Looking for suggestions to start saying the rosary as a family


#1

For lent this year I would really like to have my family do the rosary every night. I have three children ages 6, 4, and 1.5. We all have rosaries but we never use them. I know my 6 yr old daughter and 4 year old son can do it because they are very good at reciting prayers for dinner. Obviously the 1.5 year old would just sit still or run around.

But my main concern is how to organize it. Do we do it sitting in a circle in the living room? How do I get the kids to sit still the whole time? Is offering them treats and rewards for being good during the rosary a good option?

I am just looking for ideas or would be interested from hearing from anyone that does this as a family. Thanks!

Peter


#2

I don't do the rosary with my family and we never have, since hubby is only a Catholic by baptism. I think it's a terrific idea for Lent, though!

But what I would do if I had such little kids, is say one decade at a time, even half a decade, and then get up and run around the living room 2 times, sit down and say another few Hail Marys, etc. You could allow them to walk around while saying the prayers. Or stand up. You don't have to all kneel to say the prayers or even sit quietly. I have prayed the rosary while pacing up and down in front of an abortion clinic. And sitting in the car, and at the airport waiting for my husband's plane...

Make it a fun time, don't give them candy for doing it, rewards can be your approval and time spent together. But every night might be a little much for such young kids. Start small and work up to the whole rosary. There's time for them to really be able to say it every day, all the way through. You want to develop the prayers and the love for the format.


#3

Your two older children will be able to say the prayers, but may get distracted or even a bit bored.
See if you can find a book that has the rosary for children with pictures of the Mysteries that may bring it more to life. Take one at a time and explain the mystery. Do one decade a night but let the children participate. If you can make it a bit exciting, that would be a bonus.

What a beautiful plan you have, this will only bring your family closer together. "The family that prays together, stays together." :thumbsup: :blessyou:


#4

[quote="GKCT, post:3, topic:229070"]
Your two older children will be able to say the prayers, but may get distracted or even a bit bored.
See if you can find a book that has the rosary for children with pictures of the Mysteries that may bring it more to life. Take one at a time and explain the mystery. Do one decade a night but let the children participate. If you can make it a bit exciting, that would be a bonus.

What a beautiful plan you have, this will only bring your family closer together. "The family that prays together, stays together." :thumbsup: :blessyou:

[/quote]

A picture book is a wonderful idea!!! Reading the book with them and saying the prayers while looking at the pictures will put some images into their mind for the future!

:thumbsup:


#5

I don't know about the four year old, but the 6 year old should be able to recite the prayers. Perhaps you can switch off leading the prayers for each decade. If the 4 year old doesn't know the prayers, perhaps it would be a good time to learn even if it is just the responses. Or maybe, he/she can add his/her own prayer to the end of each decade. That way the younger ones will feel included.


#6

Hi.

We started doing this for lent as a family last year and haven't stopped.

Every night - the *entire *rosary - as a family.

I can't tell you what a powerful force for change and togetherness this has fostered in my family.

My kids are currently: an almost 5 year old boy, a 3 year old girl and an almost 1 year old girl. They are not placid or easy children by any means.

We have made it part of the prayer routine every night at bedtime. Often the children fall asleep, but often they stay awake.

My husband and I use it as an opportunity to catechize. Over time we have managed to find many children’s books that contain various stories from the mysteries. These, the children look at during the day since it is "lights out" at rosary time with just a nightlight to light the room. We tried letting them look at books with a small light in the dark, but things seem to settle down better when they are left to just laying and praying.

What we do is let the children name "intentions". My husband or I always lead the prayers, but we let the children lead in naming the mysteries.

For the Joyful, the Sorrowful and the Glorious mysteries, we try to make a story out of them by filling in the blanks of the stories between the mysteries, but when we get to naming/telling about the mystery itself, we always let the children start. They can pretty much name them all, now.

As for the actual use of the beads, the children mostly just held theirs or occasionally asked which bead we were on, but mostly just rattled them and dropped them so we haven’t felt the need to have the children hold theirs lately. I suppose we'll try again once they can lead the prayers themselves and thus give them a need for the beads.

As far as the prayers go, I teach the kids by letting them take charge of a word in the prayer. Ie: Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb _____
To which both kids say "Jesus".

The baby just sits and rocks with my husband until she falls asleep, at which time my husband lies her in her crib and we just carry on.

The hardest part is getting started so starting and stopping a bunch is very much against my recommendation.

Remember you have 40 days to go through this, so don't try to do everything at once every night. Focus on what you feel moved to focus on.

It is best to introduce each mystery by making it relevant to your children. For example, "the agony in the garden". Talk to your children about a time they might have been dreading something ... IDK ... make it as specific and relevant to them as you can. Then explain to them that they should try to think about how Jesus was feeling a similar way during our decade. Feel free to interrupt the decade with whatever helpful focusing thing might come to your mind.

