The Rosary: It’s not just for Catholics anymore

The Rosary: It’s not just for Catholics anymore

This first appeared in the Dallas Morning News a couple of weeks ago. More and more Protestants are getting turned on to the Rosary, with one clear example being soldiers in Iraq requesting it of their chaplains.

Of course, many Protestants are still leery of Marian devotion, so they come up with something that looks like a Rosary but omits the Hail Mary.

It seems many Protestants are gravitating toward Catholic rituals. Celebrating Lent and Ash Wednesday, as well as using Advent wreaths, was becoming popular back in the late 80s when I was working at a Christian bookstore. Other rituals are also gaining popularity.

I think they are discovering the idea of celebrating faith through the natural world around us, like through observation of seasons, and through physical action, like running prayer beads through your fingers as you pray. Funny how those Catholics seemed to have it right all this time.

  • In 1973, J. Neville Ward, a Methodist minister, wrote Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy: Considerations on the Rosary.  Then there were only 15 Mysteries of the Rosary, because the Luminous Mysteries had not yet been issued.  He combined the Joyful and Glorious Mysteries together under the heading of “joy” and included “considerations” on each Mystery, including the Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

    You can read more about the author and his book at:

    Also, you can read an excerpt from the book at:

  • If you have the time and inclination, read every writing of St. Louis de Montfort, the great French priest who taught of true devotion to Mary. Our Holy Father read him as a young man and was deeply changed, to such an extent that we have seen him repeat over the past several days, his motto, Totus Tuus, I am totally yours Mary.
    Break….. just put my six year old to bed and after her prayers she spontaneously said, “I am so Totus Tuus!”
    We are currently in the process of doing our yearly family consecration to Jesus through Mary as prescribed by St. Louis de Montfort and practiced by the Pope. I highly recommend it for every person and family.

  • I came across this Anglican Rosary which seems to have no problem with Hail Marys, though it does omit the Hail Holy Queen and changes the mysteries slightly (for example, there are six “Mysteries of Glory”). 

    Protestants really ought to have no problem with reciting the first half of the Hail Mary, as it is taken directly from Sacred Scripture.  (Luke 1:28, 41-2).  The whole Rosary is an intense scriptural experience, but I know it’s hard for Protestants to get over the anti-Marian scruples that have been pounded into them since childhood.  Still, it’s rather farcical to imagine appearing before the terrible Judge and being proud to announce, “Unlike those idolatrous Catholics, I avoided your mother like the plague, Lord.”  The Rev. Billy Graham once encouraged Protestants to read Luke 1:30 as an exhortation: “Do not fear Mary!”

    As far as this cafeteria Rosary movement goes, I think we will be rewarded as we have been in the other fruits of the Protestant Reformation: many will be lost to false teachings, but through a sort of spiritual evolution, the best innovations in worship and evangelization will survive, be “baptized”, and be grafted on to the Catholic Church in due time.  As God can bring greater good out of evil, He can bring greater truth out of heresy.

  • Not just Protestants are attracted to the Rosary, or at least, to devotion to the Mother of God. I can’t even count any more the number of Muslems, for example, who make all efforts to join in the Rosary after the 4:45 pm Mass at Saint Francis Chapel in Boston—and this has been going on for years.

    Of course, many Muslems maintain an immense devotion to Our Lady. Through her to Christ is my prayer.

  • Ahh, there is a similar devotion, that some of my protestant friends have much less difficulty with: The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Christ centered, not Marian.

  • The Protestants should recite Psalms on each rosary bead, allegedly that’s how the whole thing got started anyway ….. they’d probably get a thrill out of memorizing all 150 word for word…and I think that’d earn my admiration, too.

  • My brother teaches at a Baptist high school and has the kids all singing a Magnificat round – because it’s Biblical…  The faculty thinks he walks on water.