How to Pray the Rosary

First, let’s step back and take a look at the Rosary itself, which will help with an understanding of the types of prayers and locations of these prayers on the rosary. The rosary itself is composed of 60 beads threaded together with a crucifix, and often a pendant of Mother Mary where the 3 strands meet. The Rosary is divided into 6 sections. The 1st section is composed of the introductory prayers, followed by what is called the 5 decades.

First Section of the Rosary

Introductory Prayers:

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Apostles’ 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; On the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From there He will 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. Amen.

Our Father

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.

Hail Mary (x3)

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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.

(note: 1st Hail Mary is for Faith, 2nd is for Hope, 3rd is for Charity)

Glory Be

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.

Intentions

After the introductory prayers and before the first mystery is announced, you may consider an intention for your Rosary prayers. This intention might be a person by name (alive or deceased), a group of people, a prayer for peace, or some other intention.  

Next, you will acknowledge the mystery and fruit of the 1st mystery (you will do this for each decade, on the Our Father bead). For example, for the Joyful Mysteries, you would say, “The first joyful mystery is the Annunciation. The fruit of this mystery is Humility.” 

Note: All mysteries of the Rosary (based on the assigned day of the week) follow the same pattern. As a reminder, the mysteries are: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, Glorious. See chart at the bottom for reference)

First Decade

Announcement of the 1st Mystery, and Our Father (per above)

Our Father

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.

Hail Mary (say 10 times, once per bead, while meditating on the mystery)

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are 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.

Glory Be (once)

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.

Optional: Say the “O My Jesus” prayer requested by Mary at Fatima

O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

Remaining Four Decades

Announce the Next Mystery; then say the “Our Father” and repeat the decade steps above, as you continue through the remaining Mysteries.

Closing Prayers

Hail Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, 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 vale 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 merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

Final Prayer *

O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Optional Prayers: St. Michael Prayer and Memorare

*Here at RosaryMinded, we like to say the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and Memorare as well.

Momorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to Your protection, implored Your help, or sought Your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To You we come; before You we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Your mercy, hear and answer us. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness 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, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

The Mysteries + Days of the Week

Each day of the week is assigned a set of Mysteries to pray that day. For reference, Pope Saint John Paul II suggested the recitation of the Rosary as follows: the JOYFUL mysteries Monday and Saturday, the LUMINOUS on Thursday, the SORROWFULon Tuesday and Friday, and the GLORIOUS on Wednesday and Sunday (with this exception; Sundays of Advent and Christmas – the JOYFUL; Sundays of Lent – the SORROWFUL). You may chose to go by this guidance, or perhaps what works best for you and your family.

Here’s a chart of the suggested order, per Pope Saint John II, for easy reference:

  • Monday: Joyful
  • Tuesday: Sorrowful
  • Wednesday: Glorious
  • Thursday: Luminous
  • Friday: Sorrowful
  • Saturday: Joyful
  • Sunday: Glorious
  • Sundays of Lent: Sorrowful

You can follow along with all the Mysteries of the Rosary on our YouTube Channel.