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Praying the Rosary

Updated on June 24, 2009

Praying the Rosary

There are many Catholics who do not know how to properly say the Rosary; the only difference is that you have asked!
One does not have to have had any rites of passage in order to say the Rosary, let alone any prayer. God only asks that you honor and believe in His Blessed Mother--our Mother--and trust whatever she may ask of you which, with her intercession, will help bring us to God and, through her son, Jesus Christ, the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven.
Say The Rosary in all activities of your life: in the church before Jesus during the Blessed Sacrament, before Our Blessed Lady, in the Adoration Chapel, while on a train or plane, while driving or as a passenger. Say the Rosary in the morning, before bedtime, while washing dishes, waiting for an appointment or while walking down the street--God will always be first and foremost in thought, word and deed, as He should be.
The Rosary is a key to Heaven. It is not a charm or talisman, as other religions like to believe, but the saying of the Rosary is a way of life and a means of eternal salvation. It is a way of life because it teaches you -- kneeling childlike before Our Blessed Mother -- Christ, who is the Life of the World--and to know Him is eternal life.
The Rosary is a means of salvation, because a true child of Mary is never lost and one who says the Rosary daily is truly Mary's child. Recite it daily and devoutly, simply because Our Blessed Mother asked it of us all when she came to Fatima. Obedience to our Heavenly Mother and Blessed Rosary Queen is reason enough for reciting it.
In the Holy Rosary you will find a solution for all your problems, no matter how big and difficult and humanly impossible they may be -- for Mary is our all-powerful Advocate and she can obtain from the Heart of her Divine Son whatever is good for her children.

I have written out, in length, how to say The Rosary here, (& what it means in order to give you a better understanding).
Listen to the words that you are saying. The sentence, "...Blessed art though amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." There should be a pause between the words womb and Jesus; they aren't run together. "...the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." It means blessed is the fruit (the child) born of Mary's womb--her son--Jesus. If you pause, you--and your children--will hear the meaning.

Remember, to bow the head when saying the name, Jesus, in order that you give reverence to Our Lord.
You will notice that we bow our head during one part of the Nicene Creed; "By the power of The Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became Man." This is to give reverence to the miraculous act of God's only Son born of the chosen, Blessed Virgin Mary, into the world.

There is a small pocket-sized book at the Catholic book store entitled "Order of Mass With Prayers and Novenas". It is compiled by Sister Mary Isadore Lennon, R.S.M., published W.H. Litho Co., New York, NY. Ask if you cannot find it. This little book is excellent because it contains our most important things that we as Catholics should already know: the Holy Days of Obligation, morning & evening prayers and gives the Order of the Mass so if you are unable to attend mass, you can say it yourself. It contains devotional prayers, The Stations of the Cross, prayers before a Crucifix, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayers to saints, the sick, the dying, the dead, for motherhood, for children, for priests, for peace and for those in the military. It contains prayers for others, novenas, Eucharistic adoration or devotion and prayers after the Eucharist--and it contains The Rosary!
--This book is easy to carry anywhere. Rosary Rings are also available; they can be purchased (or ordered) at your Catholic Book store and are less than five dollars. They are nice to have, especially if you are active; a ring doesn't take up room, get broken or lost as would Rosary beads and will help you better remember because it's easily seen. It may even encourage others to pray.

The Rosary consists of various sets of beads which are grouped in tens (called decades), with six large beads in-between. We start the Rosary by making the Sign of the Cross and reciting The Nicene Creed. This prayer is what we Catholics fervently believe--it's our creed!
The Lord's Prayer (The Our Father), the ten Hail Marys, the Glory Be and the post-decade petition (the ejaculation--the "O, sweet Jesus,...") taught us by Our Lady at Fatima, is said on each of the five decades of the three sets of scenes called the Mysteries: the Joyful Mystery, the Sorrowful Mystery and the Glorious Mystery.

Before telling you exactly how to say the Rosary, I have described the three Mysteries so that you have a better understanding of each.

Ponder successively over the scenes within the Mysteries of our Lord's life and of Our Lady's as you say your prayers as if you were really present while it was taking place and apply it to yourself as you say the rosary.
Ask St. Joseph and your Guardian Angel to make you a great lover of the Holy Rosary and through it, a true child of Mary. With the Rosary you will tread life's paths in peace, for you are following Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life while you clasp in your hand a veritable Key to Heaven.

THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES (said on Mon & Thurs, and Sundays from the 1st Sunday of Advent to the 1st Sunday of Lent)
1) The Annunciation was made to Mary by the Angel Gabriel, asking her consent to become God's Mother. Assured of the miraculous preservation of her sacred Virginity, she freely and fully gave herself to God. Ask her to get you the grace to obey always.
2) The Visitation was made by Mary to Elizabeth (her cousin). At the sound of Mary's voice, Elizabeth's unborn child, John the Baptist, stirred within her, and he was sanctified; Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out "Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!" Ask for the grace to bring Christ to your fellowman.
3) The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem's stable (the Nativity) came about because there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn. Shepherds sent by an Angel, and wise men illumined by a star, came to adore Him. Ask God's Mother for detachment from the things of time.
4) The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple took place on the fortieth day after His birth. Simeon foretold Christ's final rejection and Mary's share in it. Ask for the spirit of self-sacrifice for the conversion of poor sinners.
5) The Finding of Jesus in the Temple took place when He was twelve. Mary and Joseph sought Him for three days and finally found Him sitting among the doctors who were astounded at His wisdom. Ask to find Jesus in every detail of your life.

THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES (said on Tues and Friday, and Sundays in Lent)
1) The Agony of Jesus in the Garden lasted three hours and caused Him to sweat blood at the sight of our sins and of the atrocious torments He was about to endure for them. Despite His human fear He cried to His Father: "Not my will but thine be done!" Ask for true sorrow for your sins.
2) The Scourging at the Pillar caused Jesus to be publicly stripped and flogged from head to foot to atone for our sins, especially for those of the flesh. Ask for the grace to practice Christian penance.
3) The Crowning with Thorns - Jesus was mocked with a helmet of sharp thorns which was beaten down upon His head in derision of His kingship to atone for our pride and for our sins of thought. Ask for the grace to learn of Him to be meek and humble of heart.
4) The Carrying of the Cross - Jesus is forced to carry the heavy cross on His lacerated shoulders through the streets of Jerusalem. Ask for the grace to bear each day's difficulties with patience, in union with Jesus.
5) The Crucifixion - On Good Friday Jesus was nailed hands and feet to the cross and hung there for three hours in untold mortal agony--for our sins. After His death His Heart was peirced with a lance.
Ask for generosity in God's service.

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES (said on Wed & Sat, and Sundays from Easter to Advent and from Christmas to Lent)
1) The Resurrection - Christ rose from the tomb glorious and immortal on Easter morning, still bearing in His hands, feet and side the marks of His wounds. Ask for faith in Christ's divinity.
2) The Ascension into Heaven took place forty days after Easter. Christ is now in glory enthroned at the right hand of His Eternal Father. By contemplating Heaven may we learn the little worth of the things of time.
3) The Descent of the Holy Spirit took place at Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, when He came upon the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues. Ask for an increase of Divine love.
4) The Assumption - At the close of her life on earth, Mary was taken body and soul into Heaven, there to intercede for us. Ask for the grace of final perseverence.
5) The Coronation - Mary is Queen of the Universe and loving Mother. Ask her to make you a saint.

How to say the rosary:

Signing with crucifix in hand, make

(always using the right hand)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On the first large bead:

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:

(all bow at the following words up to: and became man)

by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.


Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. Amen.

On the next three small beads, say the:


Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

On the next large bead recite the:


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.

Recite the favorite Prayer of the Children of Fatima (ejacultion) and always between the decades of the Rosary after the Glory Be:

O, sweet Jesus! Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven and help especially those in most need of Thy loving mercy.

Announce the Mystery (name the # and type of Mystery):

(for example: "The 3rd Glorious Mystery; The decent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. The virtue of charity.")

Then say:
The Lord's Prayer
On the next ten small beads recite the
Ten Hail Marys
On the next large bead recite the
Gloria Patri and the the Ejaculation
Announce the next Mystery, say The Lord's Prayer followed by the ten Hail Marys, the Gloria Patri, the ejaculation, and so forth in the same manner for all five decades and ending in the Lord's Prayer.

At the end of the Rosary, recite the following:

O God! Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the reward 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. 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

(Hail Holy Queen)

Hail! holy Queen, Mother of mercy, 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 the valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed Fruit of they womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

The Rosary is also said at church during the weekdays and at specific times.
Sometimes parishioners will get together and say the Rosary in the pews before or after mass--especially in October during Abortion Awareness.
It is not uncommon that the following prayers are said, especially when saying the Rosary as a group:


Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me. Permit me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me to come unto Thee.
That, with the Saints, I may praise Thee.
For ever and ever. Amen.


Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.


Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us
God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins. Pray for us.
Mother of Christ, Pray for us.
Mother of divine grace, Pray for us.
Mother most pure, Pray for us.
Mother most chaste, Pray for us.
Mother inviolate, Pray for us.
Mother undefiled, Pray for us.
Mother most amiable, Pray for us.
Mother most admirable, Pray for us.
Mother of good Counsel, Pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, Pray for us.
Mother of our Saviour, Pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, Pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, Pray for us.
Virgin most renowned, Pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, Pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, Pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, Pray for us.
Mirror of Justice, Pray for us.
Seat of wisdom, Pray for us.
Cause of our joy, Pray for us.
Spritual vessel, Pray for us.
Vessel of honor, Pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion, Pray for us.
Mystical rose, Pray for us.
Tower of David, Pray for us.
Tower of ivory, Pray for us.
House of gold, Pray for us.
Ark of the covenant, Pray for us.
Gate of Heaven, Pray for us.
Morning star, Pray for us.
Health of the sick, Pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Help of Christians, Pray for us.
Queen of Angels, Pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, Pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, Pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, Pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, Pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, Pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, Pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, Pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, Pray for us.
Queen assumed into Heaven, Pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary, Pray for us.
Queen of Peace, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delievered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Oh, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires. O Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, i may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. O Saint Joseph, I never grow tired contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; i dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his dear head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when i draw my dying breath. Amen.
O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me.

For extra indulgance, say the Hail Mary on the last 3 beads, the Act of Contrition, the Angel of God and the Lord's Prayer on the last large bead.
Make the Sign of the Cross and kiss the crucifix in reverence to God.


Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because of Thy just punishments. But most of all, because they have offended Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sins. Amen.


Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light, to guard, to rule and guide.

------------------ ------------------
PRAY--FORGIVE with all your heart--BELIEVE!

May God always bless you!


Submit a Comment
  • Sweeps Luck profile imageAUTHOR

    Sweeps Luck 

    11 years ago from Fountain Inn

    Topgunjager, of course you aren’t going to Hell if u don’t pray the Rosary, nor will you be treated differently by God. The significance of praying the Rosary is as obvious as prayer itself. It is giving reverence to God by honoring His wife, Jesus’ mother. Do you not feel honored when your loved ones pray for you? Do you not feel honored when they call you, when they care for you when you are ill? Saying the rosary gives you peace as you contemplate on the life of Jesus through the Mysteries. It gives us faith, hope & charity, furthers our belief and trust, and helps us remember how important it is to love one another as Jesus loves us. Our loving, Blessed Mother, asks us to pray the Rosary in loving reverence of her Son. She asks us to pray so that we never forget the sacrifices that He made for us through His great love for us. If in 2 different languages you say the Rosary, you honor Mary and you honor our Holy Father as you spread God’s Word through tongues of different nations. May you continue to pray with great fervor. May the peace of Christ live in you always! Yours in Christ’s name, Pamela

  • Sweeps Luck profile imageAUTHOR

    Sweeps Luck 

    11 years ago from Fountain Inn

    Hi, Joe, Yes, it is absolutely appropriate. Not everyone remembers the words right off, but the more u pray the prayers, the more easily they will become in memory. I have memory problems due to seizures, so i bring my prayer book with me and cards that help me. God doesn't care how u pray, just as long that you DO pray! God doesn't care what you are wearing to church, just as long as you GO to church. There are many of us who read prayers while we are saying the rosary at church. Never feel self-conscious of praying anywhere at anytime, whether it is said aloud or not. When people see u pray, it helps them remember how important it is and may help them start praying themselves. We live hectic lives these days...praying in the car or while a passenger on our bike, the Rosary is portable & is a perfect time for praying. I'm so happy that you are now saying the rosary! Please remember how much God loves you! May God always bless you; i will always pray for you! Hugs, Pamela

  • profile image

    Joe Catholic  

    11 years ago

    Thank you for putting this together. I am finally praying the Rosary, something that I have wanted to do since about seven years ago. I have now memorized the Hail, Holy Queen and Fatima's prayers in order to use them, but I know that I will find it very difficult to remember some of the other prayers that you recommend. I know the basic prayers like the Nicene Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. I was wondering if it was appropriate to read the other prayers from paper while saying the Rosary. Please let me know.

    Thank you!

  • thecatholicexpert profile image


    11 years ago

    This is great, so in depth and helpful. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information about the rosary and how to pray it properly with us!

  • topgunjager profile image


    11 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

    Am I going to hell if i don't pray the rosary? If not then am i going to be treated differently by God? If not then what's the significance of praying the rosary? I've been praying the rosary since I was 5 in 2 different languages, i just can't see what's so important about it=)

  • MindField profile image


    12 years ago from Portland, Oregon

    Thank you for so thoroughly describing how to say the rosary. I don't remember ever seeing it all laid out in such an understandable manner.


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