A black and white of someone with head bowed, praying the rosary with a rosary in clasped in their hands

Hello there Rosary lovers! In this post, I would like to offer you some useful tips on praying the Rosary.

I have been praying the Rosary avidly since 2020, often 3 or 4 rosaries a day. You can read about my story here. So I have the equivalent of quite a lot of years experience praying the rosary, since most Catholics only pray 1 rosary a day.

I have developed my own unique way of praying the Rosary, within the boundaries of what the Church says is necessary for gaining indulgences whilst doing the Rosary (see number 48 in the link). The Church has established boundaries for doing the Rosary in such a way that you can receive indulgences and get the greatest blessings.

These boundaries are very straightforward, and I always try to keep to them. Yet within those boundaries, there is much freedom to adapt the Rosary to yourself in your own way. I find my way works very well for me, and perhaps some of my tips can help you pray the Rosary more effectively.

I’ve saved the most important tip until last. Feel free to scroll there now.

Pray the shorter introduction

Do we even strictly NEED an introduction before launching into the mysteries and the Hail Marys? I don’t know, it wouldn’t seem so given the link above. But it is customary for Catholics to use some form of introduction before really beginning the Rosary meditations.

There are two introductions, which can be found at the bottom of this page. Very clearly from this link – the official website of the Rosary Confraternity – there are two perfectly valid introductions that one can choose at the beginning of the Rosary.

I always choose the shorter one, because it’s shorter.

Concluding prayers

Different Catholics use different concluding prayers at the end of the Rosary. Personally, I use the ‘Hail Holy Queen’, followed by the ‘O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, death and resurrection …’

Strictly, you could just finish the Rosary with the final mystery, and conclude with the Glory Be and perhaps the Sign of the Cross. The Enchiridion on Indulgences (number 48) gives no instruction on how to Conclude the Rosary, or even if you should of necessity do a conclusion. But again, it is customary to use one.

Even a simple ‘Hail Holy Queen’ (possibly followed by the Sign of the Cross) would be sufficient.

Whatever your concluding prayers, I recommend not doing anything too taxing, because it’s enough effort to pray the Rosary.

O, and if you pray multiple rosaries daily, there is NO need to do the concluding prayers at the end of every set of 5 mysteries. For instance, I go straight from the joyful mysteries into the luminous mysteries without any concluding prayers. This is fine, and to be recommended.

Always try to use your rosary beads

Using your rosary beads always brings extra blessing and extra indulgences. Every time you pray with your rosary beads – even if you are merely clasping them in your palm – you gain a partial indulgence. You don’t even need to be praying the rosary to receive this, you could be using any prayer.

Number 35 of the Enchiridion of Indulgences says:

The faithful, who devoutly use an article of devotion (crucifix or cross, rosary, scapular or medal) properly blessed by any priest, obtain a partial indulgence.

Nothing here about moving your fingers from one bead to the next, you simply just ‘devoutly use’ the rosary once it has been blessed. Often, when praying the rosary, I just hold mine, or grip it in my hand, or hang it round my arm. Presumably all of this ‘counts’!

But of course, I am not saying at all that it isn’t a great idea to use the rosary as it was intended. It was intended as a counting instrument, to count your Hail Marys, so that you wouldn’t need to count them in your head. You just move your fingers from bead to bead as you say one Hail Mary and then another, and then another, etc.

This is the way many of the saints used the Rosary, and this is unquestionably the best way to use it.

If you are interested in some unique rosaries, check out this link.

Use a pre-recorded recitation of the Rosary

We are so fortunate and blessed in this day and age. The internet has given birth to so many recordings of the Rosary, and you can find one instantly at the touch of a button online.

These days, I always use this podcast to help me meditate on the Rosary. You can find it on the Podbean podcast, a podcast I highly recommend. This podcast is also home to an amazing collection of Catholic sermons.

The internet is a truly WONDERFUL and life-changing tool when it comes to Catholic faith. I have found using a rosary podcast to be an incredible blessing. It makes praying the Rosary much, much easier and more enjoyable. I also love the background music.

The Podbean podcast even lets you speed up the recording, so if you have a slow recording and you want it to go faster, you can do that.

Whilst I’m listening to the Hail Marys, I can sit back and search pictures of the mystery on the internet. This greatly aids meditation on that mystery. I think this is a terrific way to meditate on the Rosary.

I don’t even use my voice, I just listen as devoutly as I can.

Praying the Rosary this way, it is easy to get through a number of rosaries daily, even with a busy schedule.

Use pictures

The internet is home to many thousands, if not millions, of pictures of the rosary meditations and mysteries. You will find that if you use pictures to help you meditate on the Rosary, it will enhance your experience praying the Rosary.

Try to go beyond the words and even the meditations

What do I mean by this? I mean, try to get beyond the mere words and even the mysteries themselves. Let the mysteries of the Rosary and the prayers be a springboard to something far greater: union with God.

Try to enter the state of silence, the state of ‘nothingness’ and darkness, where God dwells. God dwells in stillness and silence. It is here we find our richest experience of the divine and of our own being. I have a post on this, if you are interested.

I find that using a recording of the Rosary is a helpful way to experience this, because it can get a bit much trying to pray the prayers, AND meditate on the mysteries, AND try to go beyond it all.

We are human. We can only do so much. So to have someone pray the prayers for you takes a load off. You can then simply focus on imagining the mystery, and then using that image to go beyond the image into blackness and silence.

In work, listen to the rosary whilst on break

I have a part-time job 3 days a week. On these days, it would be impossible for me to pray 4 rosaries a day if I didn’t listen to the Rosary devoutly on my lunchbreak.

That’s right. I plug myself in, I listen to the announcement of the mystery (whichever mystery I’m on during the day), I picture the mystery in my head whilst the Our Father is being recited, and when the Hail Marys begin, I eat and try to listen.

Obviously it’s not ideal, but there’s nothing wrong with this approach, and if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t pray on my lunchbreak.

It’s better than listening to music or watching YouTube!

Go for walks and pray the Rosary

Walking is a very effective way to take time to pray. I’ve also got a post on this, you are welcome to have a read.

I often pray a few mysteries of the rosary whilst walking from work back to my car, to go home. Then I pray it in the car also. In fact, praying the rosary in the car can be a great way to spend time which would otherwise be idle or perhaps wasted time.

The Glory Be is enough

It is customary for Catholics to add the Fatima prayer after the Glory Be, at the end of each mystery. But remember that if this gets a bit too much for you, the Glory Be on its own is sufficient. You don’t need to add the Fatima prayer.

Offer a Rosary for someone/something/an intention

We all have things we can pray for, and we all know people or nations who need our prayers. The world needs our prayers and the Holy Souls in purgatory need our prayers.

Offering the Rosary on behalf of something can improve your experience in praying it, because it makes you feel like you are accomplishing something world-changing. When in fact, YOU ARE.

God has worked more miracles through the Rosary than he has through many other forms of devotion. The Rosary has unique, miraculous power. USE THAT POWER. Offer the Rosary for something or someone, or for a nation, or for the world, or for the poor or the hungry, or the suffering, or for the Holy Souls.

Or for all of them at once!!

You don’t need to offer an entire rosary for anyone or anything in particular. You can simply offer a decade for something, or even just a Hail Mary for something.

There is much variety, and it’s as you wish.

Most importantly: Call on Mary’s help

There is no better tip I can offer you than this: before praying the Rosary, ALWAYS ask Mary to help you pray her rosary. There is no-one better than Mary to teach you how to pray the Rosary properly and well.

I hope you have found this helpful and if you have any questions, do let me know.

God bless you!!

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