How do I Pray the Rosary?

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  • Written By: Matthew F.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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The rosary is among the most sacred Roman Catholic prayers. The term rosary can refer to both the set of prayers and the set of beads that are associated with the devotion. Often prayed at funerals and confessionals, the rosary is performed as a meditation. Usually accompanied by the Mysteries of the Rosary, to pray the rosary is to recount the life of Jesus Christ and his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Accompanying each bead in the rosary is a prayer, with Mysteries and meditations interspersed between. The Mysteries are spoken by a priest and they follow the principal events of Roman Catholic salvation. After the Mysteries are spoken, they are supposed to be meditated on while you silently or verbally pray the rosary. The Mysteries include the five Joyful Mysteries, five Luminous Mysteries, five Sorrowful Mysteries, and five Glorious Mysteries.

The rosary is most often a circular set of beads, with an extension of five beads and a crucifix extending from the complete circle. To pray the rosary, first begin at the crucifix. The crucifix represents the Sign of the Cross and the Apostle’s Creed. For every prayer and meditation of the rosary, you move your hands up the beads of the rosary, both to keep track of the prayer and to follow in the tradition of the prayer.


After the crucifix, the first bead represents the Our Father. With the second bead, the follower is to pray three Hail Marys. This prayer takes up many of the beads of the rosary because to pray the rosary is to owe a certain devotion to the subject of that prayer, the Virgin Mary. Following the first three Hail Marys, with the third bead is spoken the Glory be to the Father. The fifth bead represents the first Mystery, which is often spoken by a priest. Following the first Mystery is another recital of the Our Father.

Now into the circle of beads, you begin the rosary in earnest by praying ten Hail Marys, during which time you are meditating on the first Mystery that was just spoken. This is referred to as a decade. The section of beads is then concluded with another prayer of the Glory be to the Father. The second Mystery is then announced, followed again by the Our Father, another decade of Hail Marys, and the Glory be to the Father. This is continued for all five Mysteries of one group. According to Pope John Paul II, you are to pray the rosary, with different Mysteries, on each day of the week.


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Post 4

The rosary is pagan in origin; its use predates Christ by far. Please brush up on the history of prayer beads. We should not pray in this way or imitate any pagan ritual, no matter what significance you assign the bead. Holiness [set apartness] is still called for; without holiness no one will see the Father. There's nothing holy about "Christianized" pagan practices.

Heb 12:14 "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

Deuteronomy 18:9 "When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there."

Post 3

@googie98- Another recommendation would be not to make the child participate longer than you know they are able to. If you have a very young child, their attention span is much shorter than an older child’s would be. Allow them to participate as long as they want to. When they start getting fidgety, it is a good idea to let them leave the room. Minutes can seem like a very long time to a small child.

Choosing a comfortable place and a specific time can also help. I have a young child and we like to go outdoors, weather permitting, to pray the rosary. Another thing that helps the child become more comfortable with praying the rosary is to let them set up candles or flowers in front of a picture or statue of Mary. They enjoy doing that and it keeps them interested in what you are doing.

Post 2

@googie98- It can be difficult to involve young children in any kind of prayer, especially praying the rosary, since it is a longer prayer. However, it can be done and it is a great opportunity for the family to come together and become closer.

My first tip would be not to force anyone to pray the rosary. You want your children to want to do it. If they are made to do it, it might seem more of a chore instead of a privilege. I have also heard of many parents making their children pray the rosary when they get into trouble. I don’t recommend that because they will then look at praying the rosary as some type of punishment and it can be a negative experience for them.

Post 1

My husband and I are Catholic and we want to start involving our young children in our praying of the rosary. Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to start doing that without them getting bored or confused?

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