How to Pray the Rosary

A Step by Step Guide to Praying the Holy Rosary

How to pray the Rosary
CLICK TO EXPAND: How to pray the Rosary


To begin, on the Crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross:

+ In the Name of the FATHER, and of the SON, and of the HOLY GHOST.

(1) Apostles Creed (Crédo)

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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, (and) sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, 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:
(which are the ‘Our Father’ Beads)

(2) Our Father (Pater Noster)

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 first 3 Small Beads:
(which are the ‘Hail Mary’ Beads)

N.B. It is customary, though optional, to offer these 3x Ave Marias “For an increase in FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY:” ;
or, to announce individually, bead by bead. So, on the 1st bead: “For an increase in FAITH:” and so on…

(3) Hail Mary (Ave Maria)

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 cord between the last small & proceeding large bead:

(4) Glory Be (Gloria Patri)

Glory be to the FATHER and to the SON and to the HOLY  GHOST.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

(N.B. This is the ‘Minor Doxology’ and is widely used at the end of readings or prayers in the Latin Rite & Breviary; bow your head at any mention of ‘Jesus’ and/or ‘Father, Son and Holy Ghost’)

[End of opening prayers; now the Mysteries]

 

•••••••

 

On the large ‘Our Father’ bead:
Announce the number, class and actual Mystery, e.g.
“The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation.”

(5) 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.

(N.B. The Mysteries must be announced if prayed in a group, though not if prayed privately. In any event, they are best announced.
The Rosary is ‘Mary’s Psalter’ and historically was recited in full – all 15 Mysteries: Joyful … Sorrowful … Glorious. Holy Mother Church, in her mercy and desire for the salvation of souls, granted indulgences for praying one (unbroken) third.
Thus, traditionally, one would also announce the section to be recited. So, for example, and only at the 1st Mystery:
‘The First Section of the Rosary: the Joyful Mysteries. The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation.’)

 

•••••••

 

On the proceeding 10 Small Beads*:
The Rosary is a contemplative form of prayer and you must actively immerse yourself in the Mystery at hand and do so with effort. Unless one is feeble-minded, there is no indulgence earned if the Mysteries are not contemplated. It is suggested that at some point one actually visualises the physical scene, even if only briefly.

(6) Hail Mary (x10)

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.

(* N.B. This is a ‘decade’, pronounced “deckad”. Traditionally, one moves through the beads in an anti-clockwise direction.)

 

•••••••

 

On the cord between the last small & proceeding large bead, as at (4), above:

(7..) Glory Be

Glory be to the FATHER and to the SON and to the HOLY  GHOST.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

Additional Prayers & Invocations:  

At Fatima Our Lady requested that the following ‘O My Jesus…’ prayer be recited at the end of each decade. This is now standard.

‘O Sacrament most Holy…’ is often included as well (the Mystery of the Eucharist is at the heart of God’s salvific plan and thus central in Mary’s Psalter). Some faithful also include a plea to the Immaculate Heart for peace. These invocations are not formal to the Rosary.

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.

O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine:
all praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment Thine!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, give peace to the world.

 

•••••••

 

(8.. 9.. and thereafter)

Now repeat steps 5 – 6- 7.. as per the first decade, e.g.
“The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation.”

Our Father … Hail Mary (x10) … Glory Be …

O my Jesus …

O Sacrament most Holy …

Immaculate Heart of Mary …

 

•••••••

 

At the conclusion of the 5th decade.
N.B. The concluding ‘Let us pray…’ derives from the Divine Office (Officium Divinum) or Breviary.

Hail Holy Queen | Salve Regina

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
hail, 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 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!

V/. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Amen.

 

Concluding Prayer

V/. Let us pray.
R/. O God, Whose only begotton Son,
by His life, death, and resurrection
hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal life;
grant, we beseech Thee,
that meditating upon these mysteries
in 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.

 

 

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