praying the glorious mysteries with my kids

I hope you remember the hilarious article in which I told you all about praying the rosary with my kids. At least tonight, now that they are used to it a little more, there was no giggling and inquiring about vaginas from my adolescent son. We have gotten into more of a rhythm now, although there are still moments of hilarity or frustration. Tonight’s frustration was so if I want to pray this by myself, how do I do it and I tell her the same way we are now. Then she says well, which beads and stuff? Is this a Catholic rosary? What about the Anglican beads. I was here thinking oh my gosh, girl, we’ve been doing this for weeks now. I looked up, and said this is the Catholic rosary, just follow along, and you’ll get it.

Tonight being a Wednesday, we prayed the Glorious Mysteries. My children all have their own paracord rosary because those are heavy duty. They were quite expensive, but my children break everything, and they’ve not broken these. The way I do the mysteries with them is that I announce the mystery, and at that time, I explain just a little bit about it, a few sentences maybe. Then, when we get to the Hail Mary prayers, on each prayer we pause when we get to the fruit of thy womb, Jesus and I say a sentence or phrase about the mystery we are on, and then start right back in at holy Mary, mother of God…

I prepare this by praying the rosary through by myself first earlier in the day, when the children are at school usually, although there is really only one week of school left. I think that it’s important to keep up the rhythm of the prayer, with the same timing, like a poem. It helps with the meditative aspect. The thing with the rosary is that it’s meant to be prayed, not just said. What that looks like when we come together to pray it is this:

Tonight is Wednesday, which means we are praying the Glorious Mysteries. We open after that with in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen, and then move on to the crucifix where we recite the Apostle’s Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be. After which we move to the mysteries.

The first Glorious Mystery is the Resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection is essential to our Christian faith, and without it we would not have Christian faith. The resurrection is when Jesus, who had died, came back to life three days later. This event gives our faith meaning, therefore giving us hope. At this point, I’ve explained it enough for their attention span, and we move on to the Lord’s Prayer. When we get to the Hail Mary, it goes something like this:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. The resurrection is what gives us hope. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. I repeat this throughout the entire first decade, ten times. After the Glory Be, I move on to the next Glorious Mystery.

The second Glorious Mystery is the Ascension of Jesus. After Jesus had risen from the dead, he spent a little time here on earth with his disciples before going back to heaven. He left his disciples with some tasks and some promises. At this point, I’ve explained it enough for their attention span, and we move on to the Lord’s Prayer. When we get to the Hail Mary, it goes something like this:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Who spent some time with his disciples before going back to heaven. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. I repeat this throughout the entire second decade, ten times. After the Glory Be, I move on to the next Glorious Mystery.

The third Glorious Mystery is the Descent of the Holy Spirit. This Sunday happens to be Pentecost, which is when the Holy Spirit descended to earth. When she came, she brought with her creative gifts that we can use for God. At this point, I’ve explained it long enough for their attention span, and we move on to the Lord’s Prayer. When we get to the Hail Mary, it goes something like this:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. The Holy Spirit came and she brought us creative gifts to use for God. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. I repeat this throughout the entire third decade, ten times. After the Glory Be, I move on to the next Glorious Mystery.

The fourth Glorious Mystery is The Assumption of Mary Into Heaven. Because Mary was the mother of Jesus, she was special to Jesus, and he didn’t want his mother’s body to decay, and so after she died, he brought her body straight to heaven and restored it to her. She is a spiritual mother for us and you can ask her for her help any time. At this point, I’ve explained it long enough for their attention span, and we move on to the Lord’s Prayer. When we get to the Hail Mary, it goes something like this:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Mary mothers us spiritually from heaven, and we can ask her for help. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. I repeat this throughout the entire fourth decade, ten times. After the Glory Be, I move on to the next Glorious Mystery.

The fifth Glorious Mystery is the Coronation of Mary as the Queen of Heaven. In the days of Jesus, women were not valued, and society was male-dominated worse than it is now. A male-dominated, male-led, male-interest society is called a patriarchal society. In the patriarchal society of Jesus’s time, God chose to favor and honor a woman, which was unheard of. That woman was, of course, Mary. At this point, I’ve explained it long enough for their attention span, and we move on to the Lord’s Prayer. When we get to the Hail Mary, it goes something like this:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. In this patriarchal society, God favored and honored a woman, Mary. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. After the Glory Be, we move on now to the Salve Regina.

This has worked for us in praying the rosary in the evenings, it takes about 30 minutes, and it’s rare that my kids can do anything quiet for thirty minutes especially as ADHD meds have worn off long before dinner time. They’ve been enjoying praying the rosary as a family. This is just what works for us, and I hope it might be helpful. This approach means I have to pray the whole thing myself beforehand, and write down whatever thoughts and phrases I’m using that evening.

I hope that if you choose to pray the rosary with your family, it’s as great for you as it is for us.

Published by Mary-Clare St. Francis

Mary-Clare St. Francis is a writer who sounds as boring as hell but who is intimately acquainted with the horrific and the sacred. For a long time, darkness has been her friend, but she now walks in the light of Christ. As a committed Episcopalian, her main contribution to the church is her ability to make the priests facepalm or swear, depending on the day and context. Mary-Clare has a Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing and lives in Mississippi with her four children.

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