God delivered the rosary to us through Mary. Join me and pray the rosary, where we view the life of Jesus through the eyes of His mother. The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the greatest gifts we have been given by God. The rosary is arguably the greatest prayer ever created.

Hands holding a rosary.

Rosary: Prayer and Meditation

The rosary is both prayer and meditation.

Buddhist and Catholic meditation techniques are the only two religious practices that have been scientifically proven to be mentally beneficial to their practitioners.

The rosary is the most popular form of Catholic meditation. It is practiced daily by tens of millions of people.

The rosary may seem daunting to some at first, but once you learn the mechanics of this prayer, it will come naturally.

There is no downside to praying the rosary. Instead, it will bring you many benefits.

Not only does praying the rosary provide mental health benefits, but the Blessed Mother also made 15 promises to those who pray it.

There are many different ways to pray the rosary. I am going to teach you how I pray the rosary in my prayer group.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

The mysteries are the backbone of the rosary. You meditate on a different mystery for each rosary decade.

A decade consists of the ten consecutive beads on the rosary found on the loop.

Each mystery is a part of the Biblical account and has a Bible passage associated with it.

You meditate by focusing your mind on the current mystery while reciting the decade’s prayers.

Each decade is a three to four-minute meditation. The entire rosary will take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the reverence taken for each prayer.

The Four Mystery Groups of the Rosary

There are four groups of five mysteries. Each day of the week calls for a different group of mysteries.

The four mystery groups are joyful, sorrowful, glorious, and luminous.

When you announce the mystery say the number of the mystery, the mystery title, and the Bible passage.

For example, “The first joyful mystery, the Annunciation.”

Everyone will keep the image of the mystery alive in their mind while they say the prayers of the decade.

The Joyful Mysteries (Monday and Friday)

• The Annunciation: In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Lk. 1:26–28 NABRE)

• The Visitation: During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. (Lk. 1:39–42 NABRE)

• The Nativity: When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. (Lk. 2:15–16 NABRE)

• The Presentation in the Temple: When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” (Lk. 2:22–23 NABRE)

• Finding of Jesus in the Temple: After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard Him were astounded at his understanding and His answers. (Lk. 2:46–47 NABRE)

The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Saturday)

• The Agony in the Garden: He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” (Mk. 14:35–36 NABRE)

• The Scourging at the Pillar: So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified. (Mk. 15:15 NABRE)

• The Crowning of Thorns: And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly. (Jn. 19:2–3 NABRE)

• The Carrying of the Cross: Then he handed him over to them to be crucified, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (Jn. 19:16–17 NABRE)

• The Crucifixion and Death: There they crucified Him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. (Jn. 19:18 NABRE)

The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday and Sunday)

• The Resurrection: On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him.” (Mk. 16:5–6 NABRE)

• The Ascension: Then he led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. (Lk. 24:50–51 NABRE)

• The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost: When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Act. 2:1–4 NABRE)

• The Assumption of Mary: Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant [Mary] could be seen in the temple. (Rev. 11:19a NABRE)

• The Crowning of Mary: A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman [Mary] clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Rev. 12:1 NABRE)

The Luminous Mysteries (Thursday)

• The Baptism at the Jordan: After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mt. 3:16–17 NABRE)

• The Miracle at Cana: Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” (Jn. 2:2–5 NABRE)

• The Proclamation of the Kingdom: After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mk. 1:14–15 NABRE)

• The Transfiguration: About eight days after He said this, He took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While He was praying His face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. (Lk. 9:28–31 NABRE)

• The Institution of the Eucharist: Then He took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” (Lk. 22:19 NABRE)

When we pray the rosary we pray for faith, hope, and love.

Faith, Hope, and Love

The first three small consecutive beads of the rosary are to help spread faith, hope, and love to the world and bring it into our own lives.

For each rosary bead announce, “For (faith/hope/love)” and say one Hail Mary.

Praying the Rosary Alone or in a Prayer Group

You can pray the rosary alone or in a prayer group. Many parishes have rosary prayer groups. At my parish, it is a half-hour before morning mass.

You can also pray the rosary at home with your friends and family. There are even online groups that go live on Instagram and Facebook.

If you pray the rosary in a group, a leader is chosen among its members. This leader can be different each time. There are no requirements to be a leader.

Bringing It All Together, Saying a Full Rosary

You can hold your rosary in either hand or use both of your hands.

To start, you will grip the crucifix with one hand. As you pray the rosary you will move from the crucifix to the adjacent bead and then to the next bead/emblem, and so forth.

When you get to the centerpiece, you can choose to move along the rosary clockwise or counterclockwise.

Emblem/Bead and Prayers Said

• Crucifix: Sign of the Cross, Apostles Creed

• Single rosary bead: Our Father

• Three rosary beads: Hail Marys

• Single rosary bead: Glory Be, Fatima

• Centerpiece: Announce First Mystery, Our Father

• Decade rosary beads: Hail Marys

• Single rosary bead: Glory Be, Fatima, Announce Second Mystery, Our Father

• Decade rosary beads: Hail Marys

• Single rosary bead: Glory Be, Fatima, Announce Third Mystery, Our Father

• Decade rosary beads: Hail Marys

• Single rosary bead: Glory Be, Fatima, Announce Fourth Mystery, Our Father

• Decade rosary beads: Hail Marys

• Single rosary bead: Glory Be, Fatima, Announce Fifth Mystery, Our Father

• Decade rosary beads: Hail Marys

• Centerpiece: Glory Be, Fatima, Hail Holy Queen, Final Prayer, Sign of the Cross

Someone praying the rosary.

The Rosary Prayers

There are two ways to say the rosary. One is alone and the other is in a group. If you are alone then you will say all the rosary prayers in their entirety.

If you are praying the rosary in a group, the leader will read the parts designated for the leader. The group will read the part designated for the group.

Sign of the Cross

(Everyone) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Said while making the sign of the cross.)

Apostle’s Creed

(Leader) 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. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

(Group) 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.

Our Father

(Leader) Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

(Group) 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.

Hail Mary

(Leader) Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

(Group) Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Glory Be

(Leader) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

(Group) As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, a world without end. Amen.

Fatima

(Leader) O my Jesus,

(Everyone) forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

Hail Holy Queen

(Everyone) 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!

(Leader) Pray for us O Holy Mother of God

(Group) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Final Prayer

(Leader) Let us pray.

(Everyone) 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 imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.