Repetition – The Rosary

What do all of the following have in common?

Repetition, of course. We human beings tend to repeat ourselves whenever we feel strongly about something, are excited about something, or want to convince ourselves about something. And just in case you’re thinking that this is old-fashioned, take a look at the opening lyrics of a top ten song by the Black-Eyed Peas, I’ve Got a Feeling. (don’t show the music video or give lyrics of the entire song to your class…innappropriate).

Repetition has NOT gone out of style!

I plan to use this as an introduction to praying a decade of the Rosary with all of the 8th graders tonight before we view a segment of the video Jesus of Nazareth. Since October is the month of the Holy Rosary, we thought it would be appropriate to pray a decade of the Rosary tonight…we’ll pray the fifth Sorrowful Mystery, Jesus dies on the Cross, since that is the segment of the video we will be viewing – the crucifixion of Jesus.

One of the things that young people often complain about is that the Rosary is just repeating the Hail Mary over and over again. Precisely. We repeat ourselves whenever we feel strongly about something, are excited about something, or want to convince ourselves about something.

But I think I already said that!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 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


  1. I totally agree! Good choice with Jesus of Nazareth. It is the best film out there depicting the crucifixion in my opion. Ben Hur is too classic for 8th graders and the Passion is too gorey. I blogged about this on my blog, last week and had the same thought about integrating video and the rosary: Video + decade of the rosary to help give the students somehting to visualize while we prayed. I like to help students meditate on the mysteries of the rosary through visualization. I’d love to reada follow-up comment on how things went

  2. Repetitive speaking and/or moving creates a rhythmic synergy of thought and action that helps us, body & soul, to better learn/ understand/ participate. The Catholic Church isn’t alone in understanding this; yet there are many American Christians who will only accept this truth with respect to, say, spectator sports, but reject it where prayer is concerned.

    I blogged about the virtue of catechetical repetition here a few months ago:

  3. This comment came by way of email from JVANO:

    Not sure if you will get this response.
    I have 10 children in my 5th grade CCD class.
    I have each of them saying 5 Hail Mary’s each day
    and told them I would add the rest.. as a group
    we could say an entire Rosary each day.
    Told them that I say the Rosary each morning.
    Last week 50 percent said their 5 Hail Mary’s…
    after a discussion this Sunday.. hope that
    I will get 100 percent this week.
    Love the emails and ideas… keep them coming.

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