Prayer

Recitation of Rosary

“All generations will call me blessed”: “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.” The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.” The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.

CCC 971

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.”

How To Pray the Rosary

While the rosary and the indulgences attached to it by the Church essentially concerns the decades and the meditation upon the mysteries only, the following is a customary way of preparing for the rosary and concluding it.

Preparation

Start by making the sign of the Cross:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then recite the Apostle’s 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 rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth 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.

Then say 1 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.

Then say 3 Hail Marys (for the virtues of Faith, Hope and 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 death.
Amen.

Then say 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.
Amen.

The Rosary Proper

The Rosary is essentially the decades and their associated mysteries, and only these must be prayed to “pray the rosary”, either in satisfaction of Our Lady’s requests, or, to gain the indulgences attached to praying the rosary.

The traditional Rosary is divided into three parts, each having five mysteries: Glorious, Joyful and Sorrowful. In his apostolic letter The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, Pope John Paul II proposed a new set of mysteries, which he called the Luminous, and which concern the period of the public life of Our Lord. For those who wish to say all 20 decades at once during the course of a day, they may be said in the following order: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious.

For those who wish to say only 5 decades per day, the Holy Father proposed the following schedule:
  • Monday – Joyful
  • Tuesday – Sorrowful
  • Wednesday – Glorious
  • Thursday – Luminous
  • Friday – Sorrowful
  • Saturday – Joyful
  • Sunday – Glorious
For those who prefer to follow the traditional order of the days it is:
  • Monday – Joyful
  • Tuesday – Sorrowful
  • Wednesday – Glorious
  • Thursday – Joyful
  • Friday – Sorrowful
  • Saturday – Glorious
  • Sunday – Glorious
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.

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. Rosary Prayer

(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.

For the Intentions of the Holy Father

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. Amen.

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