Praying Rosary with Fingers?

Hello. :slight_smile: I have a special devotion to the Rosary. I love it so much. I pray it at least three times a day, but usually more. Yesterday, for example, I prayed it seven times. But, I’m forbidden by my mother from owning a rosary, so I’m forced to pray it with my fingers. Since I live in a small town, far away from any Christian bookstore, I cannot secretly buy one. Is it fine to pray it with my fingers, or is it preferred that I use beads? I read that I could not obtain an indulgence if I didn’t have a physical Rosary. Is this true?

God bless you for answering my question. :blessyou:

It does not matter what you use to pray the Rosary, although it seems clear to me that having an actual Rosary is better than not. You can pray with your fingers.

May I ask how old you are and why your mother forbids you having a Rosary? Obviously, I realise that the answer to that question may be none of my business so please feel free to tell me to mind my own business.

In order to pray the Rosary you don’t need a set of Rosary beads. It is mainly a practical aid to help you count the Hail Marys, etc.

This should explain it all. :slight_smile:

It’s not the beads that make the prayer but the prayer that makes the prayer.
Use your fingers! It doesn’t matter. You can also make a rosary. There are videos up on Youtube if you want to use beads! :slight_smile:
And wow, God bless you! 7 Rosaries in one day! I will see your name written in a book of saints one day! :thumbsup: :smiley:

Thank you for posting that link. I feel very shocked. I can’t, as a parent, imagine treating my children in that way. Parents can be disappointed by their children’s choices but to mock them is abhorrent. Until you reach 18 you’ll have to obey your parents unless they directly try to make you commit a grave sin.

Please continue praying the Rosary. I hope that Our Lady will turn your parents’ hearts. I will ask my family to pray the Rosary asking Our Lady to intercede in your situation.

God bless

I have a suggestion for you. If you want physical rosary beads, take anything you can find in your house from twine to yarn and make a rosary. Just tie knots on it and keep it super private: carry it with you always. If you can do so, order one online from one of many websites that will send for free.
This website above will happily send you a free rosary and a free brown scapular.

I will keep you in my prayers because you are becoming a wonderful and humble servant of Christ.

God bless!

St. Kateri did not have access to a Rosary, so she counted using rocks. A friend of mine, after having a baby, would lay in bed nursing the baby and counting her Hail Mary prayers with the baby’s toes…she called it her “toes-ary.” :slight_smile: Your mother is forbidding you to own a Rosary, but the Rosary is only a counting method. Use your fingers, or your toes, or tally marks drawn on a piece of scrap paper, or any other set of ten things that will help you count. When I don’t have a Rosary on me, I use my left hand to keep track of decades and my right hand to keep track of Hail Marys. (I start with a closed fist, then lift my thumb for the first Hail Mary, pointer for the second, etc. until I have all five fingers up, then I lower each finger for the next five Hail Marys.)

God bless you for your fervor. :thumbsup:

Well if gaining an indulgence is a concern, I’m pretty sure you have to say it in a public space also. Really, indulgences are just confirmed graces. I’m sure God is giving you much grace because of your fervor and love of the Rosary.

I’ve heard of that website before. Thank you for suggesting it. :slight_smile: But, my mom is the one who checks the mail, so ordering a free rosary would be useless. :thumbsup:

One way to do it:

Left hand counts decades.

Right hand counts aves.

Starting with the right hand (aves), press the index finger down to count one ave. Middle finger two aves. Ring finger for three aves. Pinky for four aves. At this point, all four fingers on your right hand are pressed down, but your thumb remains up. Five aves is represented by lifting your four fingers and pressing your thumb on the table. Six aves is represented by a thumb and an index finger on the table, and so on.

When you reach all your fingers and thumb pressed on your right hand, then you have completed nine aves. The next step is to press the index finger of your left hand. If you were just counting numbers, the number 10 is represented by only your left index finger being pressed.

Number eleven is your left index finger plus your right index finger.

Number twelve is your left index finger plus your right index and middle finger.

For the rosary, your tens are your decades. No left fingers is the first mystery. Left index finger is the tenth ave of the previous mystery, and represents the beginning of the next mystery, and so on. The last mystery happens when you lift all your left fingers, and press your left thumb down. You complete the rosary when you have reached the condition whereby only your left thumb is down, and all your right fingers and thumb are down.

