Rosary Beads are a physical way of keeping track of progress when praying this wonderful catholic prayer. As part of each decade, ten Hail Mary prayers need to be said while contemplating or meditating on the mystery being prayed. The beads are a useful way to help keep count of progress.
Rosary Beads - Necklaces
A five decade rosary chain has five separate groups consisting of ten beads grouped together separated by a larger bead. Each group of beads represent a single decade. In turn, each complete decade represents a single mystery. Usually five decades of the devotion are prayed, this represents a complete set of mysteries, either Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful or Glorious. Rosary Bead chains can contain all 20 decades but this is unusual. It is more common to pray five decades and complete one of the sets of mysteries.
Rosary Beads have a crucifix or cross at the end and this is where the prayer begins. Always start by holding the crucifix or cross of the beads in your right hand. The first step is to Bless yourself and then recite the apostles creed before moving onto the first bead. After each prayer move your fingers from one bead to the next, each of the beads represents a prayer. Click here for a step by step guide to praying the rosary.
Rings - Single Decade Rosary Ring
A set of rosary beads is not mandatory while praying the rosary, there are jewelry items other than beads that you can use to keep track of your progress. In fact any counting device can be used, including your fingers! Some people now watch videos of others praying the rosary with them to help keep track of progress. The rosary ring is an alternative to beads and is another way of counting the prayers, it is also referred to as a thumb rosary. The image below shows a rosary ring which consists of a single decade. The prayer is begun by feeling the cross with your fingers and then progressing to the bead like decorations around the surface of the ring. The ring is usually gold or silver and consists of a cross or a medal and ten beads spaced evenly around the surface of the ring.