The Holy Rosary: What is the Rosary?

THE CATHOLIC Rosary- Introduction
One of the most popular and recognizable forms of prayer in the Catholic church is the rosary. But just what is a rosary? And why is it that Protestants don’t recite the rosary?

THE CATHOLIC Rosary- What IS the Rosary?
The rosary is considered by Catholics to be a pious exercise that is intended to combine both vocal and contemplative prayer. Praying the rosary consists of reciting 15 decades (or sets of ten “Hail Marys”) each, by the way, preceded by an “Our Father”, and followed by a “Glory be to the Father.” These vocal prayers are accompanied by meditations on certain aspects of the life of Christ and His mother Mary (these, by the way, are referred to as “Mysteries”). The worshiper recites the vocal prayers, but dwells on the mysteries assigned to the decade he or she is reciting. The mysteries are separated into three different divisions (joyful, sorrowful and glorious), with five meditations to each division. The worshiper keeps track of these prayers by using a string of beads, which is also known as the rosary.

THE CATHOLIC Rosary- Why Don’t Protestants Recite the Rosary?
Why is it that virtually all Protestants do not recite the rosary? Is it because they find aspects of the rosary to be clearly unbiblical? Well the answer is yes — objections primarily center in reciting the Hail Mary. The Hail Mary is the central prayer of the rosary, repeated almost 150 times. First, Protestants believe that addressing anyone other than God in prayer (in this case Mary) is completely unbiblical. The Bible is clear that only God is to be addressed in prayer — there are no exceptions.

THE CATHOLIC Rosary- Upholds Mariology
Secondly, the Hail Mary assumes the truth of the doctrine of Catholic Mariology, specifically Mary’s immaculate nature and powers of intercession. This is illustrated by Mary being called “holy” and the request that she intercede for the worshiper at his or her hour of death.

THE CATHOLIC Rosary- Conclusion
In short, Protestants reject the Hail Mary prayer, and thus the rosary, because they reject much of what Catholicism teaches about Mary. Remember….you don’t need an intermediary….the wall of separation between God and man has forever been broken down through the person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross.On the rosary, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.