September 16, 2016

How to Pray the Rosary

Who can pray the Rosary?

Anyone. You do NOT have to be a Catholic.

Rosary Beads:

It is best to use Rosary beads to pray. Counting Rosary beads frees your mind to help you to meditate.

If you do not have Rosary beads, you may count with your fingers.

How to pray the Rosary?


  1. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Make the Sign of the Cross)Pray the “Apostles’ Creed”.
  2. Pray the “Our Father”.
  3. Pray three “Hail Mary’s”.
  4. Pray the “Glory be to the Father”.
  5. Announce the [First] Mystery, meditate on it and then pray the “Our Father”.
  6. Pray ten “Hail Mary’s” while meditating on the Mystery.
  7. Pray the “Glory be to the Father”.
  8. Pray the “Fatima Prayer”.
  9. Pray the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth decades of the Rosary in the same manner, repeating Steps 5, 6, 7, 8 (while meditating upon the respective mysteries). 
  10. After praying all five decades of the Rosary, pray “Hail, Holy Queen”.
  11. “Queen of the Holy Rosary, Pray for Us.” In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Make the Sign of the Cross).
(For prayers and mysteries, see below).

The Mysteries of the Rosary

For meditations on the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, click here
For meditations on the Luminous mystery, click here.

Monday & Saturday: Recite the Joyful Mysteries
Tuesday & Friday: Recite the Sorrowful Mysteries
Wednesday & Sunday: Recite the Glorious Mysteries
Thursday: Recite the Luminous Mysteries
* If desired, one may recite all Four Mysteries of the Rosary each day.

The Joyful Mysteries

The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation
(The Archangel Gabriel "announces" to Mary that she shall conceive the Son of God.)
The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation
(Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist.)
The Third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity 
(Jesus is born.)
The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation 
(Mary and Joseph "present" Jesus in the Temple where they meet Simeon.)
The Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding in the Temple
(After losing Him, Mary and Joseph find young Jesus teaching the Rabbis in the Temple.)

The Luminous Mysteries

The First Luminous Mystery: The Baptism in the Jordan
(The voice of the Father declares Jesus the beloved Son.)
The Second Luminous Mystery: The Wedding at Cana
(Christ changes water into wine, his first public miracle.)
The Third Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom
(Jesus calls to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him.)
The Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration
(The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ.)
The Fifth Luminous Mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist
(Jesus offers the first Mass at the Last Supper with his apostles, establishing the sacramental foundation for all Christian living.)

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
(Jesus sweats water and blood while praying the night before his passion.)
The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar 
(Pilate has Jesus whipped.)
The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns 
(Roman soldiers crown Jesus' head with thorns.)
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
(Jesus meets His mother and falls three times on the way up Calvary.)
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
(Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies before His mother and His apostle John.)

The Glorious Mysteries

The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection
(Jesus rises from the dead.)
The Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension 
(Jesus leaves the Apostles and bodily "ascends" to heaven.)
The Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
(The Apostles receive the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire in the upper room with Mary.)
The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption
(Mary is taken bodily -- assumed -- into heaven by God at the end of her life here on earth.)
The Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Coronation
(Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.)

Prayers for praying the Rosary:

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, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come 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 the life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; 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
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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 our death. Amen.

Glory Be
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.

Fatima Prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us of our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

Hail Holy Queen
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 unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Leader: Pray for us O Holy Mother of God,
All: That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

Leader: Let us pray.
All: O God whose only begotten Son by his life, death, and Resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant we beseech thee, that by meditating on these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary

In the thirteenth century, Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan received the following promises from Our Lady for all those who faithfully pray the Rosary:
  1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
  2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive some special grace.
  3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.
  4. The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
  5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
  6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
  7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
  9. I will deliver promptly from purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
  10. True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in heaven.
  11. What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
  12. To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
  14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.
Plenary Indulgence

A Plenary Indulgence may be gained (under the usual conditions) when the Rosary is prayed in Church, in a family group or in a religious community. Also: 
  1. Five decades of the Rosary must be prayed continuously. 
  2. The prayers of the Rosary must be prayed vocally and one must mediate upon the Mysteries of the Rosary. 
  3. If the recitation of the Rosary is public, the Mysteries of the Rosary must be announced.
A Plenary Indulgence can be gained only once a day (except by those who are in danger of death.)

To gain a Plenary Indulgence, one must perform the indulgenced act (above) and three other conditions must be fulfilled: 
  1. A Sacramental Confession;
  2. Eucharistic Communion;
  3. Prayers for the Pope's Intentions.
In addition, one must be free of all attachments to sin, even venial sin. If this complete integrity is not present or if the above conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence is only partial. Both a Plenary and Partial Indulgence may be applied to the dead. 

Partial Indulgence

One may gain a partial indulgence for the Rosary's recitation in whole or in part in other circumstances.