A Complete Guide to Praying the Rosary

The rosary is a powerful tool that Catholics turn to when they wish to turn to prayer, meditate or get in touch with their spiritual self. It is a powerful prayer that has endured for many centuries. There are a number of reasons that people pray the rosary aside from the fact that it is one of the most basic prayers that Catholics practice.

A deeply personal means of communicating with God, there are a whole host of benefits that one can get from regularly praying the rosary. Still, it is unfortunate that with the modern times, more and more people seem to be praying the rosary less— which is a shame considering how great a bridge it is towards your spirituality.

A Great Tool For Achieving Peace Within


It’s quite obvious how hectic the lives people lead these days. Too hectic, perhaps that people tend to forget how to slow down and take a breather every so often. As a result, this leads to the mind getting fogged with confusion as the soul years for clarity and peace. The rosary is ideal for settling both the heart and the mind and it is a great instrument for reaching deep down into your soul, helping you to feel more at ease and at peace despite the hustles and bustles of modern living.

Ideal For Gaining a Better Perspective

Have you ever felt the need to step back a little bit from the rest of what’s going on in the world? Have you been feeling too swamped by your everyday responsibilities you just want to run away from it all, if only temporarily? You can pray the rosary and achieve exactly that. It allows you to not only step back but to also reassess where you are and what have you been doing thus far to allow you to refocus on things that really matter in life.

Great For Awareness

bible rosary

It helps you achieve a more vibrant and rich spiritual life. All too often, you get clouded by the fast-paced life you are living that it is somehow hard to focus on the things around you or the things that are happening around. When you take a pause to pray the rosary, you get the chance to keep calm and meditate and get a moment’s clarity— something that is crucial if you want to stay grounded every time.

Despite how beneficial and powerful a tool the rosary is, a considerable number of modern Catholics aren’t familiar with it or know how to pray it. While it has been widely practiced by the older generation, the youth of today may not have been taught how the holy beads work. Thankfully, it is easy enough to learn. Below is a guide to praying the rosary, to help those who have never been taught how to use it as a starting point.

A rosary is made up of a string of beads. At the end is a crucifix, which is attached to a shorter extension located just right before the loop. To start, hold the crucifix in your hand. Every prayer starts with the cross sign and then say the Apostle’s Creed. This prayer is a Catholic’s profession of his faith and reaffirmation of his beliefs to the church and the prayer must be said with the crucifix in your hand.

crucifix sacrifice jesus

The crucifix is followed by a large bead. At this point of the prayer, you will need to recite Our Father. Three smaller beads will follow which is an indication that you will need to say three Hail Marys. After you have successfully said your Hail Marys, hold the chain and say a Glory Be.

The Rosary then goes to the mysteries and the next big bead is intended for meditating on the Mystery you should be reciting, depending on the day of the week you are praying. If you notice, the rosary has 5 sections, each with a large bead, corresponding to the different mysteries that you will need to say before starting the prayer.

Also referred to as the decades, every decade contains 10 pieces of smaller beads. Some people usually pause and meditate on the big mystery bead. Other people say an Our Father right after saying the mystery. Afterward, proceed on touching the ten beads following the decade and say a Hail Mary as you go through each of the beads.

woman praying rosary

Right at the end of the decades, you will need to say another Glory Be and Hail, Holy Queen is then said to end the prayer. Wrap it all up by making the sign of the cross and you are done.

It’s important to remember that the mysteries or the decades you will be meditating on will depend on the day of the week you are praying. To help you get a good idea of what these are, below we break down the different decades involved when saying the rosary.

Joyful Mysteries

jesus birth

Said on Saturdays and Mondays, it is about the joy surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. This involves the following decades:

  • Annunciation
  • Visitation
  • Birth of the lord
  • Presentation of the lord
  • Finding Jesus as a child while in the temple

Sorrowful Mysteries

jesus crucifixion

When saying the rosary on Fridays and Tuesdays, the mysteries are centered on Jesus’s passion and his death and sacrifice. This involves:

  • Jesus’ agony in the garden of Gethsemane
  • Scourging
  • Jesus getting crowned with thorns
  • Jesus bearing the burden of the cross
  • Jesus’ crucifixion

Glorious Mysteries

jesus resurrection

These days are focused on reflecting Jesus’s resurrection, along with other episodes that indicate his glory as the savior. Said on Sundays and Wednesdays, the mysteries include:

  • Jesus’ resurrection
  • Jesus’ ascension
  • The Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles to tell them the good news
  • Mary’s assumption into heaven
  • Mary being crowned as the queen of both heaven and earth

Luminous Mysteries

jesus preaching children statue

A very recent addition to how the rosary is prayed in recent years is the Mysteries of Light. This was added by St. John Paul to account for the missing part of Jesus’ life that the other mysteries did not cover. This includes:

  • Jesus getting baptized in the Jordan River
  • The wedding feast where Jesus performed his first miracle in Cana
  • Jesus preaching about the Kingdom of God and of its coming
  • Transfiguration
  • The institution of the Eucharist

The rosary is a simple and straightforward prayer that every Catholic should consider doing more often in this rather hectic modern world. You’ll be surprised at how incorporating something as simple a practice as this can make a whole world of difference to your life and more importantly, your spiritual journey.

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