A deaf friend of mine has shown me some basic sign language. I have found his way of counting useful for praying the rosary without beads. 1 through 5 are just holding up fingers on the right hand, except that 3 is two fingers and your thumb. 4 is 4 fingers, no thumb. 6 is touch your right pinky to your right thumb, 7 is thumb to ring finger, 8 is thumb to middle, 9 is thumb to index finger. 10 is just the right thumb. Now I can easily pray the rosary anywhere even if I don’t have the beads with me (but I usually do have my beads).
I often found myself at the Franciscan Adoration Chapel without a Rosary, so I used my fingers.
The beads themselves are not “the Rosary,” the prayers are. Having said that, though, rosaries are sacramentals of the Church. They are not used as an end in themselves, of course (and you have not said so), but are meant to be a reminder, especially the medal and crucifix, of Who we are truly addressing our prayers to and why.
Fingers are fine for the deaf and those who forget the beads at home, but I think the rest of us ought to use them since they are more than ornamental but serve to help focus our prayers and meditation. Just my :twocents:
Well said Della.