Sunday, October 6, 2013

We Did It! We Actually Prayed an Entire Rosary Together!

Our Cupcake Rosary from Last Friday
Several years ago, I attempted to make a habit of praying the rosary with my children before bed each night.  It was a struggle.  The kids just did not get into it and, therefore, they succumbed to temptation to morph their rosary beads from prayer tools to toys (and -- yikes! -- even swinging weapons).  So, away went the beads and pause went my efforts to develop a peaceful, prayerful bedtime rosary routine for us all.

Later, since my children love to listen music CD's at bedtime, they received The Rosary for Children CD set.  It was great, I thought.  And, they did, too.  For a while.  But, soon enough, even this lovely CD set  was met with more complaints than delight and prayer.

And so the quest to engage the children in praying the rosary continued.  And, I admit, the quest to make the rosary a strong prayer habit of my own did, too.  Praying the rosary is not something my own family did growing up, and, although I understand the value of it and feel called to do it, I confess that I have failed to follow that call regularly.

Then, finally, this past Friday, we met with some success.

At our first fall gathering of Catholic homeschoolers at a parish about 40 minutes from our home, the leaders decided to include a cupcake rosary.  As I baked my share of the cupcakes for it, I wondered how my kids would make it through the prayer portion of the afternoon.  Prior to the gathering, my children had never made it through an entire rosary.  In fact, sometimes, attempts to pray the rosary together ended in anything but  a reverent atmosphere in our home.  (Anyone else ever experienced this unhappy phenomenon?)

Enjoying Cupcakes After Praying the Rosary and Hearing a Poem About St. Francis
With God's grace, the gentle leadership of the two wonderful homeschooling moms that led the rosary, and, perhaps, the promise of cupcakes awaiting the children on a nearby table, the kids did it, though.  Nina participated 100%.  Luke, who currently has an odd and inexplicable dislike for the Hail Mary prayer, struggled, but at least did not disturb others.  Jack, a typical three year old, came in and out of the prayer.  So it was, that all three of my children and I remained present -- if not 100% engaged by -- praying the entire rosary this past Friday.

I am so grateful.  I am so encouraged.  Praying the rosary with young children CAN be done -- even with my children. 

Now, I am eager to revisit The Rosary for Children with my children and to make praying the rosary a more regular habit for us -- even if it may mean making lots of cupcakes or inviting friends to pray it with us (which are both things I think helped us meet success this past Friday.)

What hurdles and helps have you discovered when praying the rosary with young children?  Please share your tips and tales.

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1 comment:

The girl who painted trees said...

I didn't grow up praying the rosary either and it is high on my priority list with my children, yet we too struggle with this. We've recommitted to bedtime rosary for the month of October, (and plan on continuing thereafter). We do just one decade each night though and that helps tremendously with attention spans and reverence (though not always!). My goal is to start two decades next month and then slowly add an extra decade each couple of weeks. They also like the scriptural rosary. My daughter pays more attention with that one because she is in charge of reading the scriptures to us.


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