In the six years that I have posted on this board, I have seen numerous posts referring to praying the rosary at Mass in a negative light. I have seen it used as a reason justifying the need for a new order of Mass, almost as if praying the rosary at Mass was a form of liturgical abuse. Typically, when one attempts to use this line of reasoning they usually remark that when the Mass was offered exclusively in Latin, many could not understand what was being said and their only alternative was to take out their rosaries and pray. Although that is not the topic I’m particularly addressing, I can tell you from experience that when I made my First Communion at seven years of age I did not speak or read Latin. But I completely understood what was happening at Mass. I knew the English translations of the prayers that were being said aloud and sotta voce, and I knew what the responses that I gave at Mass in Latin meant in English. My parents and grandparents who emigrated from Italy also knew these same things in their native language and eventually in English also. Nobody fretted about not understanding the Mass and was thus relegated to private devotions.
I frequently pray the rosary during Mass (as I did at Mass this morning). Sometimes I am moved to say the actual prayers that the priest is praying from my missal during the Offertory and Canon. Other times, I do not open my missal because I am moved to pray the rosary while meditating on Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. I will typically suspend my rosary for the parts of the Mass that are prayed out loud and also to make my commemorations for the living and dead during the canon. However, I find it particularly moving for myself when I use the rosary as a meditative avenue to assisting at Mass. It brings the sacrifice and oblation into a sublime focus for me and does not detract or distract me from the miracle taking place.
Praying the rosary during Mass has become sort of an anti-Latin-Mass talking point but please don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Many faithful have been doing it for centuries, and not out of frustration.