Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

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;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

and blessed is the fruit of your 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 (Doxology)

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.

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,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried;

he descended into hell;

on the third day he rose again from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,

and is seated 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.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,

hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.

To you we cry, the children of Eve;

to you we send up our sighs,

mourning and weeping in this land of exile.

Turn, then, most gracious advocate,

your eyes of mercy toward us;

lead us home at last

and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus:

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

The Rosary

The rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary. It consists of a set number of specific prayers. After a set of introductory prayers, there are five “decades” in each rosary.  One meditates on a specific “mystery” or aspect of the life of Christ or Mary while praying.

The word rosary comes from Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. The rosary is a widely popular form of prayer, and not just among Catholics. Many Protestants now say the rosary, recognizing it as a truly biblical form of prayer—the prayers that comprise it come mainly from the Bible.

Praying the Rosary

The Rosary begins with the Apostles Creed, followed by one Our Father,  three Hail Marys, and then a Glory Be. Next come five mysteries, each consisting of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be.  The Rosary concludes with the Hail Holy Queen.

If you do not have Rosary beads, it is perfectly okay to count with your fingers. Counting beads frees your mind to help you meditate.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

It is traditional to focus on specific mysteries each day of the week:

  • Monday – Joyful
  • Tuesday – Sorrowful
  • Wednesday – Glorious
  • Thursday – Luminous
  • Friday – Sorrowful
  • Saturday – Joyful
  • Sunday – Glorious

As you pray and meditate on each mystery, try to place yourself “into” the scene of the particular mystery as you pray, imagining the sights, smells, sounds, and emotions that Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and other participants experienced during the actual events.  It is also okay to meditate on the meaning of the words of the prayers as you pray them, or even to meditate on the person for whom you are offering the Rosary.

Here is a brief listing and description of all twenty mysteries.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation:

The Archangel Gabriel announces to Mary that she has found favor with God and asks her to become the Mother of God.

The Visitation:

Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist.

The Nativity:

Jesus is born.

The Presentation:

Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple where they meet Simeon.

The Finding in the Temple:

Mary and Joseph find young Jesus teaching the Rabbis in the Temple.

The Luminous Mysteries (The Mysteries of Light)

The Baptism in the Jordan:

The voice of the Father declares Jesus the beloved Son.

The Wedding at Cana:

Christ changes water into wine, his first public miracle.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom:

Jesus calls to conversion and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him.

The Transfiguration:

The glory of God shines forth from the face of Christ.

The Institution of the Eucharist:

Jesus gives his Body and Blood to his disciples as a sign of the New Covenant.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Agony in the Garden:

Jesus sweats blood while praying the night before his passion.

The Scourging at the Pillar:

Pilate has Jesus whipped.

The Crowning with Thorns:

Roman soldiers crown Jesus’ head with thorns.

The Carrying of the Cross:

Jesus meets his mother and falls three times on the way up Calvary.

The Crucifixion:

Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies before his mother and his apostle John.

The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection:

Jesus rises from the dead.

The Ascension:

Jesus leaves the Apostles and bodily ascends to heaven.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit:

The Apostles and other disciples receive the Holy Spirit.

The Assumption:

Mary is taken bodily–assumed–into heaven by God at the end of her life here on earth.

The Coronation:

Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.