Rosary Tips for Tots

Here are a few tips to make the family rosary a success in your home:

1) Time. Try to pick a consistent time of day when the whole family is most likely to be at home. One family passes out rosary beads immediately after dinner, at the table, to avoid a frustrating “gathering ritual.”

2) Place. Have a family “shrine” for prayer time. A statue and a votive candle on a shelf or end table is fine, or perhaps a candle bracket can be mounted on the wall under a crucifix or picture of the Sacred Heart.

3) Intentions. Announce petitions at the beginning of the rosary. We often pray more fervently when praying for something.

4) Adjuncts. As an aid to meditation on the mysteries, use pictures for younger children, and read short meditations before each decade for older family members. Or try the scriptural rosary — a short Bible verse is read before every Hail Mary. (All these are available from Catholic bookstores, catalogues and retail Web sites.)

5) Changes. Vary the routine when children seem restless. On pleasant evenings, get out lawn chairs and pray outdoors. Say the family rosary while on a hike in the woods, or on a drive through the country.

— Daria Sockey