The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ’s life. There are four sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and––added by Pope John Paul II in 2002––the Luminous. The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ’s spirit dwells. The Rosary can be said privately or with a group.
Praying the Rosary
Familiarize yourself and/or your group with the prayers of
Make the Sign of the Cross.
Holding the Crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.
On the first bead, say an Our Father.
Say one Hail Mary on each of the next three beads.
Say the Glory Be
For each of the five decades, announce the Mystery (perhaps
followed by a brief reading from Scripture) then say
the Our Father.
While fingering each of the ten beads of the decade, next
say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery. Then
say a Glory Be.
(After finishing each decade, some say the following prayer
requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: O my Jesus,
forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead
all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need
of your mercy.)
After saying the five decades, say the Hail, Holy Queen,
followed by this dialogue and prayer:
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray: 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 while meditating on 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.
(A prayer to St. Joseph may also follow.) Conclude the Rosary
with the Sign of the Cross.
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.