Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the May AD 1997
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

    Question:  I have heard the Rosary referred to as a "private devotion." If so, why do we recite it publicly before Mass?

    Answer: The official worship of the Church, sometimes called "public worship," consists of the Mass and the Hours of the Divine Office. Ideally, the local church comes together nine times a day to worship God together with the Universal Church. In general practice this takes place only in monasteries and in cathedrals having a chapter of canons (clergy whose primary duties are to conduct the public worship, to advise the bishop, and elect his successor). The clergy above the rank of Subdeacon, and many religious, are bound to recite the Office, and must do so privately if they cannot offer it in common.

Other ceremonies, such as the Rosary, or Benediction, or the Stations of the Cross are said to be private worship. They may be conducted publicly, but are scheduled out of custom or devotion, and not by legislation of the Church. Private devotions performed publicly should be devotions sanctioned by the Church, either through long standing tradition or decree. Some forms of private prayer, while legitimate, are not sanctioned for public use.1


1. For example, only the Litanies of the Saints, the Holy Name, the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Virgin, and of St. Joseph are approved for public recitation. (Decree of Pope Clement VIII cited in The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "Litany.")  


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!