By in Spirituality

Is It Appropriate to Wear Rosary or Prayer Beads as Jewelry?

I am not Roman Catholic, yet I have made rosary beads for several people--family and friends--and given them as gifts. I have also sold rosary beads that I have made on two occasions.

I started making rosaries when my sister, who converted to Catholicism, and collects rosaries, asked me to make one for her. (See "The First Rosary" at :

I had been making jewelry and had mastered certain techniques. I prefer wire work to bead stringing, so the chain rosary is my favorite to make. It is meditative for me to make each and every loop on each side of every bead. I suppose it is as important as praying each bead might be for the parishioner.

I have noticed a trend in the United States that many younger people are wearing rosary beads as jewelry around their necks. I have noticed similar things in some of the music videos I have watched.

When I asked my sister several years ago about wearing rosary beads around the neck, she seemed nearly offended by my question. It was clear to me that her perspective was that wearing rosary beads was sacrilege.

Yet, I have also seen devout Catholics--mostly under the age of 30--doing so. I have seen this from both men and women, and from several different racial or ethnic backgrounds.

When I ask about it, I cannot seem to get clear answers.

It seems to be a point of contention from the over-40 generation, but a symbol of inclusion in the under-30 crowd. Some have even said it is nothing more than a "fashion statement." Perhaps, no one really knows for sure.

The face of Catholicism certainly seems to be changing here in the United States. I cannot help but wonder if this is worldwide. I cannot get any definitive answer where the church itself is concerned about "rules" surrounding these prayer beads.

Around the world, there are many opinions and ways to interpret religious ideas and doctrine from any religion. I suppose I might find the same when asking about the wearing of prayer beads as adornment from any religion.

It would be nice to hear what others have to say.

© Copyright 2015 - Coral Levang. All Rights Reserved.

Note: This content has been adapted from an original piece by the author, which has since been removed from Bubblews

rosary | Catholic | rosarybeads | Catholicism | |

Image Credit » Photograph by author

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


wolfgirl569 wrote on June 27, 2015, 10:37 AM

I think it would depend on each persons personal feelings. What is right for one is not always right for another

CoralLevang wrote on June 27, 2015, 11:19 AM

wolfgirl569 I get the feeling that things have been changing about the wearing of rosaries.

STMcIntyre wrote on June 27, 2015, 1:02 PM

There are so many conflicting "rules" out there when it comes to wearing the Rosary that, short of a papal mandate, you'll never find a set guideline that everyone agrees on. That said, your motivation for wearing it would probably be the determining factor in "right" or "wrong": If you're wearing it out of devotion, then I'd say you're probably good, if however, someone is wearing it as a "oh look how religious I am" type statement, then not so much.

CoralLevang wrote on June 27, 2015, 1:10 PM

Thank you for this response, STMcIntyre . *laughs* I just read your name as Saint McIntyre.

I just have wondered since it seems to be a fashion statement for some nowadays. I do enjoy making them, but don't know much about praying the rosary. I suppose I should look that up.

MegL wrote on June 27, 2015, 2:13 PM

So where does your sister keep her Rosary beads? Does she keep them in a small purse, or around her wrist, or does she keep them in a drawer only to be brought out when she wants to use them? I could not see myself wearing ANY religious symbolism as a fashion statement. But then I am not into fashion anyway.

CoralLevang wrote on June 27, 2015, 2:30 PM

MegL I am not sure where she keeps her rosary beads, or which set she uses to pray. When I make any of these beads, I put them in a pouch. The one that I made for her is on the other article.

This green one, I made for her daughter/my niece for her 16th birthday a number of years ago.

Last Edited: June 27, 2015, 2:31 PM

CoralLevang wrote on June 28, 2015, 2:39 AM

&VisionofHope I like your explanation/perspective. It is also very kind and inclusive. I think that, too often, religiosity takes over the spirit of what was intended by the early church leader--Jesus of Nazareth. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

cmoneyspinner wrote on July 17, 2015, 4:03 PM

The rosary wasn't fashioned to be a piece of jewelry. It was to be used for praying. That's all I know.

CoralLevang wrote on July 17, 2015, 8:49 PM

cmoneyspinner True, but like everything else, beliefs, habits, values, language...evolves.

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 17, 2015, 10:15 PM

As a Catholic I was troubled when students started coming to school wearing Rosaries as necklaces so I asked my Deacon about it. His answer was that the costume jewelry versions most of the children were wearing weren't "real" Rosaries because they had never been used nor were they ever intended to be used for prayer or any purpose other than looking ostentatious. He also told me that he knows Catholics who wear a Rosary around their necks but folks who do usually keep them under their shirts. I told my students that while I didn't mind them wearing a necklace that looked like a Rosary some of them might want to start using them to pray for better grades and that they make it to the next grade.

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 17, 2015, 10:16 PM

On a totally separate note, I very much like the peridot Rosary. Peridot is my birth stone.

Shellyann36 wrote on July 18, 2015, 2:55 AM

I really don't know because I am not Catholic. They are very nice looking though.

CoralLevang wrote on July 18, 2015, 2:47 PM

I LOVE your response: "...might want to start using them to pray for better grades..." Brilliant, DWDavisRSL !

CoralLevang wrote on July 18, 2015, 2:48 PM

DWDavisRSL Why thank you! It's peridot-colored, not actually peridot. Oh, and it's my birthstone, too! emoticon :winking: