Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Family Rosary

First, I'd like to start with a disclaimer. I really love praying the rosary. By myself. Or with other adults.

A few months ago, I was chatting with a friend about wanting to do a family Rosary. Well, actually, about NOT wanting to do a family rosary. My reasons:

  1. I have too many little kids.
  2. My kids are seriously rambunctious.
  3. We're pressed for time in the evenings.

So while I'm chatting with this friend, I start to realize a few things.

  1. She has just as many little kids as me (about the same ages, in fact)
  2. Her kids are seriously rambunctious.
  3. She's even more pressed for time in the evenings than I am.

So my excuses were nil, and I begrudgingly brought it up to my husband. He, of course, was REALLY excited about it. (Not kidding.) We made a firm resolution to start it that very night right before bed.

So we are on month three of the Family Rosary. I have to admit, we don't do it EVERY night--we reduce to a decade when we have been out or it simply gets too late. But for the most part, we pray an entire rosary each night.

Here are some things I've learned:

  1. Provide religious books to look at. Most kids DO NOT have a long attention span for listening, but if they have a book they can flip through, the Rosary becomes much easier for them to pray.
  2. (I got this one from a friend) Do the rosary right before bed, after teeth brushing and pajamas. That way, their choices are "Go to sleep" or "Pray the rosary." Every kid I've ever met would rather get the extra 20 minutes with Mom and Dad instead of going to sleep. (Note: We don't actually verbalize this choice...but some day, a rebellion may arise, and that would be our solution)
  3. Try to relax. I've found myself in this scenario: "Hail Mary, full of grace, JOHN PAUL, SIT DOWN! The Lord is with thee. Blessed--JOHN PAUL, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU??--art thou among women, and blessed is the--JOHN PAUL, DO YOU NEED A SPANKING?--fruit of thy womb Jesus. You get the idea. Don't be that Mom.
  4. Pray! Sometimes, it's the most obvious thing, and you forget anyway. You might be focused on a little guy sneaking a Winnie the Pooh book instead of his Blessed Mother book, or trying to make sure that the baby doesn't eat the broken arm of a football action figure. But offer those little inconveniences up to God and ask Him to give you the grace to handle them like our Lady would have. And when things are melting down, skip a few Hail Mary's and say them later!!
  5. Just do it. It's half the battle.
  6. Get ready to see some FRUIT. Our Lady always delivers. Stay tuned for part 2 of this post to see how it's worked for us!


  1. Gosh, Krissy, this is AMAZING!
    WE too have been working on a more structured family prayer time before the girls go to sleep and I really feel the difference in all aspects of my/our lives! Praise the Lord for that! We really like the Divine Mercy chaplet - but I think I am going to hold off for a few more months as right now we are combining our prayer time with teaching about Jesus time for Tessa. But....the books are a great idea- so maybe we should try it!
    Why don't we talk about these things in real life? It seems everyone else does with other friends (like Katie too)
    Am I the only one not talking about prayer during phone calls! Come on ladies!! Share with me tooo!!!!
    Love you!

  2. Hi Krissy, thanks for your comment, and I'll have to get Phil to respond since this is his area of expertise :)

    We too try to do the family Rosary with 4 little ones, and the older boys are very good about praying the whole thing with us. Actually all the boys (ages 6, 5, 3) each say a decade. Maggie (almost 2) just cuddles and plays. I don't care what she plays with, as long as it's quiet. She still sees our example. The boys get a little lazy and lay on the couch sometimes instead of kneeling or sitting, but we don't fight that too much either...we just try to keep setting a good example.

    Good luck in your endeavors!! My mom swears it was the Family Rosary and the Home Enthronement to the Sacred Heart that kept our family together. So we are trying to imitate that as best as possible :)

  3. That's great Krissy! I give you a lot of credit for praying a FAMILY Rosary... What a great testament to the kids and a wonderful way for them to just be accustomed to praying (or at least passively hearing such a beautiful prayer). Andy and I have been praying the Rosary daily for about 3 years, and honestly some days the only reason I do do it is that it's an expectation, but I know Mary appreciates the offering when I don't want to do it also. One of the good things about driving 20 min to and from work is getting the Rosary in. It is a challenge when we pray it with the boys around, but they are getting better about letting us pray. I like Colleen's idea about the boys each saying leading a decade. It's a good way to get them involved... perhaps we will do that next year when Blaise is 5... maybe earlier... hmmm...
    I am looking forward to hearing about the fruits of your prayer time!!!

  4. We try to do a Family Devotion and prayer time each night and it can get frustrating. But the rewards are greater than the frustration. I think it's great that more families are seeing the value of teaching their children the things of the Lord. I hope it continues to be a blessing for your family.

  5. We also mostly pray the rosary with our little ones.I posted about our rosary and praying in public with it on my blog recently.
    Our little ones often fall asleep to this and I can think of nothing lovelier. Even our older childre use the rosary booklets and I have on our wall pictures of each mystery and the fruits of the mystery for anyone to refer to. We change these daily.
    It is now a family practise and our older children even pray it alone while walking or working.
    Keep up the great work.
    God Bless

  6. Hi Krissy!!
    You are my first follower on my blog..thanks!! You have a terrific blog, and a great outlook as a young mama...very inspiring and nice to see.

    The Family is tough, no doubt, and we aren't perfect when we do it...and now we have a two year old who is convinced that Rosary time = performance time for her. I always try to remember that no matter how "successful" we look....or not....(usually not in this household)...God doesn't ask for us to be successful, just obedient.


  7. Good to see a blog promoting the Family Rosary.Really wonderful.

    God Bless and greetings from Ireland