How to Teach Kids to Pray the Holy Rosary
Why Pray the Rosary?
When she gave the Rosary to Saint Dominic, Our Lady made fifteen Promises to Christians who recite the Rosary, among them:
- whoever faithfully recites the Rosary shall receive special graces from the Blessed Mother;
- whoever faithfully recites the Rosary shall receive the special protection of and the greatest graces from the Blessed Mother;
- the Rosary shall be a powerful armor (or, as Saint Padre Pio said, a weapon) against the Devil; it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies;
- the Rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish;
- the Rosary will obtain the Divine Mercy of God for souls;
- those who say the Rosary faithfully shall obtain all they ask from the Blessed Virgin
What happens when we pray the Rosary?
According to Pope Leo XIII (March 2, 1810 - July 20, 1903), in his Encyclical on the Rosary: “The soul is filled with gratitude and love before these proofs of Divine love; its hope becomes enlarged and its desire is increased for those things which Christ has prepared for such as have united themselves to Him in imitation of His example and in participation in His sufferings."
How to Make the Sign of the Cross
The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried, He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
How to Pray the Rosary
- As a family, sit in a comfortable place (in your living room, around the dining room table, on one of your kids' beds) or kneel. Everyone should ideally have his or her own Rosary beads.
- Begin by holding the Cross at the bottom of the Rosary in your right hand. Bless yourself with the Cross and say: "In the name of the Father [touch your forehead], of the Son [touch the middle of your chest], and of the Holy [reach across and touch your left shoulder] Spirit [touch your right shoulder as you say the word "Spirit"]. Amen."
- Continue holding the Cross and say the Apostle's Creed.
Meditating with the Rosary
The Our Father, or Lord's Prayer
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.
4. After you have finished the Apostle's Creed, move your finger to the first large bead above the cross and say the Our Father, or Lord's Prayer.
The Hail Mary
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. Amen.
5. When you have finished this prayer, move your fingers to the first small bead directly above the bead you were fingering for the Our Father and say one Hail Mary (for the virtue of Faith). Move up to the next small bead and say another Hail Mary (for the virtue of Hope) and then move up to the third small bead and say one more Hail Mary (for the virtue of Charity).
The Glory Be or Doxology of the Rosary
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
6. After the third Hail Mary, say the Glory Be, or Doxology, on the chain or cord.
The Fatima Ejaculation
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell; lead all souls to Heaven especially those who are most in need of Thy Mercy.
7. Now you are ready to begin the first decade. One person should announce the First Mystery. The Mysteries change, depending on the day of the week; so, if it is a Monday, for example, the Joyful Mysteries are contemplated. The person in your family who is to announce the first mystery says: "The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation." Then, everyone moves their fingers to the large bead and, while meditating on the announced Mystery, says the Our Father, followed by a Hail Mary for each of the ten small beads of the decade. End the decade with a Glory Be.
8. Say the "Fatima Ejaculation" after each Mystery.
The Hail, Holy Queen or Salve Regina in English
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 this valley 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 clement, 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.
Let Us Pray, or Closing Prayer
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 in 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.
9. After the first decade, either the same person (Mom, Dad or another adult of the family) or a different member of the family announces the Second Mystery. Everyone again meditates on the announced mystery while moving their fingers to the large bead that separates the next set of ten small beads from the first, and says an Our Father, followed by a Hail Mary for each of the ten small beads of the second decade. The decade ends with a Glory Be.
10. Repeat the process until all Five Mysteries for the day (or all Twenty, if a full Rosary is being said - but this is not recommended for children for it is too long for them; it is better to say one Chaplet of the Rosary, or Five Mysteries, every day, rather than all twenty at once) have been completed.
11. Finish the Rosary by saying the Hail, Holy Queen and the Closing Prayer. Add one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father, the Pope.
12. End your family devotion by making the Sign of the Cross with your right hand while saying: "In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."
This is a great family bedtime routine, bringing peace and restful closure to our day.
The Mysteries and the Schedule for Saying Them
The Joyful Mysteries are said on Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays of Advent (in November/December) and Sundays from the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) until Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday):
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
The Sorrowful Mysteries are said on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday:
1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
The Glorious Mysteries are said on Wednesdays and the Sundays from Easter to Advent:
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In 2002, Pope John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries, said on Thursdays:
1. The Baptism of the Lord
2. The Wedding of Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist
The Power of Praying the Rosary
Praying the Rosary is a Roman Catholic devotion but even non-Catholic Christians have come to believe in the power behind a daily practice of praying the Rosary. Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, appeared to Saint Dominic in a vision and gave this devotion to the world. She told St. Dominic that the Rosary is the best "weapon" to use in order to reform the world. When she appeared to the children at Fatima, she again asked that they spread the word about the power of this devotion to bring peace, not only to those individuals who pray it faithfully, but to the entire world. This devotion is a way to bring together all of humanity, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Praying the Rosary deepens one's knowledge of Jesus and his Mother, His life and teachings on Earth, their Joys and Sorrows.