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 Luminous (added by Pope John Paul II in 2002.) 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.
The Five Joyful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays of Advent:
- The Annunciation
- The Visitation
- The Birth of Jesus Christ
- The Presentation in the Temple
- The Finding the Child Jesus 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 of Jesus into Heaven
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit
- The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
- The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
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
Praying the Rosary
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
- Holding the Crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.
- On the first bead, say the Our Father.
- Say three Hail Marys on each of the next three beads.
- Say the Glory Be to the Father.
- Announce the First Mystery, then say the Our Father.
- Say the Hail Mary on each of the ten beads of the decade, while meditating on the Mystery. Say the Glory Be to the Father. (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 thy mercy.”)
- Announce the Second Mystery, then say the Our Father, the ten Hail Marys while meditating on the mystery. Say the Glory Be to the Father and repeat for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries.
- 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. Amen.
- Finish Rosary with the Prayer to St. Michael and make the Sign of the Cross.