Should One Pray The Rosary During Mass?

Recently, I was asked about praying the Rosary during Mass. First let me say, the rosary is a beautiful form of prayer, combining both vocal and meditative prayer. Many people have grown rich in the spiritual life by praying the rosary.

The Church’s documents on the liturgy, however, do not support the practice of reciting (in a group or privately) the rosary during the celebration of the Eucharist.

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (#30) states: "To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalms, antiphons, hymns, as well as by actions, gestures and bodily attitudes. And at the proper time a reverent silence should be observed."

The Instruction on Music in the Liturgy says: "The faithful fulfill their liturgical role by making that full, conscious and active participation, which is demanded by the nature of the liturgy itself and which is by reason of Baptism, the right and duty of the Christian people. This participation a) should be above all internal, in the sense that by it the faithful join their mind to what they pronounce or hear, and cooperate with heavenly grace, b) must be, on the other hand, external also, that is, such as to show the internal participation by gestures and bodily attitudes, by the acclamations, responses and singing."

In other words, the Church expects us to take part as much as we can in the prayers and ceremonies of the Mass. That is rather difficult to do while continuing to say the rosary or some other unrelated prayers. Remember, we come together as a community for communal prayer.