Hello there Rosary Lovers! In this post we will look at how to pray the ENTIRE Rosary everyday!
Praying the Entire Rosary
Praying the ENTIRE Rosary daily is becoming quite a thing in the Catholic world. There are various Youtubers and websites promoting it.
It’s an incredible spiritual discipline, though not for the fainthearted. It requires tremendous discipline to do it daily.
There are two ways to do it, both of which are common.
The first method is to pray the 15 mysteries of the traditional Dominican Rosary. This Rosary contains the Joyful mysteries, the Sorrowful mysteries and the Glorious mysteries.
This is the method that many saints practiced in their lives. Many saints prayed all 15 mysteries daily and found amazing grace and growth in the Christian life through doing this.
This method is quite doable and is basically 3 rosaries daily. Spread throughout the day, it’s not that hard. It’s between 40 minutes to an hour of praying, depending on how you pray it and how fast you recite the decades.
The second method is to pray the above traditional entire Rosary, PLUS an additional set of mysteries, known as the Luminous mysteries.
So instead of praying 3 rosaries for the day, you end up praying 4.
Instead of 15 mysteries daily, you pray 20 mysteries daily.
I followed this second method for over a year during probably the hardest year of my life. However, simply because of my daily devotion to the ENTIRE Rosary of 20 mysteries, that year was also the happiest.
It may seem illogical that I experienced a year which was both very hard and also the happiest of my life. But that is my testimony. That’s often the way of the cross and the way of Christ.
The 20 mysteries Rosary prayed daily is absolutely the best spiritual discipline I’ve ever discovered. It will make many, many people into saints if they do it.
In fact, it has even been said that it can make Catholics today even holier than saints of the past, because we now have an extra set of mysteries to pray daily. Saints of old didn’t have this, so we have more than they have to make us holy.
I don’t know what to make of this claim, only that it is very bold, but perhaps it is true.
These days, I have gone back to praying simply the traditional 15 mysteries daily. The reasons for this are multifaceted. I’m not ready to get back to the 20 mysteries daily at present in my life, but I hope to someday. Hopefully even more than that eventually.
I miss praying all 20 mysteries of the Rosary daily. This entire Rosary became a VERY dear friend to me. It is the main reason I created Rosary Lovers. (You can read about this in the ‘About Matthew’ section, click here.)
However, I know I am where Mary wants me right now. I can’t do what I don’t have the grace anymore to do.
My advice to you is to follow where God leads. If you are called to pray only one Rosary daily (5 mysteries), then just do that. It will bring great blessing.
If you are called to pray two Rosaries daily (10 mysteries/decades), then just do that. It will bring even greater blessing.
If you aren’t called to pray the Rosary at all, then follow the Holy Spirit here. He has something else in store for you.
Whatever you are called to, stick to it, until the Holy Spirit leads you to move onto something else.
And if you find a spiritual devotion or way of prayer that REALLY works for you, and that becomes very precious to you, do all you can to hold onto it. Such things are very rare in this world.
With all that said, let’s look at how we can pray the entire Rosary everyday.
Praying the Entire Rosary Daily
1. Do the Short Introductory prayers
Most Catholics who recite the Rosary think there is only one set of introductory prayers. The sign of the cross, the Apostles’ Creed, One Our Father, 3 Hail Marys and a Glory Be.
It’s a great introduction, I don’t deny it. But it’s cumbersome, long-winded, and not necessary.
There is a MUCH shorter introduction, which you can find HERE. It is practiced in the Dominican Order, and it is an even more ancient version of beginning the Rosary.
Here it is:
- Sign of the Cross
- Recite: ‘Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.’
- Recite: ‘O Lord open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise.’
- Recite: ‘O God come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me.’
- Recite: ‘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.’
- Finish with: ‘Alleluia’.
That’s it. That’s all it is. It takes about ONE minute.
When you finish the Rosaries for the day, you conclude the Rosary with:
- ‘Hail Holy Queen’ prayer
- ‘O God, whose only begotten Son’ prayer
- Recite: ‘May the Divine Assistance remain always with us. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.’
