ro·sa·ry ( P ) Pronunciation Key (rz-r)
n. pl. ro·sa·ries
Roman Catholic Church.
A form of devotion to the Virgin Mary, chiefly consisting of three sets of five decades each of the Hail Mary, each decade preceded by the Lord's Prayer and ending with a doxology.
One of these sets of decades.
A string of beads of 5 or 15 decades on which these prayers are counted.
Similar beads used by other religious groups.
Rosary, Rosary Beads
A rosary is a circular string of beads used by Roman Catholics for counting prayers. The term is also applied to the prayer beads used by Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims.
In the Western church, the rosary commonly consists of 5 (originally 15) decades, or sets of 10 beads, for the recitation of the Hail Mary (Ave Maria), separated by a single bead (total of 55) for the recitation of the Our Father (Paternoster, or Lord's Prayer). The Glory Be to the Father (Gloria Patri) is generally said after each decade. During the recitation of the prayers, meditation on a series of biblical themes, called the joyous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries, is recommended.
A feast of the Rosary is kept on October 7, the anniversary of the Christian victory over the Muslim Turks at Lepanto (1571).
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