Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Scriptural Rosaries

If you struggle with Rosary meditation, I highly recommend trying a Scriptural Rosary.  These can be found in Catholic bookstores (brick-and-mortar as well as online) and are pamphlets or small books with quotes from the Bible for each mystery of the Rosary.  Newer versions include the Luminous Mysteries.  Some Scriptural Rosaries include a quote for every Hail Mary in a decade while others may list a single quote, prayer or reflection to read before beginning a decade.  Almost all of them include a picture or illustration for each mystery.

The Bible references always help keep my attention on the mystery I'm contemplating and give me a tangible reference to reflect upon.  If the verse is unfamiliar, I often reach for my Bible to look it up after I'm finished praying.  Although I pray most of my daily Rosaries while I exercise, I frequently turn to one of my Scriptural Rosary booklets when I have a few quiet moments at home or during a Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament. 

My hands-down favorite is The Essential Rosary by Caryll Houselander.  It is an older book and doesn't include the Luminous Mysteries, but her poetry is so moving and beautiful!  I also love the classic, "little blue book" version which my mother used to keep in the glove box of the car (and probably still does) so we could pray it on trips.  (Again, no Luminous Mysteries).  Newer versions that include the Luminous Mysteries which  I own and have found helpful are:

The Magnificat Rosary Companion
Pray the Rosary (St. Joseph Edition)
Praying the Rosary Without Distractions (1st line on order form; click binoculars icon for more info)

Online versions:

Holy Spirit Interactive Online Scriptural Rosary
7 Dolors Scriptural Online Scriptural Rosary
Online Scriptural Rosary for Children (includes beautiful artwork, and is helpful for adults too!)
Podcast Scriptural Rosary (for your MP3 player! but the files are huge)

If you have a favorite that isn't listed, please add it (with a link, if possible) in the Comments for this post.


Ann said...

thanks for the links. I'm finding distractions very hard when praying the Rosary. I finally "confessed" to a very good Protestant friend that I was praying the rosary and she was very very supportive. Made me feel so good. When you've been going to Protestant churches for over 30 years, it's very hard to confess you are trying to find your Catholic roots.

Anonymous said...

Good recommendations, Peggy. The "missalette" in the pews contains the gospels for the various seasons. In these gospels you can find both the Joyful and Luminous readings in the Advent-to-Triduum publication, and the Sorrowful and Glorious in the current issue. It's right at hand if you need a biblical source while praying the Rosary in church.

Peggy Bowes said...

Ann, I have an upcoming post on Rosary CDs and audio that you might find helpful in minimizing distractions. Meditation is a very difficult skill to master! Pray to the Blessed Mother for assistance.

I still often get distracted, but now my wandering thoughts are at least more spiritually-oriented instead of the "What will I cook for dinner?" variety.

Anon, good suggestion about using a missalette as a type of Scriptural Rosary. One caveat: Please do NOT pray the Rosary during Mass (even during the dullest homily). We should be present, active participants at Mass. Arriving early or staying after Mass to pray the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament IS highly recommended.

Anonymous said...

Good point. I should have been more precise. While praying the Rosary during a visit to the Blessed Sacrament or at Adoration, trying to recall the lead-in to Jesus' baptism by John and some of the "Coming of the Kingdom" parables, etc. — that's when I might consult the gospels in the "missalette" (never liked that word).

Peggy Bowes said...

Anon, I figured you probably didn't pray the Rosary during Mass, but I just wanted to make that point.

Wouldn't it be nice if Catholic churches had Catholic Bibles in the pews? Just saying...

Rosary Kits said...

Thank you for the post, this is very helpful information.

Stacey honowitz said...

Your blog is very helpful for me. I have a rosary but i was little confused how to start my meditation.
Now every thing is clear.
Thanks for the share and will look forward to your next blog.