Give me a rosary, any rosary will do!
Is this how you feel about choosing a rosary? Or are you a bit more particular about the kind of rosary you choose? I’m sure you’ve noticed that finding the right rosary will increase the likelihood of you actually using it, however silly that may sound. Getting the right look and feel that attracts you is a great way to ensure that your rosary becomes a call to prayer instead of getting lost in a drawer.
1) A long rosary or a short rosary?
The length of a rosary may matter to you. Short rosaries, such as wood rosaries that are corded instead of linked, usually have the beads close together with no space between, while longer rosaries have the beads separated by more space, usually more links. The shorter rosaries may be a little more difficult to count the prayers (that is, your fingers may skip a bead accidentally because the beads are so close together) but the shorter size makes them much easier to tuck into small spaces. With longer rosaries you can pray without having to look down to make sure you don’t skip a bead. However, the longer ones with links between the beads tends to tangle on itself more easily and tend to require more space to store away, depending on the size of the beads. If you do prefer a longer rosary, you may want to keep it in a rosary pouch or box to keep it from getting tangled.
2) Smooth rosary beads or faceted beads?
Smooth rosary beads run through the fingers easily and feel nice, while faceted jewelry-like beads are more beautiful. The multifaceted cut reflects the light beautifully in various sparkly shades of color. Especially when each bead resembles a precious stone, such as birthstone rosaries. These jewelry bead rosaries are gorgeous. However, these kinds of beads don’t glide through the fingers easily like the smoother ones will. So do you want a rosary that your hands like, or that your eyes like? That’s up to you!
4) Basic or fancy rosary?
Some rosaries are very plain and basic, and these are always safe bets for giving to new Catholics (the ultra-elaborate rosaries may be a little too much for them), for children who may lose them, or for giving out in multiples (to bible study groups, etc). Plain rosaries usually have round wooden beads strung on a thin cord rope, and are usually very inexpensive. Plastic rosaries also fall into this category and are good for all of these cases. However, will the inexpensive plain rosaries encourage you to pray the rosary often? Is a more elaborate rosary likely to do the trick? If you admit that having a beautiful rosary that you absolutely love will encourage you to use it more, then you have your answer!
5) Regular or special devotion rosary?
Regular rosaries are the way to go unless you have a particular saint or a particular devotion that is special to you. Special devotion rosaries usually have a centerpiece associated with that devotion, and usually the beads fall in line with the theme too. For example, the Divine Mercy rosary has a centerpiece of the Divine Mercy image of Jesus, and the beads may have red and white swirls after the red and white rays that shine from Jesus’ heart. Other examples of special devotion rosaries are the Our Lady of Guadalupe rosary and the St. Benedict rosary. If you have a special devotion then you may want to get a rosary associated with it to help you remember these intentions each time you pray the rosary.
6) Child or adult rosary? Man or woman?
When you’re choosing a rosary as a gift, be sure to choose one that takes into account who you’re giving it to. If you’re giving a rosary to a man, don’t choose a fancy one with jewelry-like beads. Choose a men’s rosary, usually with slightly larger dark brown or black beads. The larger beads are better for a man’s bigger hands to manage, and the darker colors are more masculine. If you’re giving a rosary gift to a child, choose a children’s rosary that has smaller beads for a child’s hands. For a baby, baby rosaries are usually very large and colorful for the inevitable hand to mouth slobber fest. If you’re choosing one for your mother or an aunt or a best friend, choose a beautiful, classic rosary with an ornate crucifix and centerpiece and elaborate beads. These kinds of feminine rosaries are simply stunning and become treasured heirlooms. Many gift rosaries can be engraved with a personalized name to make it a special keepsake.
As a rosary connoisseur (I have way too many) I’ve noticed that I prefer some rosaries to others, and some actually make me want to pray the rosary more than others. Silly, I know, but I do love beautiful things! So be sure to choose a rosary that you love in order to give yourself the best chance of becoming a daily rosary prayer.