The Rosary Prayer

The Rosary Prayer refers to a form of invocation used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers.

Rosary Prayer Beads
Rosary Prayer Beads

The prayers that comprise the Rosary are arranged in sets of ten Hail Marys, called decades. Each decade is preceded by one Lord’s Prayer and followed by one Glory Be. During the recitation of each set, a thought is given to one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall events in the lives of Jesus and Mary.  Five decades are recited per rosary. Other prayers are sometimes added before or after each decade. Rosary beads are an aid towards saying these prayers in the proper sequence.

A standard 15 Mysteries of the Rosary, based on the long-standing custom, was established by Pope Pius V during the 16th century, grouping the mysteries in three sets: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. During 2002 Pope John Paul II said that it is fitting that a new set of five be added, termed the Luminous Mysteries, bringing the total number of mysteries to 20. These mysteries had been used by Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton during the 20th century.  

  • The Glorious mysteries are said on Sunday and Wednesday,
  • the Joyful on Monday and Saturday,
  • the Sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and
  • the Luminous Mysteries are said on Thursday.

Usually, five decades are recited in a session.

Rosary Prayer Structure

The Rosary is begun on the short strand:

  • The sign of the cross on the Crucifix;
  • The prayer “O Lord, open my lips; O God, come to my aid; O Lord, make haste to help me”, still on the Crucifix;
  • The Apostles’ Creed, still on the Crucifix;
  • The Lord’s Prayer at the first large bead (for the intentions of the pope and the needs of the Church);
  • The Hail Mary on each of the next three beads (for the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity); and
  • The Glory Be on the next large bead.

The praying of the decades then follows, repeating this cycle for each mystery:

  • Announce the mystery;
  • The Lord’s Prayer on the large bead;
  • The Hail Mary on each of the ten adjacent small beads;
  • The Glory Be on the space before the next large bead; and

To conclude:

  • The Salve Regina;
  • The Loreto Litany;
  • Any further intentions; and
  • The sign of the cross.

Below is a video demonstrating the Rosary Prayer

Rosary History

According to pious tradition, the concept of the rosary was given to Saint Dominic in an apparition of the Virgin Mary during the year 1214 in the church of Prouille. This Marian apparition received the title of Our Lady of the Rosary.  In the 15th century it was promoted by Alanus de Rupe (aka Alain de la Roche or Blessed Alan of the Rock), a Dominican priest and theologian, who established the “fifteen rosary promises” and started many rosary confraternities.

The Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary

The rosary has been featured in the writings of Roman Catholic figures from saints to popes and continues to be mentioned in reported Marian apparitions, with a number of promises attributed to the power of the rosary.

In the practice of the Dominican Order, the beginning prayers of the rosary correspond to the beginning of the Divine Office:

  1. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
  2. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.
  3. Blessed art Thou among women and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.
  4. O Lord, open my lips.
  5. And my mouth will proclaim Your praise.
  6. Incline Your aid to me, O God.
  7. O Lord, make haste to help me.
  8. 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.

Related Prayers…

Prayer Request: Post Your Own "The Rosary Prayer"

If you'd like, you can post your prayer below so the PrayWithMe community can help pray with you.

Rules for Posting: All prayers are posted publicly through to this site. Don't use full names or any other identifying information that you wouldn't want out on the web.

Don't post with ALL CAPS, and try to use proper spelling and grammar.

If you can, help pray for others and post comments of support.

Recent prayer requests...

Tap below to see prayers from other visitors to this site.

Leave a Reply for "The Rosary Prayer"

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By posting your comment, you agree to the submission agreement.