A hand holding a rosary, with the miraculous medal on show
Hello there Mary-loving friends! Sometimes we feel daunted by the Rosary because we think it’s a very long prayer. But in reality: how long does it take to pray the Rosary?

It depends how you look at this

You could say the Rosary is a fairly brisk prayer. One Rosary is merely 5 Meditations on the life of Christ, each of which is accompanied by 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and 1 Glory Be.

For the 5 Meditations, therefore, that’s a total of 5 Our Fathers, 50 Hail Marys and 5 Glory Bes. That’s one Rosary. The Church recommends merely one Rosary a day.

However, from another point-of-view, this is a long time. Even just praying 50 Hail Marys in a row would take a good 10-15 minutes. Add in the other elements and you’ve got a Rosary which could take as much as 20 minutes.

But let’s be reminded that we don’t have to pray the Rosary in one go. You can spread it throughout the day, which many of us find immensely helpful.

You can speed it up!

You don’t have to pray the Rosary slowly. You are welcome to pray it faster, so long as it’s not so fast that you can barely follow along anymore or keep up. Because then you aren’t praying, you’re just acting like a chanting machine.

So far as I am aware, the Church doesn’t have any strict guidance on how fast is too fast. People pray all sorts of different speeds, depending on all sorts of reasons.

For instance, I listen to audiobooks. I love audiobooks, but I cannot cope with how SLOW they are. So I always speed them up considerably. When other people listen to audiobooks as fast as I do, THEY cannot cope, it’s far too fast to follow. But for me it’s absolutely ideal and I can follow everything.

It’s the same sort of thing. What’s a good speed for one person is too fast or slow for another.

I’ve been to Orthodox Christian services where they pray very fast. This is because they have SO MUCH to get through, such as reciting 10 or more Psalms in one go.

I’ve listened to many recordings of the Rosary being recited, and everyone prays it at different speeds, but the quickest I came across was probably around 12 minutes.

Go at a speed you are comfortable with, and don’t go with a speed you are uncomfortable with.

But a faster Rosary can be prayed easily in 15 minutes, perhaps a little quicker. A slower Rosary will take 5 or 10 more minutes.

It also depends on what you choose to incorporate into your recitations. If you use Scripture passages, then it’s obviously going to take longer.

What suffices for an adequate Rosary?A woman's hands clutching a rosary made of white stones

The minimal requirements for reciting the Rosary sufficiently are:

  • You meditate on the mysteries, even if this is a simple ‘announcement’ of the mystery
  • You pray the prayers (the Our Fathers, the Hail Marys, the Glory Bes.)
  • You are not willfully distracted

You should also bring your heart and sincerity. This goes a long way. I’m often not very happy with my Rosary recitations, but all I know is that I gave it a shot. I tried.

Sometimes I find it helpful to ask myself: ‘Well, did I pray all the prayers? Did I meditate on the mysteries? And did I avoid wilful distraction?’ If yes to these questions, then it was an adequate recitation.

Note that wilful distraction does not mean that someone pulled out in front of you as you were driving your car whilst praying your Rosary. Nor does it mean that your child started crying. None of this is wilful distraction.

Wilful distraction is pulling your phone out and going on Facebook whilst you’re praying. This is a disrespectful way to treat God.

The time is often relative

One more thing to consider here is that ‘time’ is often relative. Einstein proved this scientifically, and it holds true with prayer. Einstein said: ‘Let me explain relativity to you. You spend the day with a girl you love and the time flies. That’s relativity.’

Likewise, if you pray the Rosary in a manner you enjoy, then time will go faster, even if technically you take longer.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to pray the Rosary slower and more meditatively, then it will take longer, but you may not notice it taking longer. Time may seem to go by faster as you step more powerfully into God’s presence.

The reverse is true too: sometimes I find that my fastest Rosaries are the longest, simply because I’m not as focused or enjoying it as much.

Good advice

It is good advice to just do it, to just get it done: pray the Rosary in season and out of season.

If this happens to be the devotion Mary has called you to, then it is a good idea to try to stick with it. Even if you don’t do a very good job, you can but try. And God looks at the heart.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll try to get back to you asap.

Rosary Lovers constantly promotes the glory of Mary and her Rosary. As such, we often direct readers to this gorgeous collection of long-lasting paracord rosaries.

