How To Pray The Holy Rosary


The Order of the Holy Rosary

The Rosary begins with the Apostles Creed, followed by one Our Father, three Hail Marys, a Glory Be.

Next come five mysteries, each consisting of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, a Glory Be, and, if desired, the Fatima Prayers.

Conclude with the Hail Holy Queen.


The Apostle’s 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 Ghost, 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, sitteth 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 the life everlasting. Amen.

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.

Hail Mary

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.

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.

Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us of our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

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!
Leader: Pray for us O Holy Mother of God,
All: That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.
Leader: Let us pray.
All: 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 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.

How to pray The Rosary

Begin by holding the crucifix, saying “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (making the sign of the Cross while doing that), then say the Apostles Creed.

On the single bead just above the cross, pray the “Our Father.”

The next cluster has 3 beads. The “Hail Mary” prayer is said on these three beads. You can pray the 3 Hail Marys while meditating on the three divine virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

On the last bead after the three beads, say the “Glory be…”

On the next bead, which is a single bead, you announce the first divine mystery of contemplation.  For example, if it were a Monday, you would say the first Joyful Mystery is “The Annunciation”, at this point you pray the “Our Father” prayer.

Now this will bring you to the first decade, or set of 10 beads of the Rosary.  You will then pray 10 Hail Marys while contemplating the first mystery, example: The Annunciation.

After the 10th Hail Mary you will have completed the first of 5 decades of the Rosary. You now come to another single bead, where you pray the “Glory be to the Father”… then (on the same bead) pray the “O My Jesus”. You will then announce the next or second mystery. For example: the second Joyful Mystery is “The Visitation”.

Mysteries prayed for certain Weekdays

Monday – Joyful
Tuesday – Sorrowful
Wednesday – Glorious
Thursday – Luminous
Friday – Sorrowful
Saturday – Joyful
Sunday – Glorious

The Twenty Mysteries

Here is a brief listing and description of all twenty Mysteries.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation: The Archangel Gabriel announces to Mary that she shall conceive the Son of God.

The Visitation: Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth.

The Nativity: The birth of Jesus in a manger. 

The Presentation: Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple.

The Finding in the Temple: Mary and Joseph find Jesus teaching and preaching in the temple.


The Luminous Mysteries

The Baptism in the Jordan:  God the Father declares Jesus the beloved Son.

The Wedding at Cana: Christ’s first public miracle of changing water into wine.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom: Jesus calls to conversion and forgives the sins of all who choose to be close to him.

The Transfiguration: The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ.

The Institution of the Eucharist: Jesus offers the first Mass at the Last Supper with his apostles.


The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Agony in the Garden: Jesus sweats water and blood while praying the night before his passion.

The Scourging at the Pillar: Jesus is whipped.

The Crowning with Thorns: a crown of thorns are placed upon our Lord’s head.

The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus carries his heavy cross to up to Calvary.

The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies.


The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection: This is when Jesus rises from the dead.

The Ascension: Jesus body ascends to heaven.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in tongues of fire.

The Assumption: Mary’s body is taken into heaven by God at the end of her life here on earth.

The Coronation: Mary is crowned as the Queen of Heaven and Earth.


Helpful tips when praying the Rosary:

  • Try to place yourself into the scene of the particular mystery as you pray or you can meditate on the meaning of the words of the prayers as you pray them.
  • Meditate on the person for whom you are offering the Rosary.
  • Offer the Rosary to God and Our Lady for an intention. Some people offer particular intentions before each decade.


Filed Under: FaithPrayers & DevotionsSpirituality

About the Author: Mother of 6 children. 4 boys and 2 girls. A proud stay-at-home-mum and Co-founder of the website. Jill has a strong Catholic faith. "I believe it's really important to have a support network for mums to connect and learn from each other." She also has a Degree in Primary Teaching from Melbourne University.

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  1. I have fond memories of praying the Rosary when I was growing up. I loved and hated it (loved it before it was nice praying with my family, hated it for being tedious). There were five children in the family, which was perfect as we would lead a decade each.
    I can’t wait to start this with my little 2 year old… this prayer is very close to my heart as Mary has always been my strongest intercessor and I want to pass on this gift of faith just as my parents passed it on to me. :)

    • Jill says:

      My family was the same Joy- we would pray the rosary every night. It was nice to sit down altogether. One thing I read was never to force you child to pray it with the family, rather just encourage them to do so because in their own time they will do so. I remember as I got older my parents would ask us just to pray 2 decades well and with love opposed to the whole rosary. This made me love the rosary instead of something that was forced on me.

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