How to Say the Rosary:
The traditional rosary consists of five sets of ten beads (known as decade
s), each separated by a larger bead. There is an extension from this main circle of the rosary consisting of a crucifix
, a large bead, three small beads, and another large bead.
On the crucifix
, say the Apostles' Creed
On the first large bead, say an Our Father
On the next three beads, say three Hail Mary
On the second large bead, say another Our Father
Now you come to the main part of the rosary. Say an Our Father
on each of the large beads, and a Hail Mary
on each of the fifty small beads. When you finish, you may enter your petition
s and say a Hail, Holy Queen
The rosary is used for meditation
on the 15 mysteries of Christ
's life. Each decade
of the rosary represents a single mystery. Which mysteries you meditate on depends on the day of the week:
On Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays in Advent
and from Epiphany
: The Five Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation (when the Archangel Gabriel
announced to Mary that she was with child.)
2. The Visitation (when Mary visited the pregnant Elizabeth).
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation (when Christ was presented at the Temple
in accordance with Jewish tradition
5. Finding in the Temple (when Joseph and Mary found Christ in the Temple teaching the elders).
On Tuesdays, Fridays, and every day during Lent
: The Five Sorrowful Mysteries
1. Agony in the Garden (when Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane).
2. Scourging at the Pillar (when Roman
soldiers whipped Christ).
3. Crowning with Thorns
4. Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
On Wednesdays, Saturdays, and for Sundays from Easter
: The Five Glorious Mysteries
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. Descent of the Holy Spirit
(when Christ sent the Holy Spirit on his apostles
4. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (when Christ took Mary into heaven
5. Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary (when Christ crowned Mary the Queen of Heaven).
Side note: Protestants
may find some of these mysteries disconcerting, since they involve beliefs unique to the Catholic
The rosary can also be used for other prayers, such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy