Why do people wear Rosaries around their neck?

Some time ago, while I was flipping through a celebrity tabloid magazine (Us, People, or Star or something like that), I saw a picture of Britney Spears wearing a Rosary (it seemed to be one of the cheap, plasting ones one can get for free). This puzzled me, but what puzzled me was seeing another picture a few weeks later in a similar celebrity tabloid magazine with Britney Spears wearing a Rosary it looked different from the one I saw in the earlier picture).

Yesterday, Hilary Duff was on Conan O’Brien (don’t know if it was a rerun or not) and she was wearing a Rosary.

Many months ago, I went to a gay bar and while looking around a good-looking well-built (but then, who in a gay bar is not good-looking or well-built?) Hispanic man passed by who was wearing a Rosary.

Now, if any of the above was a religious, I’d understand their wearing of the Rosary. If they belonged to a lay organization that utilizes the Rosary, I’d understand (although I would have to doubt their devotion to the virtues and morals Catholic faith based on how they appeared otherwise). But none of the above seemed to be anywhere near an order or other pious group.

Why do people wear the Rosary like a necklace or a piece of jewelry? Are they broadcasting their belief in the Catholic faith or in the importance of the Rosary? Are they trying to promote the Rosary, the Catholic faith, the Catholic Church, or the Blessed Virgin Mary?

WRS - Ave Maria!

I was raised Catholic but I feel away in my late teens, from what I can recall, wearing Rosaries was discouraged. Sure they look like a necklace but that is not their intended use. You hold them in your hands as you pray and finger the beads to help you count the prayers, as in “saying the Rosary”. I suppose you could put it around your neck temporaily as a place to “hold it” between prayers but you don’t wear it all the time. I may be wrong but this is from the best of my recollection.

I think these people (Spears and Huff) are just wearing them because they think it’s cool and really have no clue as to the significance or meaning of the rosary. It wasn’t that long ago that Britney was wearing the red string around her wrist as a symbol of Kabbalah.

Isn’t a gay bar, by definition, a ‘lay’ organization?

Re: Britney…

First it was the Church, then it was the Administration, then Madonna, then Kabbalah. Britney goes where the action is.

By the way, I fell away from the church, I didn’t “feel away”. :smack:

No Catholic “wears” a rosary. Even monks and nuns who keep rosaries on their person at all times have them hanging on their belts-you don’t wear them around your neck-it’s NOT a necklace.

Stupidity abounds. I recall a brief celebrity vogue for wearing clear-glass eyeglasses awhile back (even as everyone else was starting to get laser correction).

F. U. Shakespeare: hehehehe.

So, there’s no religious reason? It’s worn as a fad-item, yes?

Why do celebrities do stupid things like this?


Raised Catholic here, I was taught it was disrespectful to wear a rosary around your neck. I have a gorgeous rosary my Nana gave me that would be a beautiful necklace, but I can’t bring myself to wear it.

I have also seen pictures of people with a rosary tattooed around their neck.

How the heck else can they expect others to know how pious they are if they don’t advertise it? I’ve also seen people hang rosaries from their rear vision mirrors. It’s an insult to use a prayer aid as a lucky charm, in my opinion.

I’ll just chime in as another who was raised Catholic and taught, in Catholic School, that to wear a rosary around one’s neck is considered disrespectful.
Some may simply be ignorant of the tradition, meaning, and religious significance of the rosary and may wear them simply thinking that they look “cool”.

Others may be aware of what the rosary is and that it is not meant to be worn, they may be wearing them to make a statement of defiance.

Maybe a little of each.

I’m not Catholic, and I know this. My great-grandmother had the neatest one when I was small - you looked through a little hole and saw a picture of Jesus - and she made sure we knew that it wasn’t something people ever wore around their neck.

Actually, I’ve noticed that many of my students have been doing this, and it is almost always the ones that are at least cultrally catholic, though not particularly devout. It skeeves me out, too, because I was raised Catholic and this was just something you didn’t do.

“Why do people wear Rosaries around their neck?”

Because if you wear them around your ankle, they get stuck in the bicycle chain.

The character Tommy Corn in “I Heart Huckabees” had a rosary-around-the-neck tattoo. I don’t know if that was just his character, or if the actor (Mark Wahlberg?) has the tattoo. It didn’t play a part in the movie.

I just remembered, if we didn’t have pockets or a purse to put the rosary in we would wrap it around our wrists but we never worer it around our necks. I think I misrembered having worn it around my neck on rare occasions because when I did I was actually just being naughty and checking to see if I would get hit by lightning. But I never did it where a nun could see me and smack me.

I’ve known many Catholics who hung them from their rearview mirrors and that seemed even worse to me.

I don’t think Britney Spears is any kind of Catholic, devout or otherwise. I believe her religious background is some fundamentalist flavor of Protestantism.

So yeah, she’s got no serious reason to be wearing a rosary. I don’t think she’s even trying to be provacative, like Madonna was circa “Like a Prayer”.

You may be interested to hear that in Japan, where Christians are a small minority group, a lot of women wear cross necklaces and the like. (I never noticed any actual rosaries, though.) These are neither intended nor taken to mean that the wearer is actually a Christian or even interested in Christianity. If it suggests anything at all it’s that the wearer is kind of a leftie or internationally minded, alhough mostly it’s just a fashion statement. I guess it’s kind of like the American trend of wearing New Age pendants or those Buddhist bracelets with the stone beads.

I’m sure these people could find longish Y-necklaces with a cross that aren’t actual rosaries. So why don’t they do that?

I do remember when I was three playing with one of my mom’s sets, which she later gave to me-a really pretty rosary with turquoise glass beads. I think I wore it around my neck then…but I was three and didn’t know any better.

I must be the only person who thinks this is adorable. I’ve seen brochures promoting the rosary that offer suggestions on some good times to say the rosary (I suppose in the event the reader is stumped by this), and “while driving” is often included. Of course, the brochures include a mention of the importance of safe driving, and specify that you shouldn’t hold the rosary in your hands because your hands should be on the wheel. While the rosary beads don’t have to be physically present in order to say the rosary, most Catholics like to have the beads near them (out of habit) even if for some reason they can’t be holding them, so the rearview mirror is a good place. I have one booklet somewhere that goes into the details of safety on the road, reminding drivers not to say the rosary in heavy traffic or bad weather when extra attention should be paid to the road, and pointing out how convenient it is to whip off a few decades if you are stuck waiting at a railroad crossing. It’s very sincere, and I tend to associate it with my older aunts who are now shrinking because they are elderly, yet still drive enormous sedans at about 20 mph. The other place that they keep the beads is IN THE ASHTRAY (which is immaculate), this cracks me up to no end.

Sorry for the hijack. I agree that most people who wear rosaries are doing so because they believe it is cool and fashionable.

Those aren’t rosaries; they’re anal beads. :slight_smile:


Thanks for wrecking my reply:

** Why do people wear Rosaries around their neck? **

Because it hurts if you shove them up your arse.