Ways & How

how to pray the Catholic rosary

how to pray the Catholic rosary

For the Catholic faith, sincere invocation of the Holy Rosary is an integral part of every prayer. The Catholics believe that reciting the rosary is a very special form of praying. Generally, while praying the rosary, you are praising God and venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the kind of prayer in which the faithful ask for forgiveness and deliverance from evil. Thus, if you want to improve on your faith, just read on and learn how to pray the Catholic rosary correctly. Before anything else, it is proper to know the parts of the rosary. Each part has corresponding words to be spoken. Such words are repeated a specific number of times until the end of the prayer. Other than the cross section, the Holy Rosary is primarily made of beads joined together by a string. You must be well versed on what to say with each bead so you won’t get lost in your prayer. There are five father beads in a rosary. These beads are evenly spaced between 10 smaller beads, which are called decades. The five father beads represent the mysteries that correspond to the day of prayer.

There are five mysteries in all, and each mystery has five sentences to be recited before the Hail Mary prayer on the first bead of the decade. Observe the following steps.

  1. Look for a serene place. A quiet place is the best place to say the rosary. The silence of the surroundings will help you concentrate and contemplate while praying. As mentioned, the Catholic rosary is a special form of prayer that must be performed with sincerity and not just mere perfunctory invocation.

  2. Concentrate and make the sign of the cross. The sign of the cross is the very first mechanical act of the rosary prayer. Make the sign of the cross and simultaneously say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This is simply called crossing your body. Your right hand must touch the forehead, heart, left shoulder and then right shoulder.

  3. Say the Apostle’s Creed. This prayer is the first part that you will recite before holding the first bead for the Our Father prayer. The Apostle’s Creed says, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of the 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 rose again from the dead, He ascended into Heaven, seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From there He shall 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.”

  4. Recite the Our Father prayer. Hold the first bead and say the Our Father prayer. The Our Father prayer goes, 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

  5. Recite three Hail Mary and its response. After the first bead come the three succeeding beads. In each bead, you should recite the Hail Mary prayer. The Hail Mary prayer says, “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.” The response is, “Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

  6. Recite the Doxology prayer. After the three Hail Mary prayers, touch the chain chord and recite the Doxology prayer. The Doxology prayer goes, “Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

  7. Start the First Mystery of the day. Touch the first father bead to start the first mystery of the day, and say simultaneously the Our Father prayer.

  8. Recite the Hail Mary and its response. After reciting the Our Father, recite the Hail Mary in each of the next succeeding ten beads. After the last Hail Mary and response on every last bead of the decade, say the Doxology prayer with the words, “Oh my Jesus, have mercy on us. Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Bring all souls into heaven, especially those who need most of your mercy. Amen.” This is the extended Doxology prayer. Repeat steps seven and eight until you are through with the fifth father bead.

  9. Recite the Doxology prayer after completing the five father beads. When you reach the chord chain after completing the prayer, recite the extended Doxology prayer, the Our Father and the Hail Holy Queen. The prayer on Hail Holy Queen says, “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, thy 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.”

  10. End your prayer with a sign of the cross. Just like when you started praying, end your Holy Rosary prayer with a sign of the cross.

Indeed, praying is the best way to feel the presence of God. For most Catholics out there, learning how to pray the Catholic rosary is not difficult. It only requires sincerity while reciting the prayers. Say the prayers with conviction. Pray always.


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