What is a funeral rosary?


The Catholic funeral rosary is a service with a focus on life, death and eternal life. Typically held the evening before a Catholic funeral, the rosary begins with reciting 10 beads (decades) of Hail Mary with a series of prayers. The rosary may be a part of the wake and led by a priest or a layperson.

For over 1,200 years, the rosary has combined prayer and meditation. Irish monks recited the 150 Psalms of the Bible in their workshops. The population around the monastery wanted to participate, but memorization of the psalms was a daunting task. It was suggested that people recite 150 "Our Father" prayers in place of the psalms. From the first little pebbles to a thin rope with 50 knots (used three times to total 150 prayers) to a piece of string with small pieces of wood, the rosary beads were developed.

Eventually, in the 13th century, theologians interpreted the psalms as life, death and resurrection mysteries. Later on, 150 praises were created for the Virgin Mary. Additional psalms, prayers and mysteries have been added throughout the centuries.

The word rosary is a Latin term, meaning a garland of roses. The rose represents or serves as one of the flowers symbolizing the mother of Jesus. The rosary is a devotion to honor Mary,

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