Rosaries are one of the oldest and most often used religious items in the world. With dozens of types based on materials and other aspects, how do you know what to look for when buying a rosary? Learn what the differences are in various rosaries, and any significance there may be in how it affects which one is right for you. 

1. There are Many Different Sized Rosaries

When we think of the word rosary, we often consider it to be synonymous with “beads” of a specific number and shape-- however, this isn’t technically the case. The rosary’s main purpose is to honor Jesus Christ and Mary, and its secondary function is to allow us to keep count of the prayers we offer up. The rosary can take many forms and sizes so long as it is true to those purposes. 

The five decades rosary is the most recognizable and iconic rosary. A decade is five groups of ten beads with an additional bead separating each decade, all coming together in a loop with a crucifix (and some additional beads) connecting it. This rosary is on the larger side compared to most.

You can also get smaller single-decade rosary that is much easier to store and carry. For even more portability, some people are even moving toward rosary rings that can be worn on the finger.

When choosing a rosary, you don’t have to get the classic five decades variation. It’s important to select the size that resonates the most with you, and that you’ll be able to use easily and regularly. 

2. How Elaborate and Ornate Would You Like?

Rosaries come in a wide variety of appearances, and a multitude of styles. You have to choose how ornate and elaborate (or how simple) your rosary will be.  The material of a rosary’s cord can vary greatly. There are options such as knotted rope, wrapped wire, or even gold and silver chains-- and everything in between. 

Additionally, you can get rosaries with beads of all manner of material. There are options such as smooth olive wood, glass beads, pearls and onyx, and even plastic. 

When thinking of what your rosary will look like, also consider durability and usability. For most, a rosary is a tool that will be used every day. Be mindful of materials that are inclined to crack, chip, and break, leaving sharp edges. Also, beware of any materials that have a coating that will wear off over time. 

3. Choose the Rosary You Most Connect With

When choosing your rosary, remember its purpose. It is a beautiful, tangible symbol to honor Jesus and Mary, and incorporate prayer into your life every day. For this reason, it’s crucial that you choose a rosary that you connect with visually and emotionally. The most important piece of advice we can give when buying a rosary for you or someone you love is to think of your connection to it. Find the rosary that embodies who you are, and will help you connect with your faith daily.

Want to dive deeper into what you should consider when buying a rosary? Learn more here.


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