I have been asked many times about group prayers, especially the Rosary. I would tackle some questions below and give pointers to the power of praying the Rosary in group.
If i pray the Rosary with four other people, am i saying five Rosaries?
No. Each person praying in this group is saying one rosary. Prayer doesn’t work that way, there is still a personal dimension to even group prayers. Each person’s rosary intentions differ, their concentration and the efficacy of that prayer before God also differ from person to person. So when you want to say a full rosary (All the mysteries), you have to say all of them not just join three or four other people. However, there is power in praying in group which i will discuss in brief later.
If i promise two different people i would say 5 rosaries for them, do i have to say them separately or can i pray for them together ?
There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this so I will give a personal opinion. If i promise people Rosaries, i do pray for them together. I have never promised any particular numbers but just that i’d pray the rosary for someone. Cardinal Francis Arinze was once asked this question and he seemed to think you should pray the number of rosaries promised to each separately. Even though he didn’t expressly say it this way but i am inferring from his response. But i would advise against making promises you cannot keep. Just say “I will INCLUDE you in my prayers”. Finally, God doesn’t judge you based on these since you mean well and make efforts. Praying for other people is a beautiful gesture of charity and God rewards you for your efforts.
The value of group prayers?
A chance to gain a plenary indulgence and a way of joining forces to penetrate heaven.
Group and personal prayers are powerful, but not equally. God is a community of persons and wills that every individual be part of a community as well. If you think about it, in a sense there’s really nothing like a REAL private prayer. Every prayer you make, even in the secret recesses of your heart joins with the Saints’, the Church’s and that of your Guardian Angel to heaven. You can pray alone, but when you do, other people’s voices help you gain access to God’s many riches. If praying alone could be beautifully powerful this way, imagine where many people are gathered.
Remember God’s word? “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matt. 18:20. You are joining forces with the Saints, the Blessed Mother, MANY guardian Angels, each person’s
What an Indulgence is NOT:
I feel it is important to note that an indulgence is not a permission to commit sin, or a pardon for future misdeeds. NO one can grant anyone this. Doesn’t even make sense. People misunderstand indulgences, but we must remember that indulgence isn’t the same as forgiveness of guilt; that’s what absolution is for. Indulgence supposes that the sin has already been forgiven and that the penitent is willing to make amends and grow in virtue, and is also willing to make restitution for their sins, like returning a stolen item etc. That is why there are conditions for obtaining them.
What is an Indulgence?
The Catechism says:
“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.” “An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.”82 Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead. – CCC 1471 (Read more)
The Rosary said in common.
“One of the “longer” of these seventy declarations has to do with the Rosary. After giving the accurate notion of this devotion as described in the liturgy, that is, that the complete Rosary embraces “all” the Christian Mysteries (the Incarnation, Passion, and Exaltation of Christ), it is clearly stated that for “concessional” purposes a third part of the Rosary suffices. Thus five decades with meditation on the series of the Joyful, the Sorrowful, or the Glorious Mysteries are noted. The Rosary’s communally structured nature is accentuated by the concession of the daily plenary indulgence (mentioned just above) for the Rosary said in common (“in church, in the family, in a religious institute, in a pious group”) ” – THE NEW ENCHIRIDION INDULGENTIARUM Fr. T. M. Sparks, O.P.
Follow those links to read more about each of the titles. I was excited to learn of the efficacy of group prayers. I never knew the value the Church placed on this wonderful exercise. I used to prefer praying alone but now, i feel the need to join in more communal prayers.