How to Pray the Rosary

“To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.” – Pope St. John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae

Start at the crucifix or cross on your Rosary, make the sign of the cross, and pray:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Still holding the crucifix, pray the 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; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and sits 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.

Move to the large bead after the crucifix, and pray 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. Amen.

Move to the first of three small beads. On each small bead, pray a Hail Mary. While you pray the Hail Marys on the first three small beads, pray for faith, hope, and love (charity).
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 our death. Amen.

On the chain or cord after the last small bead and before the next large bead, pray the Glory Be.
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.

Still on the chain or cord before the large bead, you may pray the Fatima Prayer, though this is optional.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.

Move to the large bead, and announce the first mystery (e.g. “The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden”) you will contemplate during the first decade (the Our Father and ten Hail Marys) of the Rosary.

Still on the large bead, pray 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. Amen.

Move to the small bead (skip the centerpiece that connects the Rosary), and pray a Hail Mary.
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 our death. Amen.

On each subsequent small bead (there will be nine more, ten total), pray a Hail Mary.
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 our death. Amen.

On the chain or cord after the last small bead, pray the Glory Be.
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.

Still on the chain or cord, pray the Fatima Prayer (optional).
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.

On the next large beadannounce the second mystery (e.g. “The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar). Then, pray 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. Amen.

On the following ten small beads, pray ten Hail Marys (while reflecting on the second mystery from above).
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 our death. Amen.

On the chain or cord after the last small bead, pray the Glory Be.
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.

Still on the chain or cord, pray the Fatima Prayer (optional).
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.

Repeat this process three more times, so you will pray three more decades (five decades total):
Large bead: Announce mystery, Our Father
Small beads: Hail Mary
Chain/Cord: Glory Be, Fatima Prayer

On the centerpiece, pray the Hail Holy Queen.
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 unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
V. 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 by 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 by making the sign of the cross.

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