God bless 🙂

24 Replies to “How Long Does it Take to Pray the Rosary?”

  1. Hi Matthew,

    When I was a young person, we went through a phase of the family going to church where the services were in Polish to say the Rosary during May. I seem to remember that being about 20 minutes. It took much longer to actually drive to the church and then back home again than being in church.

    This article got me wondering about whether it’s longer to say the Rosary in different languages.

    Because of that question, I then decided to look at some YouTube mysteries.

    I noticed some videos advocating doing all 4 mysteries, but some advocating 20 decades. Could you explain the difference, please? If there is one?


    All the best, Julia

    1. I imagine the time it takes in the different languages is roughly the same. Perhaps some cultures or languages are naturally faster paced, but I expect overall similarity between them all.

      I think the videos you found are saying the same thing in different ways. 

      No-one would advocate doing 4 mysteries only of the rosary because this would only be 4/5ths of one rosary. Which makes no sense, you would just pray the last mystery and complete the 5 decades: one rosary.

      The entire Rosary is 4 times as much as this – 20 decades long (or 20 mysteries). And I think that’s what the person was getting at who recommended praying 4 ‘mysteries’ a day. I think they meant 4 rosaries.

      1 Rosary = 5 mysteries = 5 decades (takes between 15-20 minutes)

      4 Rosaries = 20 mysteries = 20 decades (takes between one hour and one hour and a half)

      The first is generally recommended by the Church because it’s easier for busy, working people.

      The latter is sometimes recommended for religious people (nuns, monks) and the elderly. 

      Some pray much more than this. I know one Catholic lady who doesn’t even know how many she prays in one day. 

      It’s almost an addictive prayer. Once you get beyond a certain point, it becomes much easier to just carry on.

      In fact, a few years ago, I wrote on Facebook ‘The more I pray the Rosary, the more I want to pray it!‘ Those simple words garnered 10,000 likes and hearts in total. I couldn’t believe it. This resonated so much with so many people.

      God bless you.

  2. Wow it’s interesting to see an article about praying the Rosary, it’s the first time I’ve this ever! Personally I used to pray the Rosary when I was a child as my family is very catholic but I’m more spiritual now. However, my aunt prays a lot and spend at least one hour every morning prating the Rosary with all the meditations. 

    1. Your Aunt must spend either a long time praying slowly or she perhaps prays more than 1 rosary in that hour. It should only take about 15-20 mins to pray 1 rosary, as I think I explain in the post.

      Who knows, maybe the Divine will call you back to this practice of your childhood sometime?

  3. I’m retired and I love walking in my backyard (several times around, depending on weather and other commitments) while praying a rosary, complete with scripture verses at each Hail Mary. There are a few times when I’ve been so immersed in contemplating/meditating on the life of Christ, that I find an hour has flown by, without being aware of it!

    1. Hey there. That sounds like a gorgeous devotion. I think greenery and gardens add to prayer because it’s all natural/creation. Do you know all those scripture verses off by heart then, and when you are supposed to say them, for which Hail Mary?

      Your experience with Christ in the Rosary is enviable 🙂

  4. I found your article to be most enlightening, especially the clarification about the time taken to recite rosemaries in different languages. I am gaining a better understanding of the Catholic religion by reading about it. I also visited St Marks Square In Rome and The Vatican and am constantly amazed by the power of the Catholic church throughout the world, and the many different countries and languages into which it is translated, and has been for centuries. The word of The Pope carries great weight not only within the Catholic Church but also Internationally probably greater than many politicians.

    1. Hello there my friend! Yes, I also found the Catholic Church’s power throughout the world to be very attractive. And the size. 1.3 billion people! That’s about 1/7th of the world’s population that is Catholic.

      So there’s safety and confidence in numbers. I never feel ashamed to say I’m a Catholic, I’m very proud to own the title.

      God bless you!!

  5. I was called to the Rosary a couple years ago. Thanks to my sister for this. Our family was going through a rough patch and the rosary helped her through, day in and day out she devoted time for it. I admired her commitment to the point where I started it myself. I will admit that I have “fallen off the wagon”. But I am so intrigued with your article. You might have just pushed me back on.

