wearing rosary beads as necklace: opinions

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my daughter is a christian, really entrenched in her faith.
i am atheist but i went to catholic elementary school, a year in catholic girls boarding high school and 2 years in catholic girls college.
YOU DO NOT WEAR ROSARY BEADS ON YOUR NECK AS JEWELRY!!!
my daughter's grandmother had an 18K set of rosary beads from italy and when she died my daughter started to wear them.
just this morning i reminded her that she shouldn't wear them like a necklace.
i don't care if madonna wore them, it was wrong!!
it's for prayer!!

i don't know, maybe things have changed, but in my day it was the wrong thing to do unless you were a nun or priest.
my daughter took them off.
your thoughts?

Last edited by frau; 11-17-2012 at 09:29 AM.
I think it's disrespectful to use elements of another faith or religion as fashion. That would be offensive to my Catholic friends so I wouldn't do it.

If your daughter is just trying to feel closer to her grandmother, maybe she could carry them with her another way.
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I'm a born and raised Catholic and now an atheist, tho I still feel part of the Catholic family.
I personally have no issues with people wearing Catholic or other religious icons as jewelry, tattoos, etc, be it from their own heritage or not. I would prefer it not to be worn in a negative way but again, that is up to the person wearing it. I have a beautiful rosary that I would wear as a necklace if it was longer (it was broken and lost a section so it's short now).
They are symbols and people like to wear symbols, whether for religious reasons or simply for the beauty of them.
I feel the same way about flags. If someone would rather wear the US flag as a bandana instead of hanging it on their front porch, I don't see a problem with it.
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I was born and raised Catholic also, but haven't had any religious affiliation for years now. I pretty much feel the same as jeep. If her wearing it bothers you, an alternative might be a pouch necklace.
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I think giving any piece of jewelry religious significance is a silly human concept that's somewhat disrespectful in itself. Giving rosary beads some spiritual meaning borders on idolatry or is a form of it. I personally don't care if people wear rosary beads as jewelry. The rosary is a Catholic ritual as far as I know, so it's not really part of my religious experience.

I was going to do a makeup look based on a rosary bead concept. I drew the face chart and everything. But I don't think most rosary beads are aesthetically appealing enough to wear anyway. To CGNYC's point, some people might be offended by wearing rosary beads as jewelry. So that another reason not to wear them.
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Hmmm...I like both sides of the answers given here. And I think Jeepy gave a very unbiased and true explanation...

I have my godmother's rosary from the 1920's, and I tried wearing it as a necklace, but then I just was overcome with feelings of guilt...(proof that I was raised as a Roman Catholic! lol! )

I am agnostic now, but still cannot wear it as jewelry...though I think that is due to my upbringing, and not because it is wrong or bad to do so. I ended up just placing mine with my mother's old statue of the Virgin Mary, and I leave it at that. I think it's personal, really...if it is bothering you, then ask your daughter if she could carry it another way, as the others have suggested here...compromise is always a good solution!
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Last edited by Knotty_Maddy; 11-17-2012 at 02:48 PM.
I was raised Catholic and to believe it's wrong to wear rosaries as jewelry. I also agree with CGNYC that it's disrespectful to wear elements of other religions as fashion. I'm not at all religious so it doesn't offend me personally if someone's wearing a rosary, but that doesn't mean it's okay. Well, maybe it does offend me a bit because once a Catholic, always a Catholic in many ways.

Anyway, I think she should keep the rosary in her pocket. If her grandmother bought the rosary as a Catholic and for its intended purpose, your daughter is disrespecting her by wearing it around her neck. They make little pouches just for rosaries. There are other options as well.
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She could also wear it under her shirt as another option. I have a cousin who is Catholic and he usually wears a rosary under his shirt (and I don't think it's for fashion). This way she can still enjoy that connection to her grandmother, not lose the rosary (I don't always trust pockets), and avoid causing offense.
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I think its something that is only important and sacred, if YOU feel it is. If someone wasn't raised that way, and doesn't see the rosary as something sacred, they wouldn't think it was an issue. Its a string of beads that represents something.

