How to Pray the Rosary

The Rosary is a powerful prayer in which we honor Mary and ask her to pray for us, as we meditate on the life, death, and ressurection of her Son. 

The Rosary has 59 beads, a Crucifix, and a centerpiece medal. There are prayers for each of these parts and the basic format is this: Opening prayers, decade prayers, and closing prayers. 

If you’ve never prayed the Rosary, you might initially find the list of prayers intimidating. However, learning how to pray the Rosary is not difficult. We’ve broken it out into six simple steps below: 

Highlighted cross for praying the Apostles Creed

1. Make the Sign of the Cross and Say the Apostles Creed.

Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, Our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
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 the life everlasting. Amen.

Highlighted beads for starting the Rosary.

2. Say one Our Father, 3x Hail Marys, & a Glory Be.

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.

 

3x Hail Marys

3x – Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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 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. 

Highlighted Our Father bead

3. Meditate on one Mystery and say an Our Father.

Mysteries of the Rosary

Each decade starts with the announcement of a Mystery, so that by the end of the rosary you will have meditated on 5 Mysteries. The following is a list of each group of Mysteries. Each group also has a suggested day for reciting but can be said any day of the week. 

The Joyful Mysteries (Monday & Saturday)

  1. The Annunciation
    Mary learns that she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
  2. The Visitation
    Mary visits Elizabeth, who tells her that she will always be remembered.
  3. The Nativity
    Jesus is born in a stable in Bethlehem.
  4. The Presentation
    Mary and Joseph take the infant Jesus to the Temple to present him to God.
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
    Jesus is found in the Temple discussing his faith with the teachers.

The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday & Friday)

  1. The Agony in the Garden
    Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he dies.
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar
    Jesus is lashed with whips.
  3. The Crowning With Thorns
    Jesus is mocked and crowned with thorns.
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
    Jesus carries the cross that will be used to crucify him.
  5. The Crucifixion
    Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies.

The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday & Sunday)

  1. The Resurrection. God the Father raises Jesus from the dead.
  2. The Ascension. Jesus returns to his Father in heaven.
  3. The Coming of the Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit comes to bring new life to the disciples.
  4. The Assumption of Mary.
    At the end of her life on earth, Mary is taken body and soul into heaven.
  5. The Coronation of Mary. Mary is crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth.

The Mysteries of Light (Thursday)

  1. The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan God proclaims that Jesus is his beloved Son.
  2. The Wedding Feast at Cana
    At Mary’s request, Jesus performs his first miracle.
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Jesus calls all to conversion and service to the Kingdom.
  4. The Transfiguration of Jesus
    Jesus is revealed in glory to Peter, James, and John.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist
    Jesus offers his Body and Blood at the Last Supper.
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.

 

Highlighted decade of beads of the rosary.

4. Say 10x Hail Marys, a Glory Be, & the Fatima Prayer.

10x Hail Marys

3x – Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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 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 our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

Highlighted decade of beads for the rosary.

5. Repeat four more times, meditating on a total of 5 Mysteries. 

 

  • Meditate on a Mystery
  • Say the Our Father
  • 10x Hail Marys
  • Glory Be
  • Fatima Prayer
The cross of the Rosary for saying ending prayers.

6. Say the closing prayers.

Hail Holy Queen & Closing Prayers

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 towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
V- Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R- That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
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.
Pour forth we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

 

Some of the saints reflect on the Rosary…

 

“No prayer is more meritorious for the soul and more glorious for Jesus and Mary than a well recited Rosary. “

– Saint Louis de Montfort

“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”

– St. Francis de Sales

“The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual…”

– Blessed Fulton J. Sheen

“Our Lady has never refused me a grace through the recitation of the Rosary.”

– St. Padre Pio

 

More on the Rosary:

 

From our blog: October and the Holy Rosary.

The History of the Rosary from Dynamic Catholic.