As an ex-protestant, I can honestly tell you that I went through several phases before the rosary became my favorite prayer.
The word rosary comes from the Latin word rosarius which means crown of roses.
The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. The purpose of the beads is to help keep track of where you are at in the prayer.
There have been various forms of the beads over the last 900 years. The current Roman Catholic version of the beads has been in use for over 700 years.
Although the rosary is a traditional Catholic devotion; there is also an Anglican rosary or prayer beads. It has been adapted by Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and non-denominational Christians and they may have various forms. The Lutheran Church uses the Catholic rosary beads but each “Hail Mary” is replaced with the “Jesus Prayer”.
The prayer consists of a verbal action and a mental meditative action. While you are saying the words by moving your lips in a rhythmic pattern you are simultaneously contemplating the mystery of the Bible. Almost all the words are from the Bible. One Mystery (the Assumption of Mary) is based on Catholic tradition. The majority meditative part of the rosary is praying about Jesus. The majority of the verbal part of the rosary is from the Bible and the majority of the spoken words are asking the mother of God to prayer for us to the Lord Our God. You can see a detailed break down here.
An Online version of the Rosary to listen and tryout: Come Pray the Rosary
How to Say the Rosary
- Make the Sign of theCross and say theApostles’ Creed.
- Say the Our Father.
- Say 3 Hail Marys.
- Say the Glory Be to the Father.
- Announce the First Mystery, then say theOur Father.
- Say 10 Hail Marys.
- Say the Glory Be to the Father.
- Say the O My Jesus.
- Announce the Second Mystery, then say theOur Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
- Announce the Third Mystery, then say theOur Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
- Announce the Fourth Mystery, then say theOur Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
- Announce the Fifth Mystery, then say the Our Father, Hail Marys, Glory Be and O My Jesus.
- Conclude by saying the Hail Holy Queen.
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
Prayers of the Rosary
For a more detailed Biblical break down of the rosary you may go here.
Sign Of The Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Apostles 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 Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, He 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 sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from there he will 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 by 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, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed art thou among 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 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.
O My Jesus
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your Mercy. Amen.
Hail, Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee 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 towards us,
And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of they womb, Jesus.
O clememt. 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.
The Rosary is divided into five decades. Each decade represents a mystery or event in the life of Jesus. There are four sets of “Mysteries of the Rosary” (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious).
“Joyful Mysteries”(Mon & Sat)
First Decade: The Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
Second Decade: The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56)
Third Decade: The Birth of Our Lord (Luke 2:1-21)
Fourth Decade: The Presentation of Our Lord (Luke 2:22-38)
Fifth Decade: The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
First Decade: The Baptism of Our Lord in the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13-16)
Second Decade: The Wedding at Cana, when Christ manifested Himself (Jn 2:1-11)
Third Decade: The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15)
Fourth Decade: The Transfiguration of Our Lord (Matthew 17:1-8)
Fifth Decade: The Last Supper, when Our Lord gave us the Holy Eucharist (Mt 26)
“Sorrowful Mysteries”(Tues & Fri)
First Decade: The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-56)
Second Decade: Our Lord is Scourged at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26)
Third Decade: Our Lord is Crowned with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-31)
Fourth Decade: Our Lord Carries the Cross to Calvary (Matthew 27:32)
Fifth Decade: The Crucifixion of Our Lord (Matthew 27:33-56)
“Glorious Mysteries”(Wed & Sun)
First Decade: The Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord (John 20:1-29)
Second Decade: The Ascension of Our Lord (Luke 24:36-53)
Third Decade: The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41)
Fourth Decade: The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (Song of Songs 2:2,10-11)
Fifth Decade: The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Gn 3:15a) (Jdt 13:18) (Jdt 15:9) (Rv 12:1) (Sir 24:4) (Sir 14:9) (Cor 4:17) (Lk 8:21)(Gal 4:19)