- Sign of the Cross
2. Treat the Fatima prayer as optional
The Fatima prayer is often added straight after the Glory Be at the completion of each decade.
It is: ‘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. [Amen.]’
However, this prayer is entirely OPTIONAL. It does not have to be added.
I sometimes pray it at the end of a decade and sometimes I don’t. If I need to get a lot of decades prayed to catch up, perhaps I’ll leave it out. If I am taking my time more, perhaps I’ll use it.
Praying 15 mysteries (or even 20) daily will mean you could potentially pray the Fatima prayer 15 or 20 times daily.
If you were to pray the Fatima prayer 15 times in one go, or 20 times, it would take around about the same time as it takes to pray a single decade of the Rosary.
By leaving this prayer out, or only praying it selectively, you will have more time to pray the Rosary.
Nevertheless, it is obviously a beautiful prayer and a powerful one, so it is good to make use of it.
3. Pray the Rosary with or without your Rosary beads
Now here at Rosary Lovers, we recommend that you usually try to pray the Rosary with your Rosary beads.
However. If you have the option to pray the Rosary, but you don’t have your beads, or cannot use them at that particular moment, THEN PRAY THE ROSARY ANYWAY.
You DON’T need the Rosary beads to pray the Rosary. You don’t need the Rosary beads to gain indulgences, since merely reciting the Rosary without any beads gives indulgences anyway. (Reciting with rosary beads gives MORE indulgences.)
If you don’t or can’t have access to your Rosary beads, then use your fingers instead.
4. Spread the decades throughout the day
There is absolutely NO requirement to pray 5 decades in a row or a single sitting. We address this in this post here.
You will find it MUCH, MUCH easier, more manageable and less daunting if you pray a decade here, a decade there, a decade later, a decade later, and so on. Or two decades together, then two decades later, etc.
5. Vary the way you meditate on the mysteries
It’s going to get really boring if you meditate on the mysteries the same way everyday. There are lots of different ways to meditate on the mysteries and I encourage you to make use of more than one method.
For instance, you can use your phone and type in the title of the mystery into Google. Then see what images come up.
You then recite the decade and the Hail Marys whilst flicking through the thousands of images Google brings up.
This is a great method for meditating on the mystery and my favourite.
Or you could recite a verse of Scripture at the beginning of each mystery before praying the Our Father.
Or you could picture an image in your mind of the mystery, then pray the Our Father.
Or you could say a few words to yourself about what the mystery is about, then recite the Our Father.
Or you could declare the fruit of the mystery, or what virtue you desire to grow in.
Shake it up a bit. Even during the day, you can meditate on one mystery a certain way, then later meditate on a different mystery a completely different way.
There is a lot of room here for inventiveness and creativity.
6. At times, you might want to use a recitation of the Rosary pre-recorded
There are a great many pre-recorded recitations of the Rosary. Many can be found on various podcasts, and there are plenty on Youtube.
These are very helpful, especially when you are very tired and just don’t have it in you to recite the Rosary all by yourself.
Instead, at such times, you can plug your earphones in, hit ‘Play’ and have someone else recite the Rosary for you. You just have to stand or sit back and let the words and meditations wash over your soul.
There is nothing wrong with this approach. There is no obligation that you yourself must recite the Rosary.
Plus, you will learn a lot about different methods of praying the Rosary by hearing how other people do it.
7. Pray in your mind or with you vocal chords
You don’t have to recite the prayers vocally. Many recite the Rosary purely in their minds.
I mainly silently lip or gently whisper the prayers, because I’m useless at praying 10 Hail Marys in my mind.
Sometimes I do a bit of both. But I am unable to recite the entire thing vocally, my vocal chords just cannot cope with it.
I even read of a nun who, during a very difficult time, asked Mary to recite it for her. This is a mystery to me, but it is beautiful.
8. Walk as you pray
I don’t often pray the Rosary sitting down. Sometimes I do, but by nature I’m an active person and my mind races. I find it easier to walk around as I pray.
The best approach I find is to take a walk and pray as I walk. It’s very easy to pray the Rosary during a walk.
