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How to… Pray the Rosary

How to Pray the Rosary:

1) Perhaps go somewhere quiet where you don’t think you’ll be interrupted, sometimes it’s nice to light a candle! Or, if you’re short on time, you could pray while you are walking or waiting for a bus! Grab your rosary beads to count the prayers you’ve said. It’s okay if you don’t have a rosary, you can use your fingers to count.

2) To start the Rosary, make the Sign of the Cross and say 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;
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.


3) If you are using rosary beads, start with the section under the cross that has five beads. Pray:

1 Our Father (the bead further apart than the others)

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



3 Hail Marys

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




and 1 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.



4) Each day we pray different ‘mysteries’ of the Rosary – which are stories from the lives of Jesus and Mary for us to meditate and reflect on as we pray. The table below shows you which mysteries are traditionally celebrated on each day of the week.

Included in the table are references to the Bible. It can be really helpful to look these up and read which parts of the Bible the mysteries come from.

Day of the week


Decade 1

Decade 2

Decade 3

Decade 4

Decade 5

Monday and Saturday

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation (Lk 1:26-38)

The Visitation

(Lk 1:39-45)

The Nativity

(Lk 2:2 -7)

The Presentation in the Temple

(Lk 2:22-35)

The Finding of the child Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:41-52)

Tuesday and Friday

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Agony in the Garden

(Mk 14:32-42)

The Scourging at the Pillar

(Mt 27:15-26)

The Crowning with Thorns.

(Mt 27:27-31)

The Carrying of the Cross

(Jn 19:15-17; Lk 23:27-32)

The Crucifixion and the Death of Jesus

(Lk 23:33-38, 44-46)

Wednesday and Sunday

The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection (Mt 28:1-8)

The Ascension (Ac 1:6-11)

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

(Ac 2:1-12)

The Assumption

(2Th 4:13-19)

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Rv 12:1; 14:1-5)


The Mysteries of Light

The Baptism in the Jordan

(Mt 3:13-17)

The Wedding at Cana

(Jn 2:1-12)

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

(Mk 2:3-12)

The Transfiguration

(Lk 9:28-36)

The Institution of the Eucharist

(Mt 26:26-29)

6) The Rosary is made up of groups of prayers called ‘decades’. A decade is made up of 1 Our Father, followed by 10 Hail Marys and then 1 Glory be.


7) Once you have finished each decade, say the Fatima Prayer:

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


8) After five decades (or how ever many you have decided to pray today) pray a Hail Holy Queen: 

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy.

Hail, 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 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


9) Conclude with this prayer and the Sign of the Cross:

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 both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.