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How to Pray the Rosary:

Catholic RosaryThe Rosary is most often associated with the Catholic Church, although many other religions have their own versions of prayer bracelets, including the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. It is believed that the Rosary prayer originated when the Virgin Mary appeared before St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominicans) in the early 1200s with a wreath of roses which she used to teach him to pray the rosary. The basic form of saying the Rosary has remained nearly unchanged in the 800 years since its origins.

Although there may be slight variations depending on the nation where the rosary was learned, this is how I was taught when I attended Catholic school.

  1. Begin by making the sign of the cross (briefly touching the fingertips of your right hand to your forehead, the center of your chest over your heart, your left shoulder, and finally your right shoulder while reciting, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.)
  2. Recite the Apostle’s Creed
      I believe in God, the Father almighty,
      Maker of heaven and earth
      Of all that is seen and unseen.
      I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
      Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
      and born of the Virgin Mary.
      He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
      was crucified, died, and was buried.
      He descended into hell.
      On the third day he rose again,
      He ascended into heaven
      and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
      He will come again 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.

  3. Recite the “Our Father” at the first large bead.
    • 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.
      Lead us not into temptation
      But deliver us from evil.
      For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
      Now and forever.

  4. Recite the "Hail Mary" prayer three times.
    • Hail Mary full of grace
      The Lord is with Thee.
      Blessed are Thou amongst women
      And blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus
      Holy Mary, mother of God,
      Pray for us sinners
      Now and at the hour of our deaths.

  5. Recite the "Glory Be to the Father" prayer one time.
    • 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.

  6. For each of five decades (represented by ten smaller beads and traditionally one larger bead), recite the Our Father prayer once (on the large bead), followed by the Hail Mary prayer ten times (once on each of the smaller beads), and the Glory Be to the Father prayer.