    The fact that you speak about the speed of reciting the rosary has helped me breathe a sigh of relief. I always wondered if I was doing it right. Too fast or too slow? Your article has reiterated that it is not the same for everyone and I am truly grateful for the reminder. I recall times when I dozed away at church during recital of the rosary. I do not need to express how badly I felt for this. When I started doing it myself at home, I recall feeling lost and though I was following text, I always questioned if I was doing it right. So much so that I downloaded the “Holy Rosary” app from the App store to help me along. The App actually has a feature where you can control the speed. After adjusting this for some time, I settled on a speed that I was comfortable with using. This has taken me to a speed of anywhere between 16-19 minutes. My latest method is to recite, using the app, in the car, in traffic on the way to work.

    Thank you, Matthew, for reminding me that the speed and method I use is okay.

    Dee J.

    1. Hi Dee J. Great to hear from you.

      First off, that’s awesome that the post helped you.

      Second, you don’t need to feel bad for falling asleep in church. Apparently St Therese of the Child Jesus did this, and just reminded herself that God is a loving Father and that at least she fell asleep in his arms 🙂

      We are human, after all!!! We get bored easily. God knows this.

      Yes, yes!! Your method is great. At the end of the day, it’s the heart God looks at. Our ‘performance’ will often be ‘below par’. We do lots of things insufficiently, but so long as it’s not our intent to do so, then God overlooks it.

  6. I’m new to praying the Rosary, and this article provided some helpful insights. You mentioned that the time it takes to pray the Rosary can vary depending on the speed and personal preferences. I’m curious, as a beginner, should I aim for a specific duration when praying the Rosary, or is it more important to focus on the prayers and meditations, regardless of how long it takes?

    Also, you mentioned that wilful distraction, like checking Facebook during prayer, is disrespectful. Are there any other common pitfalls or distractions that beginners should be aware of when praying the Rosary, and how can they overcome them?

    1. Hello there. It’s wonderful you’ve begun this devotion, may it bless your life immensely.

      Definitely focus on focusing on the prayers and meditations and don’t worry how long it takes. You can do it throughout the day anyway, so you don’t need to do all 5 mysteries in one sitting.

      I think a common pitfall in beginning this devotion is to try to do it perfectly. In essence, it’s very simple. You announce a mystery. It’s a good idea to then think on that mystery even if just for a brief moment. Then you pray 1 our Father and you pray 10 Hail Marys, followed by a Glory Be. Then you do another mystery.

      I think for many of us, we wish to do this all perfectly. Most rosaries are prayed imperfectly. Most of us can’t pray 10 Hail Marys or 50 Hail Marys well in a single day. The very nature of reciting 10 in a row means we get bored or distracted and other thoughts come into the mind. We then think we didn’t do it well enough.

      I think it’s a good idea to remember that so long as we are giving it a go, Mary can take over and do the rest. The blessings received from this devotion come ultimately from God’s mercy and grace, not from our performance. All that’s required is for us to give it a go.

      I remember hearing once that an imperfect Rosary is far better than no Rosary prayed, so that I found useful.

      God bless

  7. Hello!

    I truly appreciated your in-depth exploration of the Rosary’s duration and the different perspectives on how one can approach it. Your personal analogies, such as the audiobook speed preference, made the content relatable. The reminder about Einstein’s theory of relativity in the context of prayer was both enlightening and charming. Out of curiosity, how often do you personally find yourself praying the Rosary, and do you have a preferred pace or setting for it?

    Warm regards,

    1. Hello there Lou! Wonderful to hear from you my friend.

      I used to pray 4 rosaries daily, you can check that out in this post:


      I then reduced it to 3 daily.

      At the beginning of this year, I went back to 4 daily.

      A few weeks ago I stopped praying the Rosary and began to recite standard Catholic prayers from a prayer book.

      A few days ago I went back to just 1 Rosary a day and this is where I’m at now.

      So it varies a lot and I try to be open to Mary’s lead in my life. I adore the Rosary, but for whatever reason, sometimes I feel unable to pray it.

      I have two favourite places for praying the Rosary.

      1. Lying on my bed, playing the Rosary from a podcast, and looking at pictures of the mysteries on the internet, or imagining the mysteries.

      2. Closing my eyes and reciting the Rosary myself in a quiet place.

      My least favourite is praying the Rosary ‘on the go’ so to speak.

