A rosary is a Roman Catholic prayer tool. It is a round string of beads arranged in groups with a small strip of beads hanging off one side. At the end of the strip is a crucifix. Each bead on the rosary as well as the crucifix at the end represents specific prayers. Rosaries are used in a variety of instances, including after penance and during private prayer. Teaching children to pray the rosary is an important part of a child's religious education.
Teach your child the individual prayers used during the rosary. There are five commonly used prayers associated with the rosary as well as the sign of the cross. The prayers are the Apostles' Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father and Hail Holy Queen. Most children who attend Catholic school or CCD classes should already know several of these prayers.
Explain the mysteries of the rosary. There are four sets of mysteries associated with the rosary: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. Each set is comprised of five individual mysteries, which are events that occurred in the lives of Mary and Jesus, such as the birth and the resurrection of Jesus.
Review the set-up of the rosary and tell your children what each part represents. The round portion of the rosary contains five sets of 10 beads referred to as decades separated by four single beads. The pendant is the strand with the crucifix at the end and the centrepiece is the piece that joins the pendant to the round part. Each time you pray the rosary with your child, review the set-up and ask your child to identify specific portions of the rosary.
Tell your child which prayer goes with which bead. Starting with the crucifix, which is where you make the sign of the cross and recite the Apostles' Creed, work your way up the pendant and around the rosary explaining which prayer is said on each bead. When you reach the single beads, explain which mystery should be recited for that bead.
Pray frequently with your child. Each time you pray the rosary, encourage your child to pray with you, this will reinforce the practice and help your child learn the appropriate prayer for each portion of the rosary.