The Rosary

The Western Rosary consisted of three Mysteries, or meditations, that are said daily in remembrance of the joyful, the sad, and the hopeful events that happened in the life of Christ and are central to the teachings of the Church. They became known as the Joyful, The Sorrowful and the Glorious Mysteries. In 2002 a fourth Mystery was added, the Luminous Mysteries (the Mysteries of Light) that focused on the public ministry of Christ. There are five larger beads and ten smaller beads between them on the Prayer Rope. On each of the larger beads, the event in the life of the Church is remembered and meditated upon, and the intercessory prayer of the “Hail Mary” is said 10 times asking the Theotokos to pray for us. The following is a description of the prayers that are said in the Rosary:

rosary 1. Holding the Cross in your hand, begin by saying the Creed. “I Believe in One God…..”

2. At the first bead above the Cross is the Lord’s Prayer – Our “Father who art in heaven….”

3. Followed by Three Beads – a Hail Mary is prayed on each bead. “Hail Mary full of grace, 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 unto hour of death.”

4. Then the top bead – “Glory Be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.”

Chose one of the four Mysteries that you will be praying. There are five events for each Mystery and each event is recited on the large bead and is followed by 10 Hail Mary’s. This is called a decade. Begin by announcing the first decade of the Mystery and follow it with 10 “Hail Marys”.  For example:  “Remembering the first Joyful Mystery – the Annunciation.” As you meditate on the Annunciation you recite 10  “Hail Mary full of grace…”

Below are a list of the four mysteries and their decades.

The Joyful Mysteries   (Mondays and Saturdays)
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity of Christ
4. The Presentation
5. The Finding of the Jesus in the Temple

The Sorrowful Mysteries   (Tuesdays and Fridays)
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   (Wednesdays and Sundays)
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
4. The Assumption
5. The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven.

The Luminous Mysteries   (Thursdays)
1. The Baptism of Jesus
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. The Proclamation of The Kingdom of God
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of The Holy Eucharist


*** When a group recites the Rosary, it is customary that the prayers are divided into two parts. A leader states the Mystery and recites the first half of the prayer while the other participants recite the rest. For example the leader says “Hail Mary full of grace, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” The group responds “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and unto hour of death.”

** At the end of a decade, the Catholic prayer of Fatima is commonly included. “O My Jesus, Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven. Especially those most in need of thy mercy.”

In addition closing prayers like “Hail Holy Queen”,  the prayer “O God, whose only begotten Son of God…..”  and St. Michael the Archangel prayer.