I wrote this as a response to a YouTube video I watched, titled "5 Things to Stop Doing While Praying the Rosary." Here's the link, followed by my response left in the comments:
I've been a deacon for 29 years and am find myself becoming a curmudgeon now that I've turned 72. Old age came faster than I expected. Here's my humble evaluation of this website's 5 Things to Stop Doing While Praying the Rosary.
And I'm going to let my curmudgeonliness come out.
First of all, you should have listed #5 as #1. We should set our Rosary intentions before we even begin. I would not want to find myself praying an entire Rosary and then having to say, "Oh by the way, Blessed Mother, this is for the repose of the soul of my mother and dad." Would I get the indulgence attached to the rosary I just prayed if I didn't state my intention at the beginning, especially if I were going for a plenary indulgence?
I pray my rosary privately. I haven't come across many people who can't pray in synch with the group. The only time I pray it in public is if I'm asked to do a funeral vigil for my parish, and I include it as part of the Vigil, since there is no rosary specified for a funeral vigil. When I was studying to be a deacon, a deacon told me that he would tell a family who requested a rosary, "I can't do that." That didn't sit well with me, so I incorporate it into the Funeral Vigil liturgy.
Second, good luck with the Fatima Prayer during the introduction. I would suggest that if you are leading the Rosary, that you specify this ahead of time so that people won't think you're never going to say it after any decade, and they'll jump in and start it over your voice. If you back it up with Our Lady's words at Fatima, then they'll know it was her idea, not yours.
Third, there's probably a lot of catechesis needed here regarding meditating on the mysteries. Is the Rosary even mentioned in religious education classes? In my years preaching Sunday homilies I've learned not to assume anything, even the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, sadly; I remind them in case they forgot or never heard of it, or worse, were never taught. To us Catholics who pray the Rosary regularly, it might seem unnecessary to explain how to pray the Rosary. I bet it would be a welcome instruction for people who find themselves in church for whatever reason, like a funeral vigil. Just a short instruction. Or, better yet, introduce the Scriptural Rosary as your normal practice. Examples abound on YouTube. Here's one of my favorites, from Classic Catholic Audiobooks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgXUb4qiCcU&t=33s They have a video for each of the four sets of mysteries. For me personally, it's the only way I can pray the rosary devoutly. I learned that method back in college.
Fourth, what's so bad about fingers to count with? (Putting on my curmudgeon hat). When Our Lady gave the Rosary to St. Dominic, she didn't use the word "rosary." If I remember correctly, she chided him for not evangelizing fruitfully because she said he wasn't praying what she called "my psalter." We can debate this when we get to heaven, assuming I make it, but I don't think she handed him a string of beads with a crucifix. She told him to pray the psalter, that's what he did, and eventually the rosary as we know it developed. I won't verify it, but the Dominican Rosary probably predates our way of praying the introductory prayers. Dominican? St. Dominic? Here's how it starts. It evolved from the breviary, the second most important prayer to the mass:
Leader: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
All: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Leader: Lord, Open my lips.
All: And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Leader: God, come to my assistance.
All: Lord, make haste to help me.
Leader: Glory to the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia. (In Lent: Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.)
And then they pray the five mysteries for that day. I found this at https://thefriar.org/pray-the-rosary/how-to-pray-the-dominican-rosary/
Oh, and one last thing that really rubs me the wrong way, when people add this to the Fatima Prayer: "Jesus, Mary, Joseph, we love you, save souls."
I won't call it heresy, but it's definitely troubling to hear people pray it as if it were true.
St. Joseph does not save souls. He intercedes for us, asking his foster Son to save souls, just like any other saint.
Mary does not save souls. In fact, she tells us in the Magnificat that she needed a savior, "my spirit rejoices in God, my savior."
She is the highest among all the saints, but that does not make her equal with Jesus.
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I know I'm in line with Church teaching, even about the last item about the "Jesus, Mary, Joseph" prayer that some people like to add after the Fatima Prayer. But it always bothers me, for two reasons: 1. Mary didn't prescribe it. 2. I think it's doctrinally unsound. Thoughts?