Praying The Holy Rosary (see other prayers)

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How to Pray the Rosary

While the rosary and the indulgences attached to it by the Church essentially concerns the decades and the meditation upon the mysteries only, the following is a customary way of preparing for the rosary and concluding it.

1. Preparation

Start by making the sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then recite 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 rose again from the dead; 
He ascended into Heaven, and 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. Amen. 

Then say 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys (for the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity) and then 1 Glory Be:

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, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among 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 death. Amen.

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.


2. The Rosary Proper

The Rosary is essentially the decades and their associated mysteries, and only these must be prayed to "pray the rosary", either in satisfaction of Our Lady's requests, or, to gain the indulgences attached to praying the rosary. 

The traditional Rosary is divided into three parts, each having five mysteries: Glorious, Joyful and Sorrowful. In his apostolic letter The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, Pope John Paul II proposed a new set of mysteries, which he called the Luminous, and which concern the period of the public life of Our Lord. For those who wish to say all 20 decades at once during the course of a day, they may be said in the following order: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. 

Joyful Mysteries — Monday & Saturday

1. The Annunciation

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. And coming to Mary, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." (Lk 1:26-28)

2. The Visitation

Mary set out and traveled to the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Lk 1:39-45) 

3. The Birth of Our Lord

And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger . . . And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." (Lk 2:1-20) 

4. The Presentation in the Temple

Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple to present him to the Lord. At the temple Simeon and Anna came forward, gave thanks to God and spoke about Jesus to all who were present. (Lk 2:22-38) 

5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

The boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. (Lk 2:41-50)

Sorrowful Mysteries — Tuesday & Friday

1. The Agony in the Garden

Jesus went to a place called Gethsemane to pray. "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." (Mt 26:36-46)

2. The Scourging at the Pillar

The chief priests with the elders and the scribes held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, had Jesus scourged and handed him over to be crucified. (Mk 15:1-16)

3. The Crowning with Thorns

They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him. Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" (Mt 27:27-31)

4. The Carrying of the Cross

Jesus, weak from being beaten, was unable to carry His cross to Golgotha alone. Simon, a Cyrenian, helped him. (Mk 15:20-22)

5. The Crucifixion

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Lk 23:33-46)

Glorious Mysteries — Wednesday & Sunday

1. The Resurrection

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. An angel appeared and said, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for He has been raised just as He said." (Mt 28:1-10)

2. The Ascension of Our Lord

As Jesus blessed them He parted from them and was taken up to heaven. (Lk 24:44-53)

3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit." (Jn 14:15-21)

4. The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

"Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory." (from Munificentissimus Deus (1950):DS 3903)

5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ." (from the Solemn Profession of Faith: Credo of the People of God)

Luminous Mysteries — Thursday

1. The Baptism in the Jordan

And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Mt. 3:17)

2. The Wedding at Cana

"Women, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn 2:1-12)

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

"This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mk 1:15)

4. The Transfiguration

While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. (Lk9:29)

5. The Institution of the Eucharist

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. (Jn 13:1)

What Days to Pray Which Mysteries

For those who wish to say only 5 decades per day, the Holy Father proposed the following schedule:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday Saturday Sunday
Joyful Sorrowful

Glorious

Luminous Sorrowful

Joyful

Glorious

For those who prefer to follow the traditional order of the days it is:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday Saturday Sunday
Joyful Sorrowful

Glorious

Joyful Sorrowful

Glorious

Glorious

While meditating on the Mysteries, recite:

One Our Father (large beads),  10 Hail Marys (small beads) and  1 Glory Be (before the next large bead) to make a complete decade of the rosary. 

After each decade the Fátima Prayer may also be said (Pope Pius XII).

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.


3. Concluding Prayers

After the completion of five mysteries (5 decades), or 15 or 20, the following is customarily said:

Hail Holy Queen (or Salve Regina may be sung)

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 us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

(Verse) Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.  

(Response) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Rosary Prayer

(Verse) Let us pray, 

(Response) 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 both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.



4. For the Intentions of the Holy Father

Catholics who say the rosary in a group, or, individually before the Blessed Sacrament, 
may gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, which includes prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father.

For the intentions of the Holy Father.

Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Quote from Archbishop Fulton Sheen

"The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description."

The Mystery of the Rosary - A Documentary

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