      God bless you

  8. Hi, I am grateful for your insight into the practice of praying the Rosary and the varying lengths of prayer sessions. Understanding the time commitment involved in this spiritual practice can provide valuable insights into how individuals incorporate it into their daily lives. Could you please share more about the different types of Rosary prayers and how they might influence the duration of the prayer? Additionally, are there any specific traditions or customs related to the length of these prayer sessions?

    1. Hello there! Thanks for getting in touch.

      For the different types of Rosary prayers, there are really only 3: The Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be. 

      Everything else is optional. Introductory prayers vary, concluding prayers vary and many add a prayer at the end of each Glory Be called 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.’

      Many add the Hail Holy Queen at the end of the Rosary, but this isn’t necessary.

      Many recite the Rosary with Scripture. Some pray the Rosary prayers in their head, others verbally or they mime the words.

      The embellishments obviously increase the length of the Rosary.

      But if prayed at a fairly standard pace, without any embellishments, the Rosary can be prayed in as little as about 13 minutes.

      Plus, it doesn’t have to be prayed all in one go. So you can do a decade here, a decade there, throughout the day.

      Then when you finish the last decade, you hardly realise you’ve just prayed a whole Rosary that day. It’s a good method.

      Different traditions within Catholicism pray the Rosary differently and not all traditions pray the same Rosary. There are other Rosaries besides the standard one. So this impacts length also.

      Hope that helps.

      God bless

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Your insights into the time commitment and the benefits of praying the rosary are quite enlightening.

    I’m curious if you could share some personal experiences or stories about how regular rosary prayer has impacted your own life or the lives of those you know. Hearing about real-life examples can often inspire and resonate deeply with readers who are considering incorporating this practice into their daily routines. Thank you for your valuable information and for spreading the knowledge of this beautiful spiritual tradition!

  10. Wow, what a fascinating article on praying to the Rosary, I found this enlightening and a great read. This is all new to me and this article helped to explain some helpful insights. As a beginner, is there any common mistakes people make that would be classed as disrespectful? If so, what can be done to change this?

    1. Hello there! Great to hear from you.

      I think the most common pitfall with praying the Rosary is to not get round to doing it. I would recommend just praying a very brief prayer to God or Mary and ask that your Rosary prayer would be sincere and acceptable. Then just go for it!

      We all make mistakes and over time you will learn how to achieve a better ‘standard’ of respect in prayer. But if you are a beginner, just bring your heart and go for it. Don’t worry about being ‘formally’ disrespectful, because God looks at the heart and overlooks everything if we don’t mean to be disrespectful.

      As for being formally dishonouring to God, I think the usual example is taking out your phone and scrolling through Facebook whilst praying. Or you are praying and then you decide to flick the TV on and start looking at what to watch on YouTube.

      Stuff like that.

      If we’re going to pray, let’s pray.

      Certainly we can pray with legitimate distractions, like when we are cleaning the house or working. It is good to pray at these points because we should always pray.

      But if we are already praying, and then decide that we just fancy checking out something on YouTube, then it would be better to quickly finish praying and then to reach for our phone.

      Hope that helps. Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but a lot of it depends on the individual and the conscience. A lot of this is to do solely with God and the individual soul.

  11. This article is a valuable resource for anyone curious about the time commitment involved in praying the Rosary. It’s concise, informative, and provides a clear understanding of the prayer’s duration. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or just beginning to explore this spiritual practice, knowing how long it takes can help you incorporate it into your daily routine more effectively. Thank you for shedding light on this aspect of the Rosary.

  12. For those wondering if 15 minutes for the Rosary is too fast, no less than Venerable Lucia of Fatima — one of the 3 visionaries of Fatima, the one who by God’s providence lived a long life so as to spread the message of Fatima — once spoke of setting aside “a quarter of an hour” to say it daily:


    “… Lucia says that God asks us for ‘a prayer which is within our reach: the Rosary, which can be recited either in common or in private, either in church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament or at home, either when traveling or while walking quietly in the fields,’ she explains. ‘A mother of a family can say the Rosary while she rocks her baby’s cradle or does the house work. Our day has 24 hours in it. It is not asking a great deal to set aside a quarter of an hour for the spiritual life, for our intimate and familiar converse with God.'”

    Take note that Sr. Lucia also states that it is fine to pray the Rosary while doing house work, while traveling, or while walking. Presumably of course she was not referring to house work of the kind that demands one’s 100 % attention, but house work that allows for one to pay some attention to what one is praying.

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