Before looking at how to pray the Rosary let us first look at the meaning of the Rosary:
The actual object, which is a string of beads, a medal, and across
The actual prayer, which is actually prayed and can be prayed with or without the beads, medal, and cross
The beads, medal, and cross help as a guide in remembering the prayer. You can say the Rosary with or without the beads.
When you pray the Rosary you start with the cross saying a prayer, then moving on to the first bead and saying a prayer and so on until you have touched all the beads and prayed a prayer for each bead. It does not matter if you pray from left to right just as long as you go from bead to bead.
The prayer used for the cross is the Apostles Creed. For the individual beads, you use the Our Father. For the consecutive beads the Hail Mary. We will take a closer look at these prayers later.
The Rosary consists of two parts the introduction and the five decades. The Apostles Creed, one Our Father, three Hail Mary’s (faith, hope, and charity), and one Glory Be comprise the Introduction. The five decades consist of one individual bead and ten consecutive beads (One Our Father and ten Hail Mary’s).
The life of the Virgin Mary or of Jesus is depicted by certain events each making up a decade. The events we call the Mysteries and a time of reflection takes place either before or after praying each decade. During this time of reflection, one hopes to discover a greater love for God.
As said, there are five decades in the Rosary with one mystery for each decade. The mysteries are not always the same:
The Joyful Mysteries
Said on Mondays and Saturdays.
- Humility Luke 1:26-38
- Charity Luke 1:39-56
- Poverty Luke 2:1-20
- Obedience Luke 2:22-39
- Piety Luke 2:42-52
The Luminous Mysteries John 8:12
Said on Thursdays.
- John 1:29-34
- John 2:1-11
- Matthew 4:17
- Matthew 17:1-8
- Matthew 26:26-30
The Sorrowful Mysteries
Said on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Luke 22:39-44
- Purity Matthew 27:26
- Courage Matthew 27:28-31
- Patience Luke 23:26-32
- Self-Denial Matthew 27:33-50
The Glorious Mysteries
Said on Wednesdays and Sundays.
- Faith Matthew 28:1-20
- Hope Luke 24:50-51
- Love Acts 2:24
- The Assumption – Eternal Happiness
- The Coronation — Devotion to Mary
Now to begin you make the sign of the cross in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit amen. Then you recite the Apostle’s Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Then you say one Our Father, three Hail Mary’s, and one Glory Be.
OUR FATHER, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. The Thy Kingdom comes, Thy Will be done, On earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
HAIL MARY, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.
GLORY BE to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
After each decade one may also say the Fatima Prayer:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.
Once you have done the above you will conclude with:
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Amen.