How to pray the rosary

Our prayers in relation to the rosary are based on the Scriptures. While holding the Crucifix, we recite the Apostles’ Creed, which contains within itself a brief statement of the mysteries of the “most holy faith.” (Jude 1:20)

On the first bead we pray the “Our Father”, sometimes referred to as the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer, too, is from the Gospels. (See Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4)

On the next three beads, we recite the prayer known as the “Hail Mary.” This particular prayer is from the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary concerning the birth of Christ, along with Elizabeth’s greeting.

    And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’ s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. (Luke 1:26-30, Douay-Rheims)

The Mysteries of the Rosary help us to focus our attention on the various events of the life of Christ. There are four in all, which include: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and the Luminous. The fourth mystery was added by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002.

On the next bead we say the “Glory Be,” before moving to the next ten beads.

Before each decade (a set of ten beads), we reflect upon one of the Mysteries, also praying the Our Father. On each of the ten beads we recite 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.

After reciting a decade, some also recite the following prayer which was 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 completing the five decades, say the “Hail, Holy Queen, followed by:

    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. Amen.

Some also recite the following prayer to St. Joseph. Pope Leo XIII introduced this prayer in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam Pluries. He requested that the prayer be added at the conclusion of the Rosary, especially during the month of October. The month of October is dedicated to the rosary.

    To you, O blessed Joseph,
    do we come in our tribulation,
    and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse,
    we confidently invoke your patronage also.

    Through that charity which bound you
    to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God
    and through the paternal love
    with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
    we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance
    which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood,
    and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

    O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
    defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ;
    O most loving father, ward off from us
    every contagion of error and corrupting influence;
    O our most mighty protector, be kind to us
    and from heaven assist us in our struggle
    with the power of darkness.

    As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
    so now protect God’s Holy Church
    from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;
    shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection,
    so that, supported by your example and your aid,
    we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness,
    and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.


Prayers of the Rosary

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.

The 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.

The Hail Mary

    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
    blessed are you among women,
    and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary, Mother of God,
    pray for us sinners
    now and at the hour of our death.

The Glory Be (The Doxology)

    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.

The Hail Holy Queen (The Salve Regina)

    Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
    our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
    To you we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
    to you we send up our sighs,
    mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
    Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
    your eyes of mercy toward us;
    and after this, our exile,
    show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
    O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Return to the Index Page of Prayers

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