Would you wear a rosary as a necklace?
We rosary pray-ers know the power of the rosary. We feel peace from praying it and are assured of Mary’s closeness as we progress through the prayers and meditations. Simply holding it in our hands brings comfort on difficult days.
However, as much as we love our rosary, few Catholics would wear it as a necklace in public. Although more common in some cultures, most find it inappropriate to do so. We may wear a rosary bracelet or ring, but not the actual rosary.
According to Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum University, the appropriateness of wearing a sacramental such as the rosary, depends on the intention of the wearer (Zenit, June 14, 2011).
He says that we have one guideline to look at in the Code of Canon Law. Canon 1171 states that sacred objects are to be treated with reverence. This law is intended to be applied in the use of sacred objects for worship, such as chalices and vestments.
Father Edward McNamara says a better source may be to look at the words of St Paul, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).” In other words, he says there should be no indifferent or irrelevant actions in the life of a Christian. Whatever we are doing or wearing should be in God’s honor.
If the rosary is worn as a sign of faith or reminder to pray it, then it is acceptable. Many religious congregations wear the rosary as part of their habit. But it should not be worn as fashion jewelry as some celebrities who do not practice the faith or pray the rosary have done.
Mary’s appeared to numerous visionaries, including the children of Fatima, asking repeatedly that we pray the rosary every day. The rosary is an aid to prayer and ongoing conversation with God. Carrying it in our pocket or handbag, or perhaps wearing it inside clothing rather than as a necklace, offers a good reminder to use those beads.