How to pray the Holy Rosary

Mary C. Weaver Uncategorized

Devotion to the Holy Rosary has existed for many centuries. Tradition holds that St. Dominic (d. 1221) devised the Rosary after receiving a vision of Mary, the Blessed Mother. The Rosary has been beloved by countless popes and saints, and Mary herself has asked us to pray it (e.g., in the 1917 apparitions of Our Lady to three children in Fatima, Portugal).

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.”

Below is a quick guide to praying the Rosary.

While holding the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross (In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.) and say 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; 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 thence He shall 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.

On the first large bead (and all the large beads), pray 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 next three small beads (and all the small beads), pray the 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.

On the chain following the three small beads, pray 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.

Now you begin praying the five “decades” of the Rosary, each of which consists of one large bead (Our Father), 10 small beads (Hail Mary), and the space after the last small bead (Glory Be). After the Glory Be, as you end each decade, pray the Fatima Prayer:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

Each decade corresponds to a specific “mystery”—an event from the life of Jesus, Mary, or the Holy Family. While you pray the decade, meditate on the mystery. See below for a list of the mysteries and on which days they are to be prayed.

When you have completed five decades—in other words, you’ve prayed through all the beads—you’ll be holding the medal. Pray 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 us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Conclude the Rosary as follows:

(Verse) Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
(Response) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(Verse) Let us pray:
(Response) 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 by meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Mysteries of the Rosary

( Mondays and Saturdays, may be said on Sundays during Advent and Christmas):

1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

(Tuesdays and Fridays, may be said on Sundays during Lent ):

1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion

(Wednesdays and Sundays):

1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


1. The Baptism in the Jordan
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. The Transfiguration
5. Institution of the Eucharist