So for each finger on your left hand, you cycle through the right hand in the manner I told you. Index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and then pinky finger. Lift all your right fingers and press down your thumb. Index finger down again, middle finger, ring finger, and then pinky. Then for your last ave, you press down your left index finger and lift your right fingers and right thumb.

It sounds complicated to relate in words, but if you just work it out for yourself, then you will see how easy it is.

Incidentally, you can use this method to do basic arithmetic really fast.

Do as someone else suggested: make one. Buy regular twine. Tie knots. This is easily folded into a bunch and kept in your pocket.

I sometimes say the Rosary on my fingers when I don’t have a Rosary “handy” (no pun intended lol), like, let’s say, in the DENTIST CHAIR :eek: It’s the prayer, it’s the love of Mammon Marie, that counts (another bad pun!) For this level of devotion in an environment that is so violently opposed to it, I consider that you might have a very special relationship with the Blessed Mother. Keep praying.

Here is a demonstration of what I meant in the context of counting and arithmetic:

You can easily adapt this to pray the rosary.

If you do it this way, then you won’t get in trouble for owning a rosary.

Here you can see how to do it without a table:

The Enchiridion #48 is the grant of indulgences to praying the rosary. There is no mention of using a physical rosary. In fact it says that the rosary “is a certain formula of prayer”. Public recitation is only necessary for a plenary indulgence, you can obtain a partial in private recitation.

Enchiridion #35 treats “Use of Articles of Devotion”. This is the indulgence which requires use of a physical rosary. Don’t worry too much if you’re forbidden to own one. You are doubly blessed by honoring your father and mother, even in the face of persecution.

There are plenty of indulgences that can be gained all the time. Even the Sign of the Cross is an indulgenced prayer. I recommend to everyone that they study the Enchiridion and faithfully carry out some of the spiritual works therein.

That is horrible! In this day and age there are still anti-Catholic Lutherans and from the most liberal synod of all things! :mad::mad::mad:

Well kid I was a former Lutheran and my mom had the same problem you did when she looked to go from Lutheran to Catholicism.

I’ll be happy to send you a blessed Rosary via mail if you wish. :slight_smile:

No, thank you. But thank you for offering. :slight_smile: But like I said above, my mom checks the mail.

When the Irish were forbidden to use rosaries by the occupying English, some women embroidered French Knots around a hankie, or the edge of their apron, and used that. They also created a ‘tenner’ - a ring (a split key ring would do nicely for this) with a string of ten beads and a cross on it. Sometimes an eleventh bead for an Our Father. This was a Penal Rosary or pocket rosary, and kept in the pocket, being slipped from finger to finger as each decade was finished.

You could make a nice 5 decade rosary using knotted string - there are many sites that show you how. They are sturdy, washable, and scrunch up into a tangle that is not immediately knowable as a rosary. Even the cross is knotted string.

Others here have given some good tips. It’s great that you have an interest in becoming a Catholic. Just be patient, and one day you will be old enough to follow through. By the way, I converted as an adult to the Catholic faith, and I’ve been a Catholic for over 20 years now. In my case, I was never a Protestant. I was an agnostic at one point and unofficially a Wiccan at another point before converting.

Another option occurs to me. You can download audio rosaries and follow along. Rename the file as something else and catalog it in an unrelated category from Christian music, etc. You can find free recordings online. My favorite is not free but worth the less than ten dollars. It is by Fr. Groeschel.

Simply count with your fingers or any type of object. Pick ten trees in the yard and walk next to them, wear a shirt with animals on it, 10 of which are cows, write down 10 passages of scripture to read as a count, anything. :slight_smile:

Don’t own a physical rosary, though, if your parents have forbidden you and you are a minor. Just accept their ruling and obey it.

A doctrinal note: only Catholics can gain an indulgence, or so I’ve been told. But indulgences are small compared to praying. Prayer is wonderful. Keep praying! Offer the rosary for the help of others and God will hear your request.

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To gain any indulgence you must be a Catholic in a state of grace. You must be a Catholic in order to be under the Church’s jurisdiction, and you must be in a state of grace because apart from God’s grace none of your actions are fundamentally pleasing to God (meritorious). You also must have at least the habitual intention of gaining an indulgence by the act performed.

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