This page is designed to give guidelines for those who are married, and especially raising children, in order to facilitate a counting of perennial roses that takes into account the gifts and challenges of raising a family. It is impossible, in seeking to cover all states in life and all the circumstances of each individual situation, to come up with a scheme that can adequately take account of every factor that comes into play. Crosses and missions are bestowed individually to each one of us, and whilst Golden Rose gives guidelines for how to offer these things to Jesus through Mary in a way that uses some system of personal accountability checking – only Heaven really sees what went into an individual Rose Crown. Thus we trust that what may not be adequately recognised below in the counting of the number of roses will nonetheless be treasured by Our Lady and add something to the scent, shape or colour of those roses which we do have to present.
These are generally designed with reference to the prayer perennial roses. Regarding ‘refreshers’, these are not discussed explicitly below – but the materials linked on the prayer page can be used just as well for sharing with children between roses as for personal spiritual growth.
So you know that 4 Rosaries, that is 20 decades, is a Rose. However, if you are the only member of your family who is counting roses for a bouquet there is no reason not to count the Rosaries of each individual who joins in praying. so for example a family of four praying a family Rosary is a Rose, a family of five praying a decade in the car is effectively a Rosary – so doing that four times is a rose…
We suggest mentioning to your spouse that you intend to offer their prayers to Jesus through Mary in this way. If he/she prefers to present their own Rose Crown to Mary instead it’s all the same number of roses – work as works for you! Same with children who are old enough to show interest in the bouquet, you could invite them to see their prayers being submitted or encourage them to give their own Rose Crown. It doesn’t matter who offers the roses – just try to make sure each person’s prayer isn’t counted more than once!
Rosaries When your spouse doesn’t pray…
If you have a spouse who is a baptised Catholic (practising or not) and who chooses not to pray the Rosary with you, your own Rosary may count as two Rosaries (i.e. half a Rose!) under the following circumstances:
- You pray at a time that your spouse could pray with you*
- You invite him or her to join you (this must be done before each doubled Rosary)
- You include an intention that Our Lady will draw your spouse closer to the Heart of Her Son
*This shouldn’t take too much discernment, weigh it up in your heart and don’t be too scrupulous about doubling the Rosary. If they are at work they can’t say yes so your Rosary counts as one. If they are playing video games they could say yes so you can double the Rosary for a refusal. If they are cleaning the kitchen you may be unsure. If in your heart you believe the kitchen could wait, and you could pray together, double it. Don’t argue, don’t make a statement, just in your personal counting double it after they say no – offering to Our Lady the sacrifice of praying alone.
If your spouse is not a baptised Catholic, and you are sure he or she will not pray the Rosary with you, you can count your Rosary as two under the following circumstances:
- You pray at a time when your spouse could be with you (same as above circumstances to discern this)
- He or she knows that you are praying at that time, and that you would welcome company in doing so – though an explicit invitation is not required
- You include in your intentions that Our Lady will introduce your spouse to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
N.B. These circumstances also suffice for a baptised Catholic who has explicitly requested that you stop asking them to pray the Rosary with you, but only after this request has been made explicitly.
The above circumstances may seem quite regimented, but the sacrifice involved in the practical effort to draw your spouse to prayer (and being faithful even if you have to go it alone) is effectively what is offered to Mary in lieu of his or her Rosary. The reason this suffices as such is intended to take account of the power of the Sacrament of Marriage in uniting you and helping you contribute towards each other’s sanctification. As such, this ‘extra’ Rosary effect can be applied only to a spouse, not to other members of your family.
Other Family PRayer, Especially Mass
For the time being, Rosaries are the only thing where one can claim ‘double’ on behalf of a spouse. However, what is said above about the multiplication of Family Rosaries goes for any of the Prayer Perennial Roses. For example, 10 minutes of Adoration (with some sort of simple preparation) counts as a Holy Hour if a family of six does it!
However particular reference should be made here to going to Mass as a family. The following applies to all families whose youngest child is 8 years old or under:
There is a general exemption from the need to make the 10 minutes of non-multitasking preparatory and thanksgiving prayer if you are bringing (a) young child(ren) to the Mass. In place of this, some brief form of preparatory prayer or informally Catechetical conversation should be attempted sometime before and after – even on the way to and from Church. This could be as simple as praying a few simple prayers together or talking a bit about the readings. Here the offering, instead of one’s personal prayer, is that of helping the souls that are entrusted to you to enter more deeply into the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
For families where the youngest child is 8-14 years old, there is still an exemption from the 10 minute preparatory prayer (presuming some sort of family preparation as above) and the required thanksgiving time is reduced to 5 minutes.
Once the youngest child is 14+ general rules (10 minutes of prayer before and after) apply for each member of the family who is to offer the Mass as a Rose. It will of course be easier to implement this if times of preparation and thanksgiving have been incrementally increased as time goes on, but Roses are designed to give minimum thresholds, after that it’s up to you to work out what is best!
In addition (unlike, e.g. the Family Rosary where only those who are old enough to say the prayers can count roses) for going to Mass the attendance of every member of the family, however young, can be counted as a Rose. This is quite simply in recognition of the fact that the less capacity your child has to understand what is going on at the Mass, the more difficult it may be to bring him or her!
But Jesus said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them to come to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 14:19