To wear or not to wear

By Kim Roberts

After her Confirmation, my daughter wanted to wear her pretty new rosary around her neck when we went out to dinner. My immediate response was to tell her absolutely not. I grew up believing that it was wrong, almost sacrilegious to wear a rosary as a piece of jewelry. 

I decided I should do some research on the topic, since I see so many people wearing rosaries around their necks. I asked a few priests and found that the answer was quite simple – it’s all how you wear the rosary. 

Wearing a rosary around one’s neck can be a sign of disrespect or it could be a reminder to pray. If the wearer isn’t using the rosary as just another piece of jewelry and remembers its purpose as a prayer aid, then it is not disrespectful.

As my daughter pointed out to me, how is it different than wearing a rosary ring or rosary bracelet? Well, I guess she had a point. 

I had to really think about this and decide if there was anything wrong with wearing a rosary as a necklace, much like a religious medal or scapular. I wasn’t sure why this was weighing on me so much. I know what saying the rosary represents, what a personal and prayerful time it is for me. 

One of the priests I spoke to said the thing that matters most is the intention of the wearer – why are they wearing the rosary around their neck? Is it as a reminder to pray or just another accessory? 

To quote Padre Pio, “Pray the rosary frequently. It costs so little, and it’s worth so much.” 

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