But it's really only seen that way in the Catholic religion. No other religion has rosary beads, or rules for rosary beads.

If you're an atheist, you're not worried about offending God. And if you're not Catholic then you're not afraid of going against the church. So what's the issue? Other people? Other people will always find something to get worked up over. I say let her wear them if it makes her feel close to her grandmother.


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I was raised Lutheran. When I started having nightmares as a child, my mother gave me my grandmother's rosary beads. It made me feel safe.

That mattered to me and my mother more than people accidentally thinking I was Catholic.

Personally, I think it's ok.
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hello.world.
i love all of your answers!
thank you!!

(and lol @ all the former catholics...what's up with that?)
I was always taught that a rosary is not jewelry but it doesn't really bother me.
I was also thaught it was not right to wear them as jewlery, but many Catholics wear rosary bracelets or rings.
I don't see the difference.






Of course, these are intended to be for prayer.


I was also taught that it was wrong to wear earrings or tatoos with a cross, but it ' s ok to wear them In necklaces. I don t get that.
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But it's really only seen that way in the Catholic religion. No other religion has rosary beads, or rules for rosary beads.
Originally Posted by iroc
True, although Buddhism has its prayer beads, which some non-Buddhists wear as jewelry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_prayer_beads

I can't figure if it bugs me or not. My knee jerk reaction is it does. But I'm not sure why or if it's a reasonable response.
You'd think they'd want you to wear them as jewelry. So you would be able to involve yourself in prayer spontaneously.

Then again, Catholicism likes to combine religion and punishment. You would be required to get your roasary beads and kneel on the hard floor in the corner to pray.

I see nothing wrong with wearing it as jewelry so you could pray while in the car, or work or school, without alerting people to it.

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I was raised Catholic and taught that a rosary is not to be worn as a necklace. I've seen the bracelets and rings in catalogues in recent years. Are they a new thing? I do have a " Travel" rosary I found a few years ago among some of my Nana's things. Although I'm now Lutheran, I hang it in my car, on the window wiper stick. It just feels like a good thing to do, though I suspect it was meant more to be put in a pocket than on a car. Do priests and nuns wear a rosary on the neck? I remember them worn on a nun's belt.
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You'd think they'd want you to wear them as jewelry. So you would be able to involve yourself in prayer spontaneously.

Then again, Catholicism likes to combine religion and punishment. You would be required to get your roasary beads and kneel on the hard floor in the corner to pray.

I see nothing wrong with wearing it as jewelry so you could pray while in the car, or work or school, without alerting people to it.

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Originally Posted by iroc
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I was also raised Catholic and call myself Catholic now. I've gotta say, I never heard anything about not wearing rosaries. My grandmother (the most religious person I know) wears one around her neck and often carries an extra travel rosary or two, just in case someone she's with suddenly needs to pray, lol. I often wore rosaries, because I think they're beautiful, because they remind me of my faith, because carrying one feels like a prayer in and of itself to me, for protection. Just my own personal reasons - I don't actually use them to pray though. I don't even remember all of the prayers for the rosary.

IMO there are different kinds and cultures of Catholics, it took me until college to figure this out. I went to Sunday school, mass almost weekly until my teens, and my family taught me as well....in all my Catholic education I never heard a single word about rosary-wearing rules, or for that matter gay people, or abortion, or evolution. It was seriously NEVER mentioned, my education was about the true tenets of Catholicism.....education, feeding the hungry, healthcare for the sick, charity, devotion to God, kindness.....I don't understand the focus on these fringe issues that are hardly even mentioned in the bible. This is why there are so many people who say "I'm agnostic/athiest/don't follow organized religion....but I grew up Catholic." The Church needs to get back to basics and stop focusing on politics and these non-issues, or people will continue to leave in droves.

**not to derail, I know I went beyond strictly talking about rosaries lol.....just been questioning lately whether or not I still consider myself truly Catholic, and here's one more "rule" that I break**


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