The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. The Rosary prayer is composed of sets (called decades) of shorter prayers. Saying a ‘rosary’ means saying either five or twenty decades. Each decade concentrates on an event in the life of Jesus, especially those in which Mary played an important part.
How to say the Rosary
The Apostles’ Creed is said on the Crucifix; the Our Father is said on each of the Large Beads; the Hail Mary is said on each of the Small Beads; the Glory Be after the three Hail Mary’s at the beginning of the Rosary, and after each decade of Small Beads.
At the Rosary’s end, on the image of Mary, say the Hail, Holy Queen.
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; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits 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.
The 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.
The Hail Mary
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 our death. Amen.
The 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 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, 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!
There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries , the five Lumious Mysteries , the five Sorrowful Mysteries and the five Glorious Mysteries.
The Joyful Mysteries
Said on Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays of Advent, and Sundays from Epiphany until Lent.
First Joyful Mystery – The Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary
I Desire the Love Of Humility
The humility of the Blessed Virgin when the Angel Gabriel greeted her with these words: “Hail full of grace”.
Second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
I Desire Charity Toward My Neighbor
Mary’s charity in visiting her cousin Elizabeth and remaining with her for three months before the birth of John the Baptist.
Third Joyful Mystery – The Birth of Jesus
I Desire the Love of God
The poverty, so lovingly accepted by Mary when she placed the Infant Jesus, our God and Redeemer, in a manger in the stable of Bethlehem.
Fourth Joyful Mystery – The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
I Desire a Spirit of Sacrifice
Mary’s obedience to the law of God in presenting the Child Jesus in the Temple.
Fifth Joyful Mystery – Finding Jesus in the Temple
I desire Zeal For The Glory Of God
The deep sorrow with which Mary sought the Child Jesus for three days, and the joy with which she found Him in the midst of the Teachers of the Temple.
The Luminous Mysteries
Said on Thursdays throughout the year.
First Luminous Mystery – The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan
And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The Second Luminous Mystery – The Wedding at Cana, Christ Manifested
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
The Third Luminous Mystery – the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
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.”
The Fourth Luminous Mystery – The Transfiguration of Jesus
And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
The Fifth Luminous Mystery – The Last Supper, the Holy Eucharist
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
Said on Tuesdays, Fridays, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday.
First Sorrowful Mystery – Agony of Jesus in the Garden
I Desire True Repentance for My Sins
Our Lord Jesus in the garden of Gethsemani, suffering a bitter agony for our sins.
Second Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus is Scourged at the Pillar
I Desire a Spirit of Mortification
The cruel scourging at the pillar that our Lord suffered; the heavy blows that tore His flesh.
Third Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus is Crowned With Thorns
I Desire Moral Courage.
The crown of sharp thorns that was forced upon our Lord’s Head and the patience with which He endured the pain for our sins.
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus Carries His Cross
I Desire the Virtue of Patience
The heavy Cross, so willingly carried by our Lord, and ask Him to help you to carry your crosses without complaint.
Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – The Crucifixion of Jesus
I Desire the Grace of Final Perseverance
The love which filled Christ’s Sacred Heart during His three hours’ agony on the Cross, and ask Him to be with you at the hour of death.
The Glorious Mysteries
Said on Wednesdays, and Sundays throughout the year.
First Glorious Mystery – The Resurrection of Jesus
I Desire a Strong Faith
Christ’s glorious triumph when, on the third day after His death, He arose from the tomb and for forty days appeared to His Blessed Mother and to His disciples.
Second Glorious Mystery – The Ascension of Jesus
I Desire the Virtue of Hope
The Ascension of Jesus Christ, forty days after His glorious Resurrection, in the presence of Mary and His disciples.
Third Glorious Mystery – The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
I Desire Zeal for the Glory of God
The descent of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles, under the form of tongues of fire, in fulfillment of Christ’s promise.
Fourth Glorious Mystery – The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
I Desire the Grace of a Holy Death
The glorious Assumption of Mary into Heaven, when she was united with her Divine Son.
Fifth Glorious Mystery – The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
I Desire a Greater Love for the Blessed Virgin Mary
The glorious crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven by her Divine Son, to the great joy of all the Saints.