Skip to comments.Beginning Catholic: How to Pray the Rosary: Contemplating Christ With Mary [Ecumenical]
Posted on 12/29/2008 5:52:01 PM PST by Salvation
Learn how to pray the Rosary it will change your life!
I admit: I used to think it was a quaint, old-fashioned, outdated devotion. Old ladies said the Rosary. But serious people didn't find it useful anymore. Right?
Once I learned how to pray the Rosary, I was hooked.
The Rosary is an incredible prayer. It's deceptively simple, and profoundly deep. A simple vocal prayer, and a school of silent contemplation. It's as small as a palm full of beads, and as wide as the Gospels.
The Rosary taught me about Mary. She used the Rosary to teach me about Christ.
Give a huge boost to your faith: learn how to pray the Rosary.
This article with teach you step by step.
The term "The Rosary" refers to both a prayer and a physical object.
I'll use the term "Rosary beads" to refer to the physical object, and "the Rosary" to refer to the prayer.
The Rosary is a simple prayer. It takes just a couple of minutes to learn how to pray the Rosary. Its basic structure is:
Well, it'll be easier to show you in the picture, in just a second. (See the downloadable, one-page sheet on how to pray the Rosary.) But for now...
The main loop of a set of Rosary beads is divided into five decades. Each decade has a single bead, a space, and then ten beads.
You follow the beads with your fingers as you say each prayer.
When you start a decade, you name the mystery for it. (Don't worry there's a list of them you'll follow!) Then you say an Our Father on the single bead, followed by ten Hail Marys, one for each of the ten beads. Then you end the decade with a Glory Be.
Well, it's all about the mystery for that decade. These are the central mysteries of the Christian faith: the Nativity, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, etc.
When you learn how to pray the Rosary, you learn about prayer itself.
As you say the prayers, you think about the current decade's mystery. The Rosary is actually a combination of all three main forms of Christian prayer: vocal, meditation, and contemplation.
The beauty of the Rosary is that it easily lets you move back and forth among these three types of prayer. When the vocal prayer becomes routine, you let your mind wander to the mystery. When your attention wanders in meditation, you can fix its focus on the words of the prayers. All the while, your fingers move in a slow rhythm over the beads, keeping track of where you are, leading you to the next vocal prayer.
It is a deeply peaceful prayer.
Learning how to pray the Rosary will bring a beautiful period of peace into your daily life.
Print out the one page visual guide to the Rosary, and follow it.
You'll be an expert in no time!
That one-page guide was written by a terrific Catholic website, newadvent.org. I've made it available here, too, for your convenience (the instructions on the sheet say to freely copy & distribute it):
(Of course, you can also get it from their own home page here's a link to newadvent.org for you, and look for their text about how to pray the Rosary.)
There's one more thing you need that's not in the New Advent guide to the Rosary...
It's traditional to pray for a specific grace for each mystery. We ask God to grant us that grace to help us grow in some virtue related to that mystery.
When I learned how to pray the Rosary, I needed a second sheet so I could keep track of the graces for each mystery.
So I've created another printable sheet for you:
I encourage you to give it a try.
If it takes too long at first, you can shorten it. Some ways to shorten it are to say just one full decade a day, or to say all five decades but with only one Hail Mary per decade.
The Rosary is one of the most beautiful Catholic prayers. With Mary, we watch the mysteries of Christ's life unfold. In the Rosary, Mary teaches us about Christ, leads us to Christ, and prays with us in Christ.
So give yourself an incredible gift: Learn how to pray the Rosary!
For those who prefer to follow the traditional order of the days it is:
While meditating on the Mysteries, recite:
One Our Father (large beads), 10 Hail Marys (small beads) and 1 Glory Be (before the next large bead) to make a complete decade of the rosary.
After each decade the Fátima Prayer may also be said (Pope Pius XII).
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.
3. Concluding Prayers
After the completion of five mysteries (5 decades), or 15 or 20, the following is customarily said:
Hail Holy Queen (or Salve Regina may be sung)
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 us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
(Verse) Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
(Response) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
(Verse) Let us pray,
(Response) O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Catholics who say the rosary in a group, or, individually before the Blessed Sacrament,
For the intentions of the Holy Father.
Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for the reminder.
And I just love the Luminous Mysteries because they portray the ministerial life of Christ — the meditation is so profound for me.
Move into the light — you won’t be sorry.
I say all four sets of mysteries every Friday with a group of friends. It is wonderful.
What an awesome thread, thanks for posting!
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!
After each decade 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."
As suggested by the Pope John Paul II the Joyful mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday, the Luminous on Thursday, the Sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the Glorious on Wednesday and Sunday (with this exception: Sundays of Christmas season - The Joyful; Sundays of Lent - Sorrowful)
I use it to contemplate the events in the life of Jesus. I love the new Luminous Mysteries, which deal directly with Jesus’s actions during His public ministry. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to say a full Rosary, so it’s a nice amount of time to spend with Jesus during a day, or even once a week.
Thank you. It has been years since I prayed the Rosary.
I just pull the Rosary out of my pocket and get started, it works every time. Then I just ignore my “SELF”, ie. “Brother Ass” and keep on going.
I love the rosary and pray it every day. It is a tremendous means of meditation and intercession.
One can pray it when driving a car or walking a dog even. I keep a ‘decade’ rosary in my pocket.
Please pray about starting again!