Why do some communicants approach the priest with a rosary in their hands?


Full Question

I have seen older communicants approach the priest for reception of the Eucharist with a rosary wrapped around the right hand. Do you know where this custom comes from and what it signifies?

Answer

It likely goes back to pious customs from before the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council. Although it was never mandated by the Church, many of the laity prayed the rosary as a way to participate at Mass. Today the Church’s liturgical documents call for the laity’s attention to be focused on the public prayer of the Mass rather than on private devotions.


Michelle Arnold