How to Say the Rosary, a Catholic Guide, is a comprehensive, step-by-step introduction on learning to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is a Scripture-based meditative prayer. When we pray the Rosary, we ask Mary to pray for us as we contemplate the life, death, and resurrection of her son Jesus.
“There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” - Lucia dos Santos
“The Rosary is a prayer that is always with me; it is also the prayer of ordinary people and saints... It is a heartfelt prayer.” - Pope Francis
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Say the Rosary
How to Say the Rosary
Begin by making the Sign of the Cross.
Pray the Apostles' Creed while holding the crucifix.
Pray an Our Father on the first bead.
Pray a Hail Mary on each of the next three beads.
Pray a Glory Be on the next bead.
Announce the first mystery on the large bead, followed by an Our Father.
Say a Hail Mary on each of the ten small beads while continuing to contemplate the mystery.
Say the Glory Be at the end of the decade.
Then say the Fatima Prayer.
Repeat this pattern for the next few decades. Our Father > 10 Hail Marys > Glory Be -> O my Jesus (Fatima Prayer)
Finish with the Hail Holy Queen after the 5 decades.
Finish with the closing prayer. Let us say a prayer:
Finish with the Cross Sign.
The Prayers of the Rosary
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, seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from there 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.
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.
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.
O My Jesus (The Fatima Prayer)
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Take all souls into heaven, especially, those most in need of thy mercy. Amen.
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.
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!
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray (The Rosary Prayer)
Let us Pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation. Grant, we beseech Thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
What exactly is the Rosary?
Where did the Prayers of the Rosary come from?
How to Say the Mysteries of the Rosary
The Joyful Mysteries
(Prayed on Mondays and Saturdays)
- The Annunciation - Mary learns that she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
- The Visitation - Mary visits Elizabeth, who tells her that she will always be remembered.
- The Nativity - Jesus is born in a stable in Bethlehem.
- The Presentation - Mary and Joseph take the infant Jesus to the Temple to present him to God.
- The Finding of Jesus in the Temple - Jesus is found in the Temple discussing his faith with the teachers.
The Joyful Mysteries invite us to reflect on the Incarnation, and we are immersed in the awe of Jesus coming to earth as a baby. We see the incredible story unfold through Mary's eyes: the appearance of the angel (The Annunciation), the greeting of her cousin Elizabeth (The Visitation), the birth of her son (The Nativity), and the significant events that point to who this child is and what he will do (The Presentation and Finding in the Temple). We are encouraged to "reflect on them in [our] hearts," as Mary did (Luke 2:19).
More about the Joyful Mysteries.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays)
- The Agony in the Garden - Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he dies.
- The Scourging at the Pillar - Jesus is lashed with whips.)
- The Crowning With Thorns - Jesus is mocked and crowned with thorns.)
- The Carrying of the Cross - Jesus carries the cross that will be used to crucify him.
- The Crucifixion - Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies.)
The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday, Friday) The Sorrowful Mysteries help us relive Jesus' passion and death. We not only remember it, but we also participate in it, keeping watch with Jesus in his anguish before his arrest (The Agony in the Garden). With The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning of Thorns, and The Carrying of the Cross, we enter into his agony... Then we stand at the foot of the cross with Mary, witnessing his Crucifixion and Death. As we consider the cost of our salvation and redemption, we attempt to comprehend the depths of God's love for us. We feel his sorrow and contrition even more deeply when we see it through his mother's eyes.
More about the Sorrowful Mysteries.
The Glorious Mysteries
(Prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays)
- The Resurrection - God the Father raises Jesus from the dead.
- The Ascension - Jesus returns to his Father in heaven.
- The Coming of the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit comes to bring new life to the disciples.
- The Assumption of Mary - At the end of her life on earth, Mary is taken body and soul into heaven.
- The Coronation of Mary - Mary is crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth.
In the Glorious Mysteries, we reflect on the amazing miracles that occur after Jesus' death. These events demonstrate that Jesus is who he claims to be: the Son of God. We feel the joy of Christ's resurrection and imagine ourselves as Mary or the first disciples (The Resurrection). We see Jesus' ascension into heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as we pray. Though not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, the last two mysteries are based on hundreds of years of tradition based on passages from Revelation and Song of Songs. We celebrate the grace and role Jesus bestowed upon his mother (the Assumption and Coronation of Mary), and we hope that where Mary goes, we will follow one day.
More about the Glorious Mysteries.
The Luminous Mysteries
(Prayed on Thursdays)
- The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan - God proclaims that Jesus is his beloved Son.
- The Wedding Feast at Cana - At Mary’s request, Jesus performs his first miracle.
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God - Jesus calls all to conversion and service to the Kingdom.
- The Transfiguration of Jesus - Jesus is revealed in glory to Peter, James, and John.
- The Institution of the Eucharist - Jesus offers his Body and Blood at the Last Supper.
We reflect on the events of Jesus' public ministry through the Luminous Mysteries: his revelation as the Beloved Son of the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan, his first public miracle at the Wedding at Cana, his Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, Jesus' Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. "In the Luminous mysteries, apart from the miracle at Cana, the presence of Mary remains in the background," wrote Pope St. John Paul II. Nonetheless, the role she played at Cana follows Christ throughout his ministry. The revelation made directly by the Father at the Jordan Baptism, echoed by John the Baptist, is placed on Mary's lips at Cana, and it becomes the great maternal counsel that Mary addresses to the Church of all ages: "Do whatever he tells you."
More on the Luminous Mysteries.
Why do we Say the Rosary?
How to Say the Rosary Everyday
- Consider incorporating the Rosary into your daily walking routine. You can pray with a audio or video or carry your rosary beads while walking.
- Pray the Rosary while driving;
- Say the Rosary as you begin or end your workday
- As you prepare dinner, Say the Rosary.
- Set aside some quiet time to pray as you prepare for the day or prepare to sleep.
Related Catholic Prayers:
How to Pray the Litany of Trust
How to Pray the Litany of Humility
How to Pray the Chaplet of Mercy
The Rosary Card - Use to Say the Rosary!
As you learn to Say the Rosary, check out our Rosary Cards. They are designed for convenience (same size as a Credit Card) and make it much easier to pray the Rosary often.
See more options here.
Please let me know how your journey with the Rosary is going, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message an email at: email@example.com
And don't forget about our free Rosary Guide Download. Keep Praying!