Rosary comes from the Latin word for “rose garden,” which represents an image of the Virgin Mary in Latin hymns. The purpose of the Rosary is to help us remember and meditate on the great mysteries of the Catholic faith and to remember the primary events in the history of our salvation. Some of the Popes have referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel since it is based on the incidents in the life of Our Lord and His Holy Mother. The mysteries of the Rosary are based on the incidents in the life of Our Lord and His Mother that are celebrated in the Liturgy. Twenty Mysteries are reflected throughout the Rosary, which are divided into:
- Joyful Mysteries (said on Monday and Saturday and Sundays during Christmas)
- Luminous Mysteries (said on Thursday)
- Sorrowful Mysteries (said on Tuesday and Friday and Sundays of Lent)
- Glorious Mysteries (said on Wednesday and Sunday)
How to Pray the Rosary
- While holding the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross and say the Apostles’ Creed.
- On the first bead and all the single beads, say an Our Father.
- Pray one Hail Mary on each of the next three beads for an increase in faith, hope, and charity.
- On the next single bead, pray the Glory Be.
- Before praying the next set of ten rosary beads (called a decade), first meditate on the first mystery. Announce the mystery, imagine the event, and begin to meditate on it by itself or in association with whatever matter the mystery brings to your heart.
- Pray an Our Father.
- Pray a Hail Mary on the first bead of the decade, and on each following bead.
- After praying the decade, pray the Glory Be. You may also want to add the Fatima invocation.
- Reflect on the second mystery, then pray an Our Father on the next single bead.
- Pray the Hail Mary on the next ten rosary beads. Repeat the sequence around the rosary.
- At the end of the last decade, pray the Hail Holy Queen.