Praying the Rosary
The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostles' Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel's words announcing Christ's birth and Elizabeth's greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ's life. The Church has used three sets of mysteries for many centuries. In 2002 Pope John Paul II proposed a fourth set of mysteries—the Mysteries of Light, or Luminous Mysteries.
According to his suggestion, the four sets of mysteries might be prayed on the following days: the Joyful Mysteries on Monday and Saturday, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday and Friday, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday and Sunday, and the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday.
The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ's spirit dwells. The Rosary can be said privately or with a group.
How to Pray the Rosary
1. Make the Sign of the Cross.
2. Holding the Crucifix, say the Apostles' Creed.
3. On the first bead, say an Our Father.
4. Say one Hail Mary on each of the next three beads.
5. Say the Glory Be
6. For each of the five decades, announce the Mystery (perhaps followed by a brief reading from Scripture) then say the Our Father.
7. While fingering each of the ten beads of the decade, next say ten Hail Mary’s while meditating on the Mystery. Then say a Glory Be.
8. After saying the five decades, say the Hail, Holy Queen, followed by this dialogue and prayer:
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
9. Closing Prayer:
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 while 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.
10. Finally, make the Sign of the Cross to end your prayer.
The Prayers of the Rosary
The Apostles' 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;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will 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 life everlasting. Amen.
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
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
The Glory Be (The Doxology)
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
The Hail Holy Queen (The Salve Regina)
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to you we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this, our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
The Mysteries of the Rosary
The Joyful Mysteries
Mary learns that she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
Mary visits Elizabeth, who tells her that she will always be remembered.
Jesus is born in a stable in Bethlehem.
Mary and Joseph take the infant Jesus to the Temple to present him to God.
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
Jesus is found in the Temple discussing his faith with the teachers.
The Mysteries of Light
The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan
God proclaims that Jesus is his beloved Son.
The Wedding Feast at Cana
At Mary’s request, Jesus performs his first miracle.
The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
Jesus calls all to conversion and service to the Kingdom.
The Transfiguration of Jesus
Jesus is revealed in glory to Peter, James, and John.
The Institution of the Eucharist
Jesus offers his Body and Blood at the Last Supper.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony in the Garden
Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he dies.
The Scourging at the Pillar
Jesus is lashed with whips.
The Crowning With Thorns
Jesus is mocked and crowned with thorns.
The Carrying of the Cross
Jesus carries the cross that will be used to crucify him.
Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies.
The Glorious Mysteries
God the Father raises Jesus from the dead.
Jesus returns to his Father in heaven.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit comes to bring new life to the disciples.
The Assumption of Mary
At the end of her life on earth, Mary is taken body and soul into heaven.
The Coronation of Mary
Mary is crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth.