To pray the Rosary

The traditional aid used for the recitation of the Rosary is the set of beads.
Here the first thing to note is the way the beads converge upon the Crucifix, which both opens and closes the unfolding sequence of prayer. The life and prayer of believers is centred upon Christ. (Rosarium Virginis Mariae – Pope John Paul II)



The Creed

I believe in God
(on crucifix)

Our Father
(on first bead on side chain)

Hail Mary (x 3)
(on three small beads on side chain)

Glory be
(on last bead on side chain)

The mysteries of the Rosary

Announce the first mystery (e.g. First Joyful Mystery: the Annunciation) and take time for silent reflection on it. The relevant passage from Scripture may be read. It is also possible to sing a suitable hymn and/or pray for a specific intention (e.g. peace)

Begin the first decade.


Our Father

(on medal that joins large chain with side chain)


Hail Mary (x 10)

(on each of the ten small beads)


Glory be

(on larger single bead)

Announce second mystery (e.g. Second Joyful Mystery: the Visitation).
Start again with Our Father on same bead as Glory be.
Continue in the same way until Mysteries are completed.

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The Fatima Prayer

The Fatima Prayer may also be said at the end of each decade/mystery

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,
save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven,
especially those who most need thy mercy.

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People usually pray one set of mysteries each day. There is a tradition of praying the different mysteries on specific days of the week:

Monday and Saturday
the Joyful Mysteries

Tuesday and Friday
the Sorrowful Mysteries

Wednesday and Sunday
the Glorious Mysteries

the Luminous Mysteries

It is also possible to pray all the mysteries in one day. Another suggestion is to take one mystery each day, thus praying the Rosary over a twenty day period.

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With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love.

To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.

The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary´s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer … By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord´s life as seen through the eyes of she who was closest to the Lord.

(Rosarium Virginis Mariae – Pope John Paul II)