How To Pray The Rosary

The Rosary is one of my favorite prayers.

When I am feeling in the depths of despair or don't know what to pray, the Rosary fills me with peace.

The Rosary is a meditative prayer based on Scripture. When we pray the Rosary, we pray The Lord's Prayer ("Our Father") that Jesus taught us (Matthew 6:9-13). We also ask Mary to pray for us ("Hail Mary" from Luke 1:28, 41-43 and James 5:16) as we seek to grow closer to her son Jesus by contemplating His life, death, and resurrection. 

For a more in depth explanation of why we pray the rosary, click here.

I love this quote about praying the rosary from Dr. Edward Sri:

"Think of the Rosary as being like the ocean: There’s something in it for everyone, whether you consider yourself a veteran mystic longing to go deeper in prayer with our Lord, a novice struggling to learn how to pray, or someone seeking the Lord’s help, right now, with something going on in your life. The deep-sea explorer and the child making sand castles on the beach can fully enjoy the same ocean while playing at different levels. And this is true with the Rosary."

how to pray the rosary

Time needed: about 20 minutes.

Begin with the Sign of the Cross. 

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

Holding the crucifix, pray the 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 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; from there He will 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. 

On the first bead, pray an 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. 

On each of the next three beads, pray a Hail Mary. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

On the next bead, pray a Glory Be. 

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

Pray the first decade. 

On the large bead, announce the mystery and then say an Our Father. 

On each of the 10 small beads, say a Hail Mary while continuing to meditate on the mystery. 

At the end of the decade, say the Glory Be. 

Then say the Fatima Prayer: 

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. Amen 

Repeat this pattern for the remaining decades. 

Our Father > 10 Hail Mary's > Glory Be > O my Jesus (Fatima Prayer) 

After the 5 decades, conclude with the Hail Holy Queen. 

Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Close with the concluding prayer. 

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. 

End with the Sign of the Cross. 

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

Free downloads to help you pray

Keep the Mysteries of the Rosary Close At Hand

Download our free Mysteries of the Rosary cards

teach your children about the beauty of the rosary

Download our free Rosary Coloring Sheet

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Baby's first rosary

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