How to Pray the Rosary

The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ’s life. There are four sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and––added by Pope John Paul II in 2002––the Luminous. The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ’s spirit dwells. The Rosary can be said privately or with a group.

The Five Joyful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays of Advent:

1. The Annunciation

2. The Visitation

3. The Nativity

4. The Presentation in the Temple

5. The Finding of the Child Jesus After Three Days in the Temple

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Tuesday, Friday, and Sundays of Lent:

1. The Agony in the Garden

2. The Scourging at the Pillar

3. The Crowning with Thorns

4. The Carrying of the Cross

5. The Crucifixion and Death

 The Five Glorious Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Wednesday and Sundays outside of Lent and Advent:

1. The Resurrection

2. The Ascension

3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

4. The Assumption of Mary

5. The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin as Queen of Heaven and Earth

The Five Luminous Mysteries are traditionally prayed on Thursdays:

1. The Baptism in the Jordan

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

4. The Transfiguration

5. The Institution of the Eucharist

For the Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Hail, Holy Queen prayers, go to ww.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/prayers-of-the-rosary.cfm.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross.

2. Holding the crucifi x, say the Apostles’ Creed.

3. On the fi rst bead, say an Our Father.

4. Say three Hail Marys on each of the next three beads.

5. Say the Glory Be

6. For each of the fi ve decades, announce the Mystery, then say the Our Father.

7. While holding each of the ten beads of the decade, say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery.

Then say a Glory Be.

(After finishing each decade, some 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.)

8. After saying the fi ve decades, say the Hail, Holy Queen, followed by this dialogue and prayer:

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. Th at we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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 while 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.

 Copyright © 2015, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington DC. All rights reserved.  

CATECHETICAL CORNER

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD

This Thursday we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. What is this feast all about?

This year, the reading for the Transfiguration comes from Mark’s gospel. (The Transfiguration also appears in the other two synoptic gospels, Matthew and Luke.) In Mark, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a high mountain, apart from the other apostles and disciples. There, Jesus is transfigured (changed in form and appearance) and appears in dazzling white clothes. Elijah, the great prophet, and Moses, through whom the Israelites were given the law, appear with Jesus. A cloud appears, overshadowing them, and a voice states, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Jesus charges the three to not share with anyone what they had seen “except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” They keep their experience to themselves, pondering what Jesus meant by rising from the dead. How are we to understand the Transfiguration?

The story of the Transfiguration is also proclaimed on the second Sunday of Lent—a key part of Jesus’ journey towards the Cross. The Catechism of the Catholic Church draws parallels between Jesus’ Baptism and the Transfiguration. Jesus is baptized at the start of his public ministry. His baptism proclaims the mystery of our first regeneration—we die and rise again with Christ. The “Transfiguration ‘is the sacrament of the second regeneration’: our own Resurrection (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 45, 4, ad 2). From now on we share in the Lord’s Resurrection through the Spirit who acts in the sacraments of the Body of Christ. The Transfiguration gives us a foretaste of Christ’s glorious coming, when he ‘will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body (Phil 3:21)’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 556).During the Prayer after Communion, we pray that God might “transform us into the likeness of your [his] Son, / whose radiant splendor you willed to make manifest / in his glorious Transfiguration.” The Collect, or opening prayer, tells us that the mystery of the Transfiguration “prefigures our full adoption to sonship.” The Transfiguration, initially revealed to Peter, James, and John, reveals to all of us a taste of what is yet to come.

Quotes from the English translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, copyright © 2011, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). Used with permission. All rights reserved.