Do Eastern Catholics pray the Rosary?

If you know the situation in a particular church or is a part of one, please comment with your experience.

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Our Ladies Guild does every Sunday before Liturgy.


it honestly depends. When I went to a Maronite church, before the Liturgy they prayed the rosary. However, when I go to a Melkite church, while there are a lot of them that do pray the rosary, they don’t do it before the liturgy, they do it more as a private practice. I know some Ukrainian Greek Catholics pray the rosary too, but I’m not sure about the amount.


The Sisters of St. Basil the Great (OSBM) in the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia
host an annual pilgrimage in honor of the Mother of God on or the Sunday closest to October 1st (Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God) and the Mothers in Prayer Group always pray the Rosary publicly and invite others to join in praying the Rosary with them.


Although many Eastern Catholics (and even some Orthodox) pray the Rosary, it’s not technically an Eastern Catholic tradition. The adoption of the Rosary is, properly speaking, a Latinization - especially the public recitation of the Rosary prior to the Divine Liturgy (traditionally the Divine Office should be recited prior to the Divine Liturgy).


Yes, but it is, according to many, Our Lady’s prefered devotion, so it is only natural that the entire Christianity adopt it!


As many have said, the rosary in the East is a private devotion but should not replace the tradition of praying the hours before Divine Liturgy.



We in the East have our own devotions to the Theotokos. Are they then something less?



Yes, according to many. Many Latins, that is. Not according to the Church.

The Church has praised the Rosary as an excellent prayer. It has not declared that it must be adopted by all Christians. The Rosary is foreign to Byzantine spirituality, and it is not to be forced upon them. It is one thing for Eastern Catholics to adopt it freely. It is quite another to insist that they must pray it. Not even all Latins are attached to the Rosary (I am not; I much prefer the Divine Office).

The claims that Mary gave us the Rosary is anecdotal at best. The more likely story is that the Dominicans popularized it as a substitute for the Divine Office.

Absolutely, absolutely not. I’ll even bet your devotions to the Theotokos are way more magnificent than the relatively simple Latin Rosary.


The position that Mary herself gave the Rosary

It’s fairly established that Mary did not give us the Rosary–at least not in the popular tradition of having given the Rosary to St. Dominic. As much as I hate referencing the Catholic Encyclopedia, it has a very fascinating article on the Rosary that I recommend checking out.

Whether or not the Rosary is Our Lady’s preferred devotion… Such claims are based on private revelation, and we are not bound to believe them or pay any attention whatsoever to them. As others have stated, the East has its own devotions to the Mother of God.

The Byzantine tradition has the Akathist, which is a beautiful (and lengthy) hymn that’s a biblical meditation on her life.

The Syriac traditions also have numerous (shorter) hymns that are commonly sung or recited in homes during a family’s daily prayer rule. These hymns function as a catechesis on the role of Mary in salvation history, as well as prayers that enrich our spiritual lives. There’s one hymn in my Maronite Divine Office that I pray daily.

And let’s not forget that the Byzantine East also has the Prayer Rule of the Theotokos, which supposedly predates the Rosary and was popularized in Russia by St. Seraphim of Sarov.


…is something I don’t buy.


To translate this . . .

“Eastern Christians should displace their own Marian and other devotions with my preferred devotion.”

It is just as reasonable to suggest that Western Christians should replace the rosary with Akathists or the Jesus prayer (and, no, I’m not suggesting that this is a good idea!)

The most serious problem with the rosary, from an eastern perspective, is that it tends to displace our devotions!


Wow, you are walking in a thin line here… A large number of popes prayed the Rosary with a lot of devotion and several saints praised its unique effectiveness. But above all, Our Lady asks for the daily prayer of the Rosary specifically in Fatima. One can only imagine that She didn’t mean only for the Latin Catholics. Didn’t you accept Fatima too? It is a very strange position for a Catholic.

Have you seen this in other parishes, I’m curious. At mine daily it’s the office, liturgy then rosary.

Peace and God Bless

Saint Therese did not care for it. The Rosary is a private devotion. Absolutely no one is obliged to pray it.


I’ve seen it at a couple of parishes, and heard it rumored at others. The fact is, it happens. :pensive:

The Eritrean/Ethiopian Catholics have some kibd of rosary. I have heard them sing it in the local church. I am not sure if it is the same as a Latin rosary.

Believe it or not, I don’t put much stock in Fatima either. Too many people have obsessed over the alleged “secrets” while knowing very little about Scripture and the Catechism and what the Church really teaches. There’s nothing strange about it. This is the position of a Catholic who knows that the Catholic Church is way larger than the Latin church and values and cherishes the practices and spirituality of the Eastern churches. I am protective of them against Latin encroachments and a strong supporter of delatinization.

While I’m glad to be Latin and am grateful for many spiritual practices of the Latin church such as a Divine Office that can be recited by individuals; and while I don’t devalue the Rosary, it is ultimately just a Latin devotion. It is relatively new in the grand scheme of things, and has never been a universal practice across all apostolic churches. Compare this to the Divine Office which has been a part of all apostolic churches, Catholic and Orthodox, from the very beginning. Compare this to the Akathist to the Theotokos which has seen use since the fifth century and whose content can simply blow you away.

If one is to accept the private revelations, the spirituality of the visionaries is most certainly a factor. The Blessed Virgin asked them to pray the Rosary because they were Latin. Other than that, private revelation binds no one. Not other Latins, and most certainly not other Catholics.

That said, I’m not going to tie myself into knots when I see the Rosary scheduled by our local Ukrainian Catholic parish. They adopt it freely, as is their right. But to force the Latin Rosary on Eastern Catholics is an imposition, and in my opinion, an example of Latin arrogance and supremaciscm. They are free to do it just as we are free to adopt some of their practices, such as the use of icons. But if you insist that the Easterns must pray the Rosary, then that’s where the line is crossed any more than they would if they insist we must pray the Akathist to the Theotokos.

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Many Eastern Christians don’t seem aware of this, but there is, in the Byzantine tradition, the Prayer Rule of the Theotokos, which seems remarkably similar to the Rosary…and is much older. I’ve even seen it speculated that the Latin Rosary developed from this Eastern devotion.

Our Lady of Fatima asked that all pray the Rosary. But of course we are not bound by private revelations.

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