The Rhythm of the Rosary

By Leslie W. Bertucci

Imagine a child sitting in his mother’s lap, murmuring to her while fingering the beads of her necklace, while she shows him the pictures of a book. Each page she turns takes the child deeper into a beautiful spiritual mystery.

Perhaps they’re sitting in a rocking chair, and the rhythm of the rocking matches the rise and fall of the child’s sing-song voice as he glides one bead after another along the string fastened around the neck of his beloved mother.

What a beautiful image of praying the rosary!

During the month of May, I have been more intentional about making time for this most ancient prayer, and I find that I’m doing it differently than in years past.

When my children were little, my rosary took a full day to complete as I broke it into pieces throughout the day. More often than not, I used my fingers to count the Aves (Hail Marys), usually while driving or folding laundry or washing dishes. I still think that’s a beautiful way to pray.

But now that I’m in a grandparenting season, I revel in longer periods of quiet stillness, making space for the Holy Spirit to speak to me. The deeper I peer into each mystery, the more awestruck I am of the details God reveals to me.

I am rarely without a rosary, whether a one-decade version in my pocket, a bracelet wrapped around my wrist or wooden beads in my hands. I find there’s a beautiful rhythm to this prayer, one that involves the body, mind and soul.

The spoken syllables of the Hail Mary create an almost musical backdrop to the mysteries as I push each bead along the string, reflecting on the joy, sorrow, light or glory of each scene. It’s like a holy metronome or a heartbeat, the pulse of the prayer.

Allow yourself to become a child once again, held lovingly in the lap of your Blessed Mother, as together you pray through the life of her beloved son. And, with each bead and each beat, you’ll find yourself enclosed more securely in the heart of the father.


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