Hello Rosary Lovers! In this post we will look at how to do the Rosary.
The holy Rosary is one of the most awesome prayers in the entire world. It is prayed by millions, and so many of us can testify to its miraculous power!
So let’s look at how to pray it! We’re going to keep this really simple.
Buy a Rosary and get it blessed
The first step is obviously owning a Rosary. Perhaps you don’t own one. In which case: buy one.
Once you have your Rosary, then you should get it blessed by a Catholic priest.
Now you’re good to go.
(You can pray the Rosary without a set of rosary beads, but this is not recommended. But you aren’t at all doing anything wrong by doing this. It is far better to pray the Rosary without rosary beads than to not pray it at all.)
The Rosary Mysteries
Now then, we need to take a moment to mention the Rosary mysteries. Without these, you cannot pray the Rosary.
The Rosary mysteries are as follows:
- The Joyful Mysteries – The Annunciation; the Visitation; the Nativity; the Presentation; the Finding of Jesus
- The Luminous Mysteries – the Baptism of Jesus; the Miracle at Cana; the Preaching of the Kingdom of God; the Transfiguration; the Institution of the Holy Eucharist.
- The Sorrowful Mysteries – The Agony in the Garden; the Scourging at the Pillar; the Crowning with Thorns; the Carrying of the Cross; the Crucifixion
- The Glorious Mysteries – The Resurrection; the Ascension of Jesus; the Descent of the Holy Spirit; the Assumption of Mary; the Coronation of Mary
You will need to memorise these mysteries to be able to pray the Rosary at any time.
Choose a set of mysteries
It is now up to you to select a set of mysteries to pray. You can choose any you wish, but you must start at the beginning of each set.
For instance, you could choose the Glorious mysteries. Therefore, you would start at: The Resurrection.
The Church has an optional calendar for everyday of the week. Each day, the Church prays a different set of mysteries. If you wish to follow the Church here, then this calendar is as follows:
- Monday – Joyful mysteries
- Tuesday – Sorrowful mysteries
- Wednesday – Glorious mysteries
- Thursday – Luminous mysteries
- Friday – Sorrowful
- Saturday – Joyful
- Sunday – Glorious
- Sundays of Advent – Joyful
- Sundays of Lent – Sorrowful
You don’t have to follow this calendar but it is handy if you don’t know which to choose.
Also, we should mention that many Catholics pray the ENTIRE Rosary everyday. That is, they pray all of the mysteries of the Rosary each and every day.
Many Catholics offer their Rosary for a specific intention. This is a good way to ask God for something you wish for. It could be for yourself or a friend, or something going on in the world, or whatever you want.
You don’t have to do this, but it is a good idea.
If you want to do this, just say before beginning your Rosary: ‘I now offer this Rosary for …’
Holding your Rosary by the crucifix, make the sign of the cross.
Then recite the Apostles Creed, holding the crucifix.
You then have 5 beads next to the crucifix.
On the first bead, pray an Our Father. You could offer this for the intentions of the Holy Father (the Pope).
On the next three beads, which are clumped together, pray 3 Hail Marys. You could offer these for the gifts of faith, hope and charity.
Then pray a Glory Be.
This is the introduction over. Now it’s time for the real Rosary.
(If you want a much shorter introduction – which personally I use most of the time – see this link at the bottom of the page. This other introduction is ENTIRELY legitimate, only it’s not so well-known.)
Announce the first mystery
Let’s say you chose the Sorrowful mysteries. You simply say: ‘The first sorrowful mystery: the Agony in the Garden.’
Now, effectively you have already slightly meditated on Christ’s agony in the garden by announcing these words above. But it is also recommended that you try to think about this mystery as you pray through the Our Father and the Hail Marys.
A really good way to do this is to type ‘Agony in the garden’ into Google and click on the images that come up. These images will help you meditate on this mystery really, really well.
This is my favourite method, and praying the Rosary seems much faster and more enjoyable when doing this.
Pray the Our Father
Having announced the first mystery, you now pray one Our Father. You will pray this using the last bead before you enter the circle of the Rosary. This is also the fifth bead after the crucifix.
You may choose to dedicate these following prayers for a specific need for yourself or someone else, or something national or global.
Pray 10 Hail Marys
You now pray 10 Hail Marys. You do this using the 10 beads clustered together at the beginning of the Rosary. These are located at the entrance of the rosary circle through the crucifix and the string attaching it to the rosary.
Ideally, you pray these Hail Marys whilst thinking about the mystery under consideration.
Catholics all do this differently. Some just announce the mystery and leave it at that. This suffices for a simple meditation at the beginning.
Others announce the mystery, picture an image in their head of the mystery, then pray the Our Father and the 10 Hail Marys.
Others announce the mystery, pray the our Father, and then the 10 Hail Marys whilst adding a simple phrase within each Hail Mary, as follows: ‘and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus, in agony for us. Holy Mary …’ etc.
Still others just go back and forth, sometimes thinking about the Hail Mary, and other times thinking about the mystery.
The most valuable method is to use pictures, since this is what was essentially recommended at Fatima, when the Virgin Mary told the children to picture an image in their head of the mystery.
The Glory Be
Finish the decade/mystery by praying the Glory be. This isn’t prayed on any bead, but on the string in-between the 10th Hail Mary bead and the following bead.
Many of us add the Fatima prayer also, but this is optional. It goes: ‘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.’
Take a break?
You can choose to stop praying after just one mystery. You don’t have to pray all 5 mysteries of a set in one go.
It’s a very good idea to space the mysteries out during the day. You’ll find the Rosary really easy to pray everyday if you do this. It’s not easy to pray 5 mysteries in one sitting, and it may discourage you from doing it again.
The second mystery
Move onto the next bead of the Rosary.
You now announce the second mystery, which would be the Scourging at the Pillar if you chose the Sorrowful mysteries. Pray an Our Father.
Now pray 10 Hail Marys. Use the 10 beads clustered together for each Hail Mary to help you know how many you’ve prayed. That’s what they are there for.
Finish with a Glory Be in-between the final Hail Mary bead and the next bead.
Third, Fourth, Fifth mystery
Continue throughout the day to pray the mysteries until you have finished the fifth mystery.
Pray another rosary?
If you’re feeling good about this, then try praying another rosary.
Heck, if you’re feeling very adventurous, why not pray the entire traditional rosary? This would be the Joyful mysteries, the Sorrowful mysteries and the Glorious mysteries.
This is what I do everyday. I used to add the Luminous mysteries too, but this has proved too much for now.
You now offer a concluding prayer. You don’t have to do this, but it is customary to pray the Hail Holy Queen followed by the ‘O God, whose only begotten Son’ prayer. They are as follows:
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 merciful, 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. Amen.
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, 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.
Finish with the sign of the cross
You take hold of the crucifix again and finish with the sign of the cross.
That’s all there is to it.
- Sign of the Cross and introductory prayers
- Announce the first mystery
- Pray 1 Our Father
- Pray 10 Hail Marys
- Pray a Glory Be
- Announce the second mystery, pray 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and a Glory Be
- Announce the third mystery …
- Fourth mystery …
- Fifth mystery …
- Finish with the Hail Holy Queen and the sign of the cross
It’s very easy when you’ve done it a few times. But it will reap untold blessings in your life, things you couldn’t have imagined.
God bless, and if you have any questions, please let me know.