The Holy Rosary is a powerful and fruitful prayer. It normally takes around 15 - 20 minutes to pray the Rosary. However, if you are finding that it’s a challenge to fit it into your day, a great way to get started is to pray a decade. A decade of the Rosary is one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and One Glory Be.
The important part about praying the Rosary is learning to not rush it. To not let it become just another to-do item on your list, trying to get it done as quickly as possible. It’s a petition to Jesus through Mary and should be treated with care. It is far better to say one decade, or even one Our Father, with a real spirit of prayer, than a full Rosary that is nothing more than repeated words.
Tips to not rush
Here are five quick tips on how you can practice not rushing through your Rosary.
Let Jesus be the heartbeat (or speedbump)
“Although the repeated Hail Mary is addressed directly to Mary, it is to Jesus that the act of love is ultimately directed, with her and through her.” - Saint John Paul II
Although there are over 50 repeated Hail Mary’s in the Rosary, it is really a Christ-centered prayer. We are petitioning Jesus, through his mother. His holy name is the hinge that binds the two halves of the Hail mary together.
Pope John Paul II has noted how emphasis should be given to the name of Jesus in this prayer. However, if we pray the Hail Mary too quickly, we may not give the proper reverence and loving attention to Jesus' name that we should. "Sometimes, in hurried recitation, this center of gravity can be overlooked" (RVM, no. 33).
Think about the name of Jesus as the heartbeat of your prayer, taking extra emphasis on his holy name. Another way to think of it is a speedbump, to slow down and take extra care.
“The Holy Name of Jesus spoken with love becomes the heartbeat of the Rosary - that is what the Rosary is all about.” - Edward Sri, Praying the Rosary Like Never Before
Take extra care in pronouncing each word
Saint Josemaria Escriva asks us to pray the Rosary slowly and simply. He encourages us to pronounce each Our Father and Hail Mary clearly and intentionally. In doing so, we will better express our love for Mary and Jesus. Remember the Our Father was handed down to us from directly from Jesus and almost all of the Hail Mary is taken directly from Scripture. These words were not lightly chosen, they are significant and powerful.
Put in headphones to bring more silence
An easy way to increase your distractions is to increase the noise around you. A practice that has helped me focus and slow down has been to put in headphones when I pray the Rosary. I don’t have any music playing, I just use the in-ear headphones to help me block out some of the noise. Think about the environment that you are praying in. We are human and influenced by our environment, taking extra care with it, and blocking out noise, will help us pray well.
Follow along to a video
Finding a good video, like this one from Ascension Media, can guide us through the Rosary and avoid rushing. When we follow along with a role model it keeps us on a steady pace. Think about it as praying in the community and following along with the community.
When distractions arrive, instead of feeling bad or trying to will your mind away from them, redirect them. If an individual or situation comes to mind, offer that current decade or Hail Mary for that. If your distraction is a feeling or some worry, pray for that intention. Often the Lord will put important situations in our minds. “I have many distractions, but as soon as I am aware of them, I pray for those people, the thought of whom is diverting my attention,” says St. Thérèse of Lisieux. “In this way, they reap the benefit of my distractions.” The key is to not let the distraction take you away from the Rosary. “Arrest” that distraction and transform it into your Rosary.
New to the Rosary? Here are some great guides from us.
The Rosary Card - Built For Convenience
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