How to Pray a Living Rosary


October, of course, is the month of the Holy Rosary, a great opportunity to introduce young people to the devotion of praying the Rosary. Many parish schools and religious education programs have a “living Rosary” during October and the question often comes up, “How do you pray the living Rosary?” Here are sites that offer explanations and descriptions of praying a Living Rosary:

The Living Rosary: Bring the Rosary to life for your Students

Find here more resources on celebrating the month of the Holy Rosary.

If you have any experiences, tips, suggestions, or questions about praying a Living Rosary, let’s hear from you!

About Joe Paprocki 2748 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

26 Comments on How to Pray a Living Rosary

  1. We do a Living Rosary using balls abandoned from a jumping area! A wonderful catechist took the plastic balls home, found a giant needle, and huge cord to make a giant Rosary so our 4th graders can actually hold the beads; each mystery is a different color. We begin in our church sanctuary by the statue of the Mary. I act as emcee and take the mic from young person to young person and someone holds the prayer we are on-if someone is nervous the words are there to help. We have more beads than young people so they move to the next open bead when their prayer is done. Adults hold up a picture and read the mystery.

    One note: make sure that whoever reads the mysteries practices to be sure of what they are reading. One year one of our teens helped us and read the mysteries and mispronounced Gentiles…the 4th graders didn’t catch it, but every adult did!

  2. I like the idea of going from kid to kid for the prayers. I think that will help them stay more engaged and involved! I think I will try that in class. We are going to focus on prayer next session!

  3. Our CDA is going to do a living rosary and we are looking for suggestions, and ideas on how to put it togeather. Please send me an e-mail with your idea or suggestion. Thank you

  4. Our Living Rosary involves 1st through 8th graders in our Religious Education program. Everyone has had a chance to learn about the rosary and the prayers in class ahead of time, practicing the “leader-response” method of praying together. We gather together in church, with a microphone set up in front of the altar steps.
    Our 8th graders lead the service, with the group leading the Apostles Creed and first five prayers of the rosary processing to the microphone. After all have led their prayers, they process back to their seats.
    An 8th grader leads the eleven 7th grade participants to the micorphone in procession. The 8th grader announces the mystery, with a short description, and leads the Our Father. Each of the 7th graders lead a Hail Mary for this decade and one Glory Be. The 8th grader leads them back to their seats.
    8th graders lead the 6th through 3rd graders in the same fashion for the next four decades. They may bring their printed prayers to the microphone if needed.
    Our 1st and 2nd graders participate by completing a rosary poster while we are praying aloud. With the assistance of one of the catechists, they come forward one at a time as each prayer is being prayed. Each child places a round sticker on the rosary poster to complete the rosary. They are delighted to be complimented for their “action prayers”, and become more verbally responsive through the repetition of the prayers.
    Through the generosity of a parishioner, each child is given a rosary for the Living Rosary which they may take home to pray with their families.

  5. At the Archdiocese of Hartford Catholic Youth Spectacular in September we painted blue beads the size of a large pizza for the Hail Mary’s and red squares for the Our Fathers around an abandoned tennis court. Beads were connected by a yellow line. We set up Luminous Mystery stations: Birdbath; 5 jars with water; cleaning supplies; a lantern on a stool;and a trellis with grape leaves, bread and a pitcher, basin and towel.
    Youth were invited to walk the rosary at their own pace with a reflection sheet that I wrote for the occasion. We also had saint blocks (that was our theme for the whole event) positioned every other bead and they could reflect on the life of the saint as they prayed the Rosary.

    I have done this inside using paper plates and other symbols for the other mysteries, including creating “family” mysteries.

    We also did a rosary along the bank of the Connectiuct River using the sorrowful mysteries as they related to life issues. (It happened to tie in nicely with the gospel readings about the lepers). Thankfully it was a nice day.

  6. In the last few years we have tweaked the living rosary to fit 2 sets of mysteries– joyful and luminous. We also sit the kids int he shape of the rosary with candles of varying colors to represent the prayers. Additionally, we do still scenes of each mystery with full costume and minimal props. We read the scripture of the mystery and a short prayer that corresponds to the mystery. I use 3 songs (pertaining to the mystery and prayer just read) –intermittently which provide meditation time.

    The older kids act, the younger ones pray. I have a person helping with props, one or two with costumes, one in the spot light, one on the readers, and I usually go around with the cordless mic to have the kids pray into it. Teachers are at every decade to help keep kids on track.

    It is a perfect way for kids to be engaged in a variety of learning modalities. The prayer truly comes alive.

  7. We had our 6th, 7th and 8th grade class do a Living Rosary using balloons. Each student held his or her balloon and lead their corresponding prayer passing a hand held mike to the next person. After that person’s prayer was said, their balloon was tied with ribbon/yard. Afterwards the Balloon Rosary was displayed in the parish center for all of the other religion classes to see as they came in later in the week. One year we used helium for the balloons. At the end, the Rosary (and prayers) were let go and sent to Heaven. Luckily for those of us who are environmentally nervous about the effects of fallen balloons on wildlife that might find and ingest them, a near by tree held the rosary there for months until it was finally removed by the maintenance team. However, while it remained, the students looking out the window always made the comment, “there’s our Rosary”

  8. I love the idea of the balloons (but we wouldn’t let them go – I’d take them down after a week or so). Our church has a lot of property, and I think it would be wonderful to make an outdoor rosary using stepping stones. I have seen a picture of one that is absolutely beautiful.

  9. Lovely practices all, I have been involved in several similar events.

    There is one practice that I was told of that is completely different. It was related to me that each person involved makes a commitment to pray one decade with a specific mystery each day. Another person somewhere prays the next decade and so on…, thus 5 people in cooperation complete one full rosary. Has anyone else heard about this? Is there a different name for this method? I was told that it was a ‘living rosary’.

    • Indeed I have heard of the Rosary you are speaking of Regina. I belong to this group and pray the 2nd decade of the Glorious Mysteries (The Ascension of Our Lord) every day. Others pray the other four decades and, as you correctly say, a complete Rosary is offered every day.
      For more information please contact
      Our Lady’s Living Rosary Associatoin
      P.O. Box 489
      Ridgeway, ONTARIO
      L0S 1N0
      or email:
      Website: http://www.ourladysliving

      Hope that helps.

  10. Hi Joe: I tried clicking on each of the links above, none of them worked. Can you update this please? We are thinking of doing a Living Rosary in May 2013 and I am trying to find some resources to help us plan this. Thank you!


    • Hi Sabrina and thanks for alerting me to the broken links. It would seem the original links I had are now defunct so I’ve added some new ones…hope these are helpful!

  11. Hi Regina,

    Am justina mutua from Kenya. I am very grateful to say am a Member of the Living Rosary as from last August 2014. Yes it is called the living Rosary whereby you recite one specific mystery for one month while others are doing the others. You end up completing a whole Rosary in one day with others whom you don’t know. Within five month i will finish one Rosary then i will start all over again for the rest of my life. It’s a life time commitment.

    Thank you mother.

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