Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise


So I was reading the thread regarding praying for a boyfriend’s conversion and followed a link to a page full of prayers asking for St. Monica’s intercession including a Chaplet.

Well…reading through the site I came across this little note.

Traditionally the Rosary is prayed clockwise

It grabbed me because for as long as I can remember I’ve always prayed the Rosary counter-clockwise! At the point where I choose a direction, I always go to the right. It just came natural to me. I never knew there was a “traditional” way to go about it.

But I’m sure it ultimately doesn’t matter either way so I’m not going to obsess over how I count my rosary beads. But it did sound like an interesting, light-hearted CAF poll. :thumbsup:

(And if this needs to be moved to a more light-hearted section of the forum, please don’t hesitate to do so)

So…when you pray the Rosary, do you count your beads clockwise or counter-clockwise?


I am just learning the rosary so this was an interesting question.

Here are web sites that say counter-clockwise, here, and another here, with a picture.

Here is a web site I think shows counter-clockwise, here, also with a picture.

Here is a web site that has a detailed picture, but I could not tell if their directions were for clockwise ot counter-clockwise, see here.

I did not vote because I do not know, the people who know the rosary will have to help me.

And for what it is worth, when I prayed the rosary last Sunday at 11:00 am Eastern Time, I prayed it counter-clockwise.

Thanks for the good poll and good question. :thumbsup:


I voted counter-clockwise…it would feel weird going the other way to me :shrug:


I’ve never thought about it but I realized that I go counter-clockwise. This could be because I’m right handed. Do any left-handers pray the Rosary in a clockwise direction?

There is no traditional way… or reason for either clock-wise and counter-clockwise. As far as the Rosary is concerned you can count it on your fingers and thumbs if you want to… it’s still the Rosary.

I’ve got two sets of Our Lady of the Seven Dolours (Sorrows) rosary/chaplets and both have to be said in a counter clockwise direction (judging by the depictions on the spacer medals).


I always go counter-clockwise through the beads.


When I come up the Y I go right, so that is counter-clockwise from my perspective.

Maybe it is like eating Twinkies…we all have an exact way we do it. :slight_smile:

But it depends on how you are measuring forward, using the front of me, or the front of the medal. I often pay little attention to if the medal is facing me or not, but I do start with the crucifix facing me. So if the lower chain happens to twist and the medal is facing backward, you could count that as clockwise from the perspective of the medal.


Can I choose both? It depends on which bead my fingers land on first. :smiley:




I’ve always done them clockwise (I’m weird, I guess) and never thought anything about it until someone gave me a rosary that had three figures (one for each of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries) and saw that they were arranged in a counter-clockwise pattern.


How about neither. When I’m driving I use my fingers, start with the right hand thumb through pinkie then to the left hand thumb through pinkie. What does that count as ???


When I’m driving I use a finger rosary (basically a ring with 10 beads and a cross) that I do clockwise.


Must be a right-handed thing.


I’m so OCD :o that when I come to the medal, I have to make sure it’s facing forward (toward me) and from there I go counter-clockwise.



stand with your hands at your side, holding your rosary, so that your thumb is facing forward, and begin counting the beads
what direction are you moving in, clockwise or counter?
now, slightly move your hand a half turn in either direction, and keep counting the beads–you are now moving in the opposite direction
now sit, still counting, and hold your hand with the rosary in front of you, resting your hand on your chest
now you are moving in the other direction
as you stand, move your hand to the side, still counting
now you are in the opposite direction again

I am right handed, so I was going clockwise, then counter, then clockwise, then counter again

anything less conducive to a spirit of prayer and contemplation and spiritual health than this discussion would be hard to imagine


That was rude. There’s nothing wrong with a little light-hearted discussion once in awhile. If you’re not interested, don’t post. :shrug:


Not at all. It got me to pick up my rosary. Picking up a rosary leads to Prayer! :slight_smile: Smiles lead to prayer as well. :):slight_smile:



I am right-handed, but I usually move through the beads using my left hand and in a clockwise direction.

I used to go counter-clockwise, but then I started noticing that a lot of diagrams showed it going clockwise, so I figured I was backwards. Also, our pastor tells us at every Advent that the candles on the Advent wreath should be lit in a clockwise direction, since we are marking the passage of time. It made sense to me to also apply the logic to the direction of praying the Rosary, since the mysteries are meditated upon in chronological order.


I’ve always gone counter clockwise. I don’t really have a reason though.

I’m making a how to pray the rosary booklet, so I was curious about which way was “right,” so I looked around online. It seems like counter clockwise wins, I looked about 20-30 pics and only 3 or 4 were clock wise.


I’m left handed. If I’m holding my Rosary in my right hand, I go counter-clockwise. If I’m holding it in my left hand, I go clockwise. And I never thought about it one way or the other until just now! :wink:


i usually use my rosary ring, and twist the knobs “downwards”.

btw, when using an actual rosary and “turning right” after the Y, the ROSARY is turning clockwise… even while you are technicaly “going anticlockwise”.

i think this shouldn’t matter… but now that it has grown into a thread… i fear the it becoming a new distraction for Rosary devotees!

please focus on the beautiful mysteries of Jesus’ life instead!

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