The Rosary

What is the rosary?

The Rosary is a centuries-old prayer rooted in meditating on the life of Jesus Christ.  The prayers of the Rosary are to be said while simultaneously contemplating on specific moments in the life of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the Rosary is not just “vain repetition.” The Rosary provides the universal Church with a method of continuously calling out with hope to God, through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God.

There are four different “sets” of mysteries of the Rosary, typically prayed on different days (Sundays and Wednesdays – The Glorious Mysteries, Mondays and Saturdays – The Joyful Mysteries, Tuesdays and Fridays – The Sorrowful Mysteries, Thursdays – The Luminous Mysteries). Each of these Mysteries are based on Scripture. To learn more about each of the Mysteries of the Rosary click below!

The Glorious Mysteries
The Joyful Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries

The Rosary is comprised of 5 decades, that is, 5 sets of 10 beads, which comprise a circle.  

Each decade is separated by a larger bead (used to pray the Our Father).  

The beads outside of the circle are used for opening and closed prayers, provided below. 

How to Pray the Rosary

  • Holding the Crucifix of your Rosary, bless yourself: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.  (As you say this, touch your forehead with your right hand when you say Father, touch your breastbone with you say Son, touch your left shoulder when you say Holy, and touch your right shoulder when you say Spirit).
  • Then, recite THE CREED, as follows:
    • 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 rose again from the dead.  He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty.  He shall 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
  • Opening Prayers
    • THE 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.
    • For an increase in the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love, pray the Hail Mary three times.
      1. HAIL MARY – 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 our death. Amen.
    • Then pray the following prayers 1 time each:
      1. THE 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.
      2. FATIMA PRAYER – Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.
  • Pray 5 Decades – A Rosary is comprised of 5 decades (sets of ten) prayers, each proceeded by an Our Father and concluded by The Glory Be and Fatima Prayer.
    • To pray the first decade, start on the large center bead after the opening prayers and pray The Our Father.
    • Then, moving to each of the next ten smaller beads, pray a Hail Mary on each bead.
    • After praying ten Hail Mary prayers, pray The Glory Be followed by The Fatima Prayer.  
    • Repeat this pattern of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, one Glory Be, and one Fatima Prayer until you’ve gone around all five decades of a full Rosary. 
  • Concluding Prayers – After praying all five decades, recite the following concluding prayers:
    • 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. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
    • THE MEMORARE: Remember oh most Blessed Virgin Mary that never was it known, that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee, oh virgin of virgins, our Mother. To you do we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. Oh mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer them. Amen.
    • CLOSING PRAYER: 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 upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
  • Sign of the Cross – End by blessing yourself once again as you did at the beginning of the Rosary.
Download – How to Pray the Rosary Guide