I came across this article the other day and I thought it served as a great foundation for a quick list of Rosary tips for Catholic families:
The first three ideas are taken from Fr. Cole’s advice (article linked above), followed by a few I’ve added, which, through personal trial and error and through hearing what other families do, have proven to be additional useful tips for giving the Rosary a more regular place in family life.
- Pause before each mystery to reflect. Mention the mystery before you start the decade, and pause a moment to reflect on that mystery, reminding you to think of that moment in Christ’s life (maybe even through the perspective of Mary!) as you pray the following Our Father and Hail Mary’s.
- Offer up each decade for a specific intention. Have someone in the family (or everyone) mention an intention they’d like that decade to be offered for.
- Split it up. The Dominican priest, Fr. Cole, recommends that people consider praying a decade of the Rosary at different times throughout the day, allowing more time to focus on each one. He recommends this as a far better alternative to “rushing through an entire Rosary” just for the sake of praying it all at once.
- Pick a set time. In our family, we usually pray a decade of the Rosary after dinner, since we are all gathered together then anyway. Warning: If it’s too close to bedtime, you’ll have sleepy pray-ers. Having a routine location is helpful, too.
- Rotate voices. Maybe dad prays the beginning of each prayer and the family completes, for example. Give children the chance to lead, too.
- Ask for the intercession of the saints. Have each family member ask for one favorite saint’s intercession before or after the Rosary or decade.
- Set the atmosphere. Make a holy atmosphere around the place you’ll pray. Perhaps you can have a picture or icon of Jesus and the Blessed Mother nearby, and/or light candles.
“Many in the world have lost the sense of contemplation, but if it is recovered, prayer could greatly strengthen individuals and families….If it [the rosary] is done correctly, wow it can really strengthen a marriage. Because in a marriage [and family], you have to face trials and difficulties. You need patience and kindness – graces that the rosary offers us are there.” -Fr. Basil Cole, O.P.