9. Pray the Luminous mysteries last
The vital thing about this devotion is to get the ENTIRE Rosary recited daily. To do this, you will have to AT LEAST recite the Joyful mysteries, the Sorrowful mysteries and the Glorious mysteries.
These are the traditional mysteries, and merely praying these is equivalent to reciting the entire Rosary.
If you wish to do so, stick the Luminous mysteries on at the end, after the Glorious mysteries. This way, you leave them as an option.
10. Complete ‘The Carrying of the Cross’ before 6 or 7pm
The key to this devotion is making good headway in the morning, afternoon and early evening. If you don’t do this, you will find it very difficult to complete the entire Rosary daily.
Therefore, you want to have completed the 4th Sorrowful mystery ideally before 6pm.
This leaves you the rest of the evening (4 or 5 hours) to pray the remaining 6 mysteries/decades. You can easily spread these over 4 hours.
11. Try to Finish before 10pm
After 10pm, I get very tired. By 11, I’m finished and need to be in bed.
Any of the Rosary that I haven’t completed by this point these days just won’t get done. It’s too much to ask me at that time of night.
Therefore, I try and finish the entire Rosary before 10pm. 9pm is ideal.
12. Pray the Introductory and concluding prayers ONLY once a day
Don’t make the mistake of praying the introductory prayers more than once. You don’t need to do this at all.
You’re praying the ENTIRE Rosary, as it is meant to be prayed. You don’t need to be introducing each new set of mysteries, they introduce each other.
And as for the concluding prayers, you only pray these ONCE when you have finished all your decades for the day.
Of course, if you want to add the introductory prayers at the start of each new set of mysteries, and if you want to pray the concluding prayers at the end of each set of mysteries, then be my guest. But this is much more arduous and it isn’t necessary at all.
You’ve got a lot of the Rosary to pray already. Why make it more challenging than it is already?
13. Keep it all so simple
The beauty and power of the Rosary is how simple it is. In essence, each decade is simply a mystery thought about by the recitation of One Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and One Glory Be.
That is it. You rinse and repeat that method for each mystery/decade, going in order from one mystery to the next at different points of the day.
If you don’t complicate it, you’ll find it so easy that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. You’ll wonder how on earth something so simple can produce so much blessing in your life and the lives of those you pray for.
It is possible to complicate the Rosary and add all sorts of optional extras, until you find it challenging and discouraging. I don’t recommend this approach.
Mary is simple. Some of the greatest saints ever were masters of simplicity (St Therese of the Child, St Bernadette).
If you maintain simplicity, you will find simplicity in your life through the recitation of this prayer.
You will discover that the simple things in life are the sweetest. You will discover that life is remarkably simple to master. All it takes is to hold hands with God everyday.
That’s what the Rosary is and does. It is holding hands with God and Mary.
14. Don’t get discouraged if you are distracted or recite a decade poorly
If you find yourself discouraged at the end of a decade, simply ask yourself:
- Did I meditate on the mystery, even for a brief moment?
- Did I recite one Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and One Glory Be?
If the answer is Yes to both, then you sufficiently prayed a decade. That’s all that is required.
But in short, it is only if we CHOOSE willingly to be distracted in prayer that we sin. If we don’t want to get distracted, but get distracted anyway, that isn’t a problem.
Many Catholics and saints have found that the Rosary can be prayed whilst doing household chores or at work. There is a reasonable amount of necessary distraction that is acceptable when praying the Rosary.
If you are whipping out your phone to look at your Facebook messages whilst reciting the mysteries, this wouldn’t be appropriate. But short of this, you’re probably doing alright.
And let’s face it: we’re human. We do everything imperfectly, so don’t be hard on yourself. Love yourself. Jesus loves you.
And as for our feelings, well, they deceive us. Sometimes we feel like we’ve really prayed the Rosary well and other times we don’t feel this way.
So what? God isn’t asking for performance, but for good intention, with a minimal amount of execution.
15. Pray to Mary before beginning the Rosary
Everyday, ask Mary to help you pray her Rosaries. She will help you and you’ll find it much easier as a result.
If you have any more tips on how to do this, I would LOVE to hear from you.
Or if you have any questions at all, get in touch please.