How to Pray the Rosary
On the crucifix, make the sign of the cross and then pray 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.
On the next large bead, say 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.
On the following three small beads, pray three Hail Marys.
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.
On the chain, pray the Glory Be.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
On the large bead, meditate on the first mystery and pray the Our Father. You pray mysteries for each of the five sections (decades) of the rosary according to the day of the week:
Mondays and Saturdays:
The Joyful Mysteries remind the faithful of Christ’s birth:
- The Annunciation of the Lord to Mary
Mary is chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
- The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Elizabeth recognizes Mary as the mother of our Lord.
- The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus is born and laid in a manger.
- The Presentation of our Lord
Jesus is presented in the Temple of Jerusalem.
- Finding Jesus in the Temple at age 12
Jesus is found discussing God’s laws in the temple.
Tuesdays and Fridays:
The Sorrowful Mysteries recall Jesus’ passion and death:
- The Agony of Jesus in the Garden
Jesus prays when confronted with the sins of the world.
- The Scourging at the Pillar
Jesus is whipped before His execution.
- Jesus is Crowned with Thorns
Jesus is mocked with a painful crown of thorns.
- Jesus Carried the Cross
Jesus carries the weight of our sins to His crucifixion.
- The Crucifixion of our Lord
Jesus Christ dies to save all mankind.
Wednesdays and Sundays:
The Glorious Mysteries focus on the resurrection of Jesus and the glories of heaven:
- The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Jesus rises triumphant over death.
- The Ascension of Jesus to Heaven
As Jesus ascends, He gives us a special task.
- The Descent of the Holy Ghost
At Pentecost the Church is born.
- The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
The Virgin Mary is gloriously assumed into heaven.
- Mary is Crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth
Mary is honored above all creatures.
Pope John Paul II added The Mysteries of Light, also known as the Luminous Mysteries, in 2002:
- The Baptism in the Jordan
God proclaims Jesus is His Son.
- The Wedding at Cana
Jesus performs a surprising miracle at a wedding.
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom
Jesus calls us to do something important.
- The Transfiguration
Jesus is gloriously transformed.
- The Institution of the Eucharist
Jesus shares His Body and Blood for our salvation.
Skip the centerpiece medallion, and on the ten beads after that, pray a Hail Mary on each bead; on the chain, pray a Glory Be. Although a decade is 10, these 12 prayers form a decade of the rosary. Many Catholics add the Fatima Prayer after the Glory Be and before the next Our Father: O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.
Repeat Steps 5 and 6 four more times to finish the next four decades.
At the end of your Rosary, say the 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.O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation; 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.