lovers! In this post we will ask: what do Rosary beads represent?
The Rosary is mainly made up of 5 sets of 10 beads, with each set of 10 beads divided from the next set of 10 beads by a single bead.
These beads represent prayers. The 10 beads clumped together each represent one Hail Mary prayer. The individual bead which separates a set of 10 from another set of 10 represents one Our Father (the Lord’s prayer).
The idea of using beads to pray comes from the Desert monks in the 4th century in Egypt. These monks would pray repetitive prayers, a simple prayer over and over again. The Jesus prayer was one common prayer.
To count how many times they had prayed one simple prayer, the monks would throw a pebble into a basket.
As the centuries rolled on, Christians started counting prayers in other ways. They began to attach small stones to string, as a way of counting.
Eventually, we ended up with what we call the Rosary beads.
So the Rosary beads represent a lot of prayers to God, primarily repetitive prayers. In the case of the Rosary, the main prayer prayed is the Hail Mary, but the Our Father is also recited numerous times.
Originally, the Rosary was intended to be a replacement for reciting the Book of Psalms. The laity did not know the Psalms, and so instead of a Psalm they would pray a Hail Mary. Since there are 150 Psalms, this meant 150 Hail Marys.
You can still buy Rosary beads today that are over 150 beads in length. These Rosaries are used to pray the entire traditional Rosary daily.
The normal Rosary is 1/3rd the size of this, and has just over 50 beads. This is the one we are all familiar with.
This set of Rosary beads is used to pray a single Rosary. A single Rosary is 50 Hail Marys long, instead of 150 Hail Marys long.
So there you have it: the Rosary beads represent repetitive prayers.
In truth, you can use a set of Rosary beads for any prayers you wish. Catholics use the Rosary to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or the Chaplet of St Michael, or the Rosary of St Joseph, or the Jesus prayer. The options are endless.
But mainly, the Rosary beads are used to pray the Rosary. This is still one of the most popular prayers in the Catholic world.
If you want to know more about the Rosary devotion, then click here.
You don’t even need to use the beads to count. You can just clutch the Rosary as you pray to increase your devotion to God.
Rosary beads are incredibly popular, and even just today I saw someone come into my place of work enquiring about a job. He was wearing rosary beads around his neck.
Often you will see cars parked which have a set of rosary beads hanging down from the central mirror next to the front window screen.
So rosary beads have many purposes, and I strongly recommend that you own your own set.