The Rosary Explained
The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events in the history of our salvation. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries (said on Monday and Saturday), the five Luminous Mysteries (said on Thursday), the five Sorrowful Mysteries (said on Tuesday and Friday), and the five Glorious Mysteries (said on Wednesday and Sunday). As an exception, the Joyful Mysteries are said on Sundays during Christmas, while the Sorrowful Mysteries are said on the Sundays of Lent.
The question is sometimes asked, why, of all the incidents in our Lord’s life, the Rosary only considers these particular twenty. The mysteries of the Rosary are based on the incidents in the life of Our Lord and His Mother that are celebrated in the Liturgy. There is a parallel between the main feasts honoring our Lord and his Mother in the liturgical year, and the twenty mysteries of the Rosary. Consequently, one who recites the twenty mysteries of the Rosary in one day reflects on the whole liturgical cycle that the Church commemorates during the course of each year. That is why some of the Popes have referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel.
Praying the Rosary
Make the Sign of the Cross.
Holding the Crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.
On the first bead, say an Our Father.
Say three Hail Marys on each of the next three beads.
Say the Glory Be
For each of the five decades, announce the Mystery, 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,
The Five Joyful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays of Advent:
- The Annunciation
- The Visitation
- The Nativity
- The Presentation in the Temple
- The Finding in the Temple
The Five Sorrowful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Tuesday, Friday, and Sundays of Lent:
- The Agony in the Garden
- The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Crowning with Thorns
- The Carrying of the Cross
- The Crucifixion and Death
The Five Glorious Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Wednesday and Sundays outside of Lent and Advent:
- The Resurrection
- The Ascension
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit
- The Assumption
- The Coronation of Mary
The Five Luminous Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Thursdays:
- The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan
- The Wedding Feast at Cana
- Jesus’ Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God
- The Transfiguration
- The Institution of the Eucharist
Prayers of the Rosary
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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. He will come again in glory 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 the life everlasting. Amen.
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 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 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.
Oh My Jesus
O my Jesus, forgive us of our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.
Hail Holy Queen
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our Life, our Sweetness, and our hope. To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee 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 clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
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 meditating upon 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.