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Praying the Rosary during Mass
Question from Frustrated on 12/20/2005:

I am wondering if it is ok for people to pray the rosary during the Mass. I know it is a great preparation before Mass and a continuing echo after, in the words of Pope Paul VI, or during Adoration, but I am talking about during the actual time one should be participating and comprehending exactly what is taking place on in the Altar, what the readings are saying to us as well as the homily. The rosary is not part of the liturgy.

I am told that Pope John Paul II told people to pray the rosary during the Mass in ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE but I do not see that he says it any where in the letter. I do see where he says to pray it before and after Mass, at home and at Adoration but not during Mass. Am I misunderstanding this letter of the Holy Father's and not seeing where he says to pray the rosary instead of participate at Mass.

thanks in advance

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 1/16/2006:

I think they have confused certain references the Pope makes by way of analogy to the liturgy and saying that the rosary should be said "in harmony with the liturgy." That doesn't mean within the liturgy, but simply states what Vatican II said,

But these devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some fashion derived from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, the liturgy by its very nature far surpasses any of them. [Constitution on the Liturgy 13]

But, as a general matter, attention within the Mass should be on the prayers, readings, and actions. To the extent that the individual is kept from doing that by saying other prayers, I believe those prayers, no matter how special, are contrary to the mind of the Church. On the other hand, if on some particular occasion, a person is very distracted and saying the rosary enables them to participate more fruitfully despite that, then I certainly would not discourage it in those cases. In most situations, however, I would.



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