How to use a finger rosary

Updated June 13, 2017

Finger rosaries, also called rosary rings, allow you to pray the rosary using only your thumb and forefinger. This lets you use the ring while driving or performing other two-handed tasks. Finger rosaries are also more durable than traditional rosaries, as they have no delicate chains that can break, and their lack of dangling beads makes them safer to use around a baby's grabby hands or a cat's batting paws. However, because they do not have the traditional shape of a rosary, you must use a slightly different technique when praying with them.

Put the finger rosary on the index finger of your dominant hand. Push it down far enough that it isn't in danger of falling off, but not so far that you can't turn it easily. A good position to try in the beginning is directly under your lowest knuckle.

Make the Sign of the Cross. Touch your forehead, heart, left breast and right breast while saying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Turn the finger rosary so your thumb touches the crucifix. Pray the Apostles' Creed, followed by the Our Father.

Turn the finger rosary clockwise if you are right-handed and counterclockwise if you are left-handed until your thumb is touching the bead three spaces away from the crucifix. Pray the Hail Mary.

Move your thumb slightly higher on your index finger so it rests on the next bead closer to the crucifix. Push down gently with your thumb so that the bead is in a comfortable position. This should move the finger rosary counterclockwise if you are right-handed and clockwise if you are left-handed, bringing the crucifix closer to your thumb. Pray a second Hail Mary.

Move your thumb to the next bead and push it down gently as you did before. Pray a third Hail Mary. Move your thumb to the crucifix and push it down. Pray the Glory Be.

Keep your thumb on the crucifix and announce the first mystery. For instance, if you are praying the Glorious Mysteries, you would say, "The first Glorious Mystery is the Resurrection of our Lord." Pray the Our Father while meditating on the mystery.

Move your thumb to the closest bead clockwise from the crucifix if you are right-handed and counterclockwise from the crucifix if you are left-handed. Push it down as you did while praying the three Hail Marys. Pray a Hail Mary while continuing to meditate on the mystery.

Continue turning the rosary in this way, praying a Hail Mary on each bead. When you reach the crucifix again, say the Glory Be instead of a Hail Mary. If you'd like, you can also pray the Fatima Prayer/O My Jesus after the Glory Be, although this isn't required.

Announce the next mystery. Pray and meditate on that mystery as you did for the previous one. Continue until you have completed all five of the day's mysteries.

Pray the Hail, Holy Queen while touching the crucifix after the fifth and last Glory Be or Fatima Prayer. Make the Sign of the Cross. This concludes the rosary. If you'd prefer to say another set of mysteries, simply continue to the next set without saying the Hail, Holy Queen.


Traditionally, Catholics pray the Joyful Mysteries on Monday and Saturday, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday and Friday, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday and Sunday and the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday. There are a variety of subjects for meditation while praying the first three Hail Marys. Some ask Mary to pray for them in her role as daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, and spouse of the Holy Spirit on each bead. Others ask for the virtues of faith, hope and charity, and still others simply pray for their own personal needs or for the pope's prayers (Reference 1). Any of these are acceptable. On a traditional rosary, you can keep track of what mystery you are praying by checking which set of beads you are currently holding. With a finger rosary, there is only one set of beads for all five mysteries. This makes it especially important to meditate on the mysteries with the finger rosary so you don't lose track of where you are.

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About the Author

A resident of the Baltimore area, Rachel Kolar has been writing since 2001. Her educational research was featured at the Maryland State Department of Education Professional Schools Development Conference in 2008. Kolar holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kenyon College and a Master of Arts in teaching from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.