The Lutheran Rosary


Lutherans pray the rosary? But I thought that was just for Roman Catholics!

Yes, some Lutherans do pray the rosary. Like the Anglicans/Episcopalians, the Lutherans have rejected fewer traditions of Christian worship than groups like the Baptists. And so, there is some tendency for these groups to use forms of devotion that most Protestants say are ‘too Catholic.’

When I was a Lutheran, I prayed the rosary. I modified the Hail Mary prayer to leave off the second part— the part that says ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.’ I felt a little guilty about praying the rosary since I was Lutheran, so I only ever told one other Lutheran. She prayed the rosary too— and she didn’t modify it.

One year the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA (ELCA)— that’s the liberal Lutheran body in the USA— published a little thing about saying the ‘Lutheran rosary’ for Lent.

This Lutheran rosary is much like the traditional rosary, but for the Hail Mary beads one says the Jesus prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.’ You meditate on the mysteries, which are the same as the traditional ones, except for the final two of the Glorious mysteries. In this Lutheran rosary, the Assumption of Mary is replaced by The Communion of Saints, and the Coronation of Mary in Heaven is replaced by The Heavenly Jerusalem. The Luminous mysteries added by Pope Saint John Paul II are not mentioned.

At the end of this Lutheran rosary, where traditionally one would say the ‘Hail, Holy Queen’ prayer, you are given a choice. You may say:

1. The older version of the Hail Mary, which they call the pre-Trent Hail Mary. OR

2. Part of the Magnificat, OR

3. Martin Luther’s Evangelical Praise of the Mother of God.

To read the full instructions, go here:

Note, 3-16-2018: The above link is no longer active. If you can find it on the internet somewhere else, please let me know in a comment. I want to make sure the material stays available to those looking for it.

Another link that IS currently working is this:

If you are a conservative Lutheran, perhaps a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, you may wonder if it is only the liberal Lutherans that allow the Lutheran rosary or any other rosary. On a site called ‘Ask the Pastor’ I found an answer to that question:

The short form of the answer is that the Lutheran rosary and the traditional rosary are not forbidden by the LCMS Lutherans.

My personal opinion is that if one is starting to pray the rosary, it is not a bad idea to stay as close to the traditional rosary (Catholic rosary) as you can. There are many illustrated booklets produced by Catholics that have a picture illustrating the mystery  and a brief meditation or appropriate Bible verse. There are also audio and video rosaries and scriptural rosaries— with a Bible verse for every single Hail Mary in the rosary.

While there are probably more Lutherans who pray the traditional rosary than that use the new Lutheran rosary, this rosary is a good tool for Lutherans (and other Protestants) who want to add the rosary to their devotional life without worry that they are doing something that is ‘too Catholic.’


Lutheran Reformer Martin Chemnitz & rosary

Another post of interest:

Martin Luther and the Lutheran Hail Mary

Do you pray the rosary? Do you know of any non-Catholics who pray the rosary? What do you think about the Lutheran rosary?

I am at work at on a short ebook about the Lutheran rosary, which will be available soon. If you have experience with the Lutheran rosary, please comment below, especially if you have something to say about your own practice of this devotion.


9 thoughts on “The Lutheran Rosary

  1. Nissa, this is wonderful. A protestant friend was just talking about this last night! She had been to a Planned Parenthood protest and was struck by the power of the rosary as it was prayed by priests at the protest. I will send her this blog post.

    Thanks, this is great to know. We all need to pray more than ever now.

  2. There is no need for a rosary to pray to Jesus. The’s websites showing Lutherans doing this are wrong. Martin Lutheran got rid of the extras in the Romans Catholic Church that were not Biblical, but man made. Jesus is our mediator , not Mary, as told in the Bible. Mary blessed as she is, was human, JESUS IS GOD. JESUS died on the cross, Mary did not. Mary was a sinner and needed Jesus also, as for told in the BIBLE. THE BIBLE IS ALWAYS RIGHT. Pray, pray, pray, but not with anything but the Holy Spirit and your heart.

  3. No, the websites showing information about the Lutheran rosary are fact-based. Just because YOU don’t agree with them does not mean that they are not real. And for the contention that Mary was a sinner— Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran church, believed that Mary was conceived without sin, because that was the only way she could have the sinless Son of God in her womb. That sinlessness was a result of Jesus’ future death on the cross, because God is not restricted by time as humans are.
    Also, the Bible does not forbid us to use material things when we pray. What about the Ark of the Covenant or the brass serpent of Moses— both constructed by God’s order?
    I suggest that if you want information on the differences between Catholic and Lutheran (Protestant) beliefs, you read ‘The Catholic Verses’ by Dave Armstrong. You might also read Dave Armstrong’s bio of Martin Luther.

  4. Thank you! It wasn’t quite the missing page but it was something new I haven’t read before and gave me a clue to something to research for the coming book on the Lutheran rosary.

  5. Is this the site that wrote about the ebook on the Lutheran Rosary? How could I receive a copy?

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