HOW TO PRAY THE ROSARY
The Rosary has always been a very powerful prayer. It’s a wonderful way to pray and meditate on the Life of Christ. It is a comfort in the midst of sorrow and anxiety. It gives our hearts and minds something else to focus on when things feel scary. It helps us to see the life of Jesus through Mary’s eyes. Through praying the Rosary, Mary our Mother stays close to us, comforting us – the Help of Christians.
Basically, each decade (10 Hail Marys) corresponds to an event in the life of Jesus and Mary. While we say the 10 Hail Marys we try to think about or imagine the event (called a Mystery); or we might mull over some part of the event – for example we might think about a phrase Jesus uses (such as when, as He is crucified, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”). We may get distracted – but no matter, we just keep going, using the rhythm of the Hail Marys to keep us on track.
For each rosary there are 50 Hail Mary beads – so there are 5 mysteries for each Rosary. There 4 series of Mysteries – the Joyful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. You will find a list of them on the back page.
Pope John Paul II suggested the following timetable as a suggestion for which days to say the different sets of Mysteries.
Sundays of Advent and Christmas JOYFUL
Sundays of Lent SORROWFUL
Other Sundays GLORIOUS
You can do more or all of them each day if you want!
- Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed”
- Say the “Our Father”
- Say three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity
- Say the “Glory Be”
- Announce the First Mystery and then say the “Our Father”
- Say ten “Hail Marys” while meditating on the Mystery
- Say the “Glory Be” (Optional: Say the “O My Jesus” prayer requested by Mary at Fatima)
- Announce the Next Mystery; then say the “Our Father” and repeat these steps (6 through 8) as you continue through the remaining Mysteries.
- Say the closing prayers: the “Hail Holy Queen” and “Final Prayer”
- Make the “Sign of the Cross”
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. He will come again in glory 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.”
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 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.” – 3 times.
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.”
O My Jesus: “O my Jesus, forgive us 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 we cry, poor
banished children of Eve. To thee we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in
this vale 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.
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 meditating upon 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.