Do not expect this to be easy. Some nights really are; but many are full of ants and wiggles. Both of the toddlers want to sit in "mommy's lap". I let them take turns as long as they don't act up. Just never forget that the toddlers are not intuitively born with the knowledge of how or why we are doing this so be very patient from the start. The rule for interruptions is that a hand must be raised.

We set the mood by having "daddy" bless everyone with holy water before we begin.

The reward is indescribable. I would that every family could bring God on this level into the familial bond. We had originally intended to have this be only a Lenten exercise. It has grown into so much more. It is really an amazing feeling to have the children complain to us that we *have *to do the rosary even if we're out late and have already done it in the car.

You know your own limits, but it seems like just doing a decade a night isn’t really saying the rosary. To me, the story told through the mysteries loses it meaning when broken up like that. Also, the Hail Mary’s lose their significance when just done a decade at a time.

That's the basics for now. I hope this is helpful and I pray for your success.

BTW: The creed is good occasionally, but we usually just start with an invocation of "Oh God, come to our aid. Oh Lord hasten to help us." You could spend all night on just the creed, otherwise. We also like to throw in a St. Michael at the beginning and the end. Make no mistake; the Evil One will work very hard to make this a miserable experience for you. Ignore the annoyances. Persevere and pray.


#7

we dont pray all 20 decades. we pray one mystery as a family.

here's how: we have several copies of kids' rosary books with all 20 mysteries in them. the older kids know all the mysteries and dont need the books. every day, we ask one kid to choose ONE mystery and tell the reason they've chosen it. we pray that mystery sourrounded by the creed, hail holy queen etc.

some of their choices are beautiful. my daughter chose "Transfiguration": because she was praying to see a big change in her friend. one kid chose "crowning of thorns" to pray specifically for someone we know with mental illness. he said, maybe mental illness hurt your head, too. and so forth.

that single mystery and intention draws us all into the prayer. we do this in the context of our morning prayers. and we dont have the problem of too much distraction. the little kids can do it and i dont get frustrated.

we all sit around the parlor-- on the floor, couches, whatever. the big kids are expected to sit up and not laze around. the little kids can look at the books if they like, but they dont. they pray.


#8

We find a whole rosary very difficult to do, at least every night, so what we often do is a mini-Rosary: we use the rosary format but only say one Hail Mary per mystery. We tell the story of the mystery first, so it's kind of like story time, followed by Our Father/Hail Mary/Glory Be. Now that the kids know the mysteries so well, we'll often have one of them narrate the mystery. It seems to hold their attention better and gives us a chance to go through all the mysteries before the baby bonks her head on the table or the 2 year old starts wrestling with his older brother.


#9

Just wanted to mention my kids love a little Family Litany we do (almost) every night. We pray to each family members patron Saint:

Saint Mark.... pray for us
Saint Catherine... pray for us etc.
and we always end with All Holy Men and Women...pray for us.

They LOVE the litany and our 4 yr old often leads it (although sometimes he gets mixed up and says St. Daddy.. pray for us! etc.)

We are also hoping to add the rosary at Lent but just a decade to begin with. I love this thread, thank you for starting it. God bless you and your little ones.


#10

I didn't say the rosary when I was young with my parents, but I know that my friend's family did. When they were first learning it, they would act out the different mysteries. As the kids go older, they would repeat that- your 6 and 4 year old could learn them now, and once the 1 1/2 year old is old enough to understand, you would start doing it again. Once they're old enough, you can do it so that they say one of the decades.
If they have Catholic friends over, be sure to let them join in! That's how I learned how to say it. :)


#11

We try to say a decade a night. I bought rosaries that had a different color bead for every Hail Mary in each decade. My kids were always asking which “number” we were on, and I had to stop and we had to count out to make sure we were all on the same one. Now if someone needs to check they just hold up their rosary, I hold up mine, and if the colors match we are good to go!


#12

A beautiful and inspring thread
Thank you for such great ideas
x


#13

[quote="Kindness, post:9, topic:229070"]
Just wanted to mention my kids love a little Family Litany we do (almost) every night. We pray to each family members patron Saint:

Saint Mark.... pray for us
Saint Catherine... pray for us etc.
and we always end with All Holy Men and Women...pray for us.

They LOVE the litany and our 4 yr old often leads it (although sometimes he gets mixed up and says St. Daddy.. pray for us! etc.)

We are also hoping to add the rosary at Lent but just a decade to begin with. I love this thread, thank you for starting it. God bless you and your little ones.

[/quote]

You know, it’s surprising to me how much the kids do love the “Litany”. They have the saints that they have gravitated to, and bring it up out of the blue sometimes. I’ve been neglecting to add the “All Holy Men and Women” part (duh), thanks for the reminder.

...“St. Daddy”..., I LOVE it. That’s classic.


#14

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