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Hello there my dear Rosary Lovers! In this post we will ask: What is the Rosary?
At Rosary Lovers, we LOVE the Rosary. We have many posts on the Rosary that you can check out whenever you please.
But we never get tired of answering this sort of question: what is the Rosary?
The Rosary is a prayer
The first thing to say is that the Rosary is a prayer.
Yes, yes, we’ve all seen the set of Rosary beads.
And yes they look very pretty and eye-catching in cars, and a blessed set of beads in a car will protect the person driving.
All of this is important and very useful and to be recommended.
But the Rosary is not primarily the set of beads. The beads are an aid. They are a means to an end.
The beads are to help us pray.
The Rosary, supremely, is a prayer.
The Beads are a great help!
Now of course, the beads are a great help and it is warmly advised that we always try to use a blessed set of Rosary beads when we pray the Rosary prayer.
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Make sure you get your Rosary blessed by a Catholic priest. You can of course use a non-blessed set of beads, but you get the indulgences for using a set of Rosary beads when they are blessed.
And of course, you can pray the Rosary without using any beads, but they are supposed to belong together, and you get more indulgences/blessings using both (see sections 35 and 48 of link).
Now in essence, the Rosary is a prayer. A very simple prayer. Goodness, it’s so simple that even I can do it.
The entire Rosary consists of 20 meditations on the life of Christ.
These meditations are things like his crucifixion, his resurrection, his birth, his miracle at Cana, and so on.
These 20 meditations are split into 4 sets of meditations:
- The Joyful Mysteries
- The Luminous Mysteries
- The Sorrowful Mysteries
- The Glorious Mysteries
Each of these 4 sets contains FIVE meditations or mysteries on the life of Christ.
The mysteries are as follows:
The Joyful Mysteries
- The Annunciation
- The Visitation
- The Nativity
- The Presentation
- The Finding of Jesus
The Luminous Mysteries (optional)
- The Baptism
- The Miracle at Cana
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom
- 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
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit
- The Assumption of Mary
- The Coronation of Mary
These mysteries are ESSENTIAL to the Rosary. Without them, you aren’t praying the holy Rosary. This is why the Rosary is called the Holy Rosary, or at least partly why.
Prayers for each mystery
There are introductory prayers for the Rosary, but in reality these seem to be optional and not of the essence of the Rosary itself.
The actual Rosary prayer involves simply choosing a set of 5 mysteries, and praying each mystery, one by one, whilst saying one Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and one Glory Be.
Let’s say you choose the Sorrowful mysteries. Typically these are prayed by Catholics on Tuesdays and Fridays.
It doesn’t really matter what day you pray which set of mysteries. You can do as you wish.
So you have elected the Sorrowful mysteries and your first mystery is the Agony in the Garden.
So, you simply say: ‘The Agony in the Garden’.
Then you pray one Our Father.
Then you pray 10 Hail Marys, ideally whilst meditating on the mystery of Jesus’ agony in the garden for us. If you find your mind wondering whilst praying the Hail Marys, try to bring it back to the mystery again.
Then you say: ‘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.’
That’s it, that’s one mystery prayed.
You repeat that process 4 other times with the other 4 mysteries, and that’s one entire set of mysteries completed, which = one whole Rosary prayed.
If you pray another set of mysteries (or even the same set again), that would be 2 Rosaries completed. And so on.
The Entire Rosary
Some Catholics pray the ENTIRE Rosary daily. Some do this by subtracting the Luminous mysteries, and only praying the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries.
This equals only 3 rosaries a day, not a very tough schedule of prayer, especially when spread throughout the day. One Rosary takes usually around 15 minutes.
Other Catholics like to add the Luminous mysteries. This would equal 4 rosaries a day, a bit harder, but still more than possible.
The Luminous mysteries are optional to the Rosary, since they were added in 2002 by St John Paul II.
The Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries are very, very old, and belong to the essence of the Rosary. Praying just these everyday means you are praying daily the ENTIRE Rosary, with all the blessings that come from doing that.
Giving ourselves to Mary and her Rosary
If we wish to do this, let us remember to invite our Lady, Mary, to help us pray her Rosaries everyday. We cannot do this without her. It is her Rosary and she knows how to pray it.
That’s kind of it really, in a nutshell!
Give it a go, and watch your life change.
‘The Rosary is a prayer that always accompanies me; it is also the prayer of the ordinary people and the saints… it is a prayer from my heart.’ – Pope Francis, who prays all 15 mysteries everyday.
‘Abandon yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you.’ – St. Padre Pio, who prayed up to 50 rosaries a day!!
‘The Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless blessings.’ – Blessed Alan de la Roche
I recommend that you also enroll in the Brown Scapular.
You need to buy a Scapular for this, and ask a Catholic priest to enroll you. It’s a beautiful enrollment, and all you have to do is wear the Scapular.
The Scapular + the Rosary = SALVATION! 🙂 🙂 🙂
It is impossible to be lost forever if you die wearing the Brown Scapular. Remember that.
God bless and happy praying.