Praying the Rosary

How to Pray 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. There are four sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and––added by Saint John Paul II in 2002––the Luminous.

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.

The Five Joyful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Mondays, Saturdays, and, during the season of Advent, on Sundays:

The Annunciation
The Visitation
The Nativity
The Presentation in the Temple
The Finding in the Temple

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and, during the season of Lent, on Sundays:

The Agony in the Garden
The Scourging at the Pillar
The Crowning with Thorns
The Carrying of the Cross
The Crucifixion and Death

    The Five Glorious Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Wednesdays and, outside the seasons of Advent and Lent, on Sundays:

    The Resurrection
    The Ascension
    The Descent of the Holy Spirit
    The Assumption
    The Coronation of Mary

    The Five Luminous Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Thursdays:

    The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan
    The Wedding Feast at Cana
    Jesus' Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God
    The Transfiguration
    The Institution of the Eucharist

    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 Marys while meditating on the Mystery. Then say a Glory Be. (After finishing each decade, some say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.)
    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.
    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.

    (A prayer to St. Joseph may also follow.) Conclude the Rosary with the Sign of the Cross.

    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 against us;
    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 Sub Tuum Praesidium

    We fly to your protection, O holy Mother of God;
    despise not our petitions in our necessities,
    but ever deliver us from all danger,
    O glorious and blessed Virgin.

    The Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
    be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
    and you, O prince of the heavenly hosts,
    by the power of God,
    cast down to hell Satan and the other evil spirits,
    who prowl through the world for the ruin of souls.
    Amen.


    SJP Comms
    Year of Prayer

    Member Profile Keep Updated