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Why Do Catholics Pray the Rosary? (Part I)

The Rosary in our generation has become more of a fashion statement than a tool to grow in holiness. Most people who wear the Rosary as a necklace, in my experience, often have no idea what it really is and they don’t know how to pray with it. Every once in a while, though, one of my friends will ask me about this prayer. How is praying the Rosary biblical? What do we actually expect to accomplish with the Rosary?

Well, before we jump off into that, let’s have a crash course in how to pray the Rosary for those who don’t know. First, I will provide the text of the prayers used in the Rosary below, then I will list the mysteries of the Rosary, and then I will explain how to pray the Rosary step by step (or bead by bead…yay for bad puns!). Here are the prayers:

Prayers

The Sign of the Cross

The Sign of the Cross is what Catholics do when beginning a prayer and it is, in itself, a prayer because it professes faith in the Trinity and the saving death of Christ in one. What you’ll do is this: take your right hand and touch your forehead, then the center of your chest, then your left shoulder, and then your right shoulder. As you do that, say the following: “In the Name of the Father (touch forehead) and of the Son (touch chest) and of the Holy (touch left shoulder) Spirit (touch right shoulder). Amen.”

Apostles’ 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 of the Holy Spirit born of the Virgin Mary suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day, he rose again He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. He will come again 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.

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.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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 our death. Amen.

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.

Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.

Hail Holy Queen

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 morning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards 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 Rosary Prayer

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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 by 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.

May divine assistance be always with us. Amen.

And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Mysteries of the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries (Monday and Saturday)

-The Annunciation

-The Visitation

-The Birth of Jesus

-The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

-The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Luminous Mysteries (Thursday)

-The Baptism

-The Wedding Feast at Cana

-The Proclamation of the Kingdom

-The Transfiguration

-The Institution of the Eucharist

The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Friday)

-The Agony in the Garden

-The Scourging at the Pillar

-The Crowning with Thorns

-The Carrying of the Cross

-The Crucifixion

The Glorious Mysteries (Sunday and Wednesday)

-The Resurrection

-The Ascension

-The Descent of the Holy Spirit

-The Assumption

-The Coronation

How to Pray the Rosary

Phew! Now, after all of that, we can get started. So, get out your Rosary beads!

Holding the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross and recite the Apostles’ Creed. Then, on the first bead, say the Our Father prayer. Now you’ll come to a set of three beads. On each of these three beads, recite the Hail Mary (these three beads symbolize the virtues of faith, hope, and love…cool, right?). On the next bead, recite the Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer. Now look at the lists of mysteries above and choose the set that corresponds to the day on which you are saying the Rosary. After reciting the Fatima Prayer on this bead, announce the first mystery and then say the Our Father. So, for example, it’s Friday. I would say, then, “The first sorrowful mystery: the Agony in the Garden”. After announcing the mystery, you might pause for a moment before reciting the Our Father. There are reflections that accompany each of the mysteries. If these are included, they are said after the mystery is announced and before the Our Father is said.

Skip over the medal/knot in the middle and go to the first set of ten beads. This is called a decade. On each of these beads, recite the Hail Mary. When you come to the bead after the decade, say the Glory Be, the Fatima Prayer, announce the next mystery (following my example with the sorrowful mysteries, the next one would be the Scourging at the Pillar), and say an Our Father. Repeat these same steps until you reach the medal/knot in the middle of the Rosary.

While holding the medal, say a Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer and then say the Hail Holy Queen. After that, recite the After the Rosary prayer, make the Sign of the Cross, and you’re done!

That’s a crash course on how to say the Rosary. If you guys have questions, leave a comment and I’ll help you out! It’s a little confusing the first time. My next post on this topic will be a defense of the Rosary.

God bless!

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