What is a Rosary or Chaplet - What is a Chaplet

What is Rosary - What is a Chaplet:

The term "rosary" used as a proper noun, Rosary, designates the well-known Dominican rosary. All other arrangements of beads are properly called chaplets or crowns, or simply beads. But in popular writings and among the faithful these chaplets are called rosaries.

All the faithful are acquainted with the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The entire Rosary contains fifteen decades, but the one more commonly used is that with five decades, a third part of the whole. This is the well-known Dominican Rosary. Originally the name Rosary was used to designate the entire fifteen decades, whereas the five decade one was called corona (crown). This distinction, however, is no longer observed, and these names are used synonymously.

Many Catholics are acquainted with one or more of the other types of rosaries or chaplets which have come into use in the course of time. Many of these are more or less connected with a certain religious order, which furthers a particular form of devotion. Thus, besides the ordinary Dominican rosary, there is the Franciscan Crown and St. Anthony's Chaplet (Franciscans), Brigittine Rosry (Brigittines), Crosier Beads (Crosier Fathers), Chaplet of the Five Wounds (Passionists), Crown of our Lord (Camaldoles), Chaplet in honor of the Precious Blood (Precious Blood Fathers), Rosary of the Seven Sorrows (Servite Fathers).

It is interesting to note that nearly every type of rosary has a different number or arrangement of beads. Thus the complete Dominican Rosary has 15 decades, the Franciscan Crown 7 decades, the Brigittine 6 decades, the Dominican or Crosier 5 decades, the rosary for the dead 4 decades, the Crown of Our Lord 3 decades. The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows has 7 groups of 7 beads, that of the Holy Ghost 5 groups of 7, as also that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; the chaplet of the Holy Face has 5 groups of 6, that of the Precious Blood has 6 groups of 5; that of the Five Wounds has 5 groups of 5, as also the Sacred Heart. St. Anne's has 3 groups of 5. The Chaplet of Immaculate Conception has 3 groups of 4; that of St. Joseph and the Way of the Cross have 15 groups of 3. St Anthony's has 13 groups of 3; the Angelic Crown 9 groups of 3. The beads of the Blessed Sacrament number 33, of St. Philomena 13 and 3; of the Infant of Prague 12 and 3.

Usually no special color is prescribed for the beads of the various chaplets. But in that of St. Joseph there are white and blue beads, symbolizing his purity and piety. Another case is that of the Crown of St. Philomena, in which the beds must be white and red. The beads of the Chaplet of the Precious Blood are red, as also those of the Crown of Our Lord and of the Sacred Heart.

Information taken from:
TWENTY-FOUR ROSARIES AND CHAPLETS by Patrick Shaughnessy, O.S.B., S.T.D. Reprinted 1984 by Our Lady's Rosary Makers.
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