October, as you may know, is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary. At the Catholic Woodworker we really love the Rosary and believe in its importance—and bringing rosaries to you is a big part of our ministry. We thought we’d take time on the blog this month to answer some general rosary questions—perhaps one or two are questions you’ve had yourself!
What is the Rosary—and what is a rosary?
The Rosary with a capital R is one of the most powerful devotions we have as Catholics. It is a Scripture-based prayer that leads us into contemplation of the great mysteries in the lives of Jesus and Mary—not mystery in the sense of a case to be solved, but in the sense of something divinely revealed that we can only grasp with God’s help. The Rosary brings great graces to those who say it and is a great weapon in spiritual warfare against the devil and his angels.
Then there are rosaries with a small r. These are sets of handheld beads to help you keep track of the individual prayers and mysteries that together make up the Rosary. Small-r rosaries come in an endless variety of designs and materials. The best rosary for you is, quite simply, the one you will actually use.
That said, here at the Catholic Woodworker our goal is to help ground people in their prayer, and we recognize that beautiful, durable rosaries are one excellent way to accomplish that. So we build them accordingly!
Should I get my rosary blessed? What does it mean that a rosary—or other object—is blessed? How do I do that?
To the first question: yes! For the second and third questions, let’s get you some context.
Rosaries—like medals, crucifixes, or holy cards—are sacramentals, that is, “sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1667).
It’s important to bless our sacramentals to set them aside for God and His work in our lives. And to get them blessed, we bring those objects to a priest, someone whose very self is set aside for God’s work.
Priests bless sacramentals all the time. They like to be asked and they’re accustomed to it, so just do it! You can approach your priest after Mass and see if he has time to do it right then, or you can call the rectory and make an appointment with him. When he blesses your rosary, he will use holy water, read from a ritual book, and make the Sign of the Cross over it.
Are Catholic Woodworker rosaries blessed?
They are not. According to the Catholic Church, selling a blessed item is against canon law and is an example of the sin of simony. Named for Simon Magus, who tried to purchase the gift of the Holy Spirit from St. Peter (see Acts 8: 9-24), simony refers to the buying and selling of spiritual things. Blessings are free gifts of God, not services He exchanges for money. The Church considers it a serious sin to convey even the appearance of impropriety here.
For this reason, the Catholic Woodworker will never sell you an item that is already blessed. You’ll have to approach your parish priest yourself. But as we explained above, that should be a very easy thing to do—and he’s expecting it!
What do I do with a broken rosary that has been blessed?
Is it a rosary you still want to pray with? Then first ask yourself, “Can I fix it?” Many rosaries are quite repairable. In fact, if it’s a Catholic Woodworker rosary, chances are it’s covered under one of our extensive warranties and we can fix it for free! Reach out to us at this page.
What if it’s not a Catholic Woodworker rosary? We might still be able to help you out, because we offer a big selection of spare rosary parts that we’re no longer using. We can get you a new centerpiece, a new crucifix, or some new beads, and after that you just need one or two hand tools and a little patience.
But if you’re done using the rosary, or if you know you just can’t fix it, then what you should do is dispose of it properly. According to the Code of Canon Law, “Sacred objects, which are designated for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated reverently and are not to be employed for profane or inappropriate use even if they are owned by private persons” (1171).
Generally speaking, the Church understands “reverent” disposal of a sacred object to mean either burying it, or burning it and then burying the ashes. Another option is to drop off your broken rosary in a special box your parish has for this purpose, usually either in the narthex or in the rectory. Your parish will then either reverently dispose of it, or repair it and give it away.
I’m in the market for a rosary. What do you suggest?
Well, rosaries are what we do here, both ready-made and custom-built. And may we submit one of these limited-quantity rosaries for your consideration? They’re some truly one-of-a-kind designs—prototypes, discontinued models, and custom-made returns. We made them with the same love and care as all the others, but we’re not going to restock them. So check them out now before they disappear!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!