Praying the Rosary

hands holding rosary beadsLike our ancestors in faith, we use beads to assist us in our prayer. Grasping and moving the beads helps us focus, integrating our senses of touch and sight into our experience of prayer. With fingers busy, our minds can be open to pondering the mysteries of God. In stressful times, simply holding the beads can be prayer, even when our minds are unable to focus on thoughts.

Within the Catholic Church we call this praying with beads the Rosary. There are five cycles of prayer, called decades because each cycle includes ten Hail Mary’s. The decades are preceded by an Our Father and concluded with a Glory Be. For each decade there is a mystery of our faith that can be used as a meditative reflection. The groupings of these mysteries are called the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. Pope John Paul II added the Luminous Mysteries. Through this prayer, we come into God’s presence in faith, praying not to accomplish something but to offer ourselves to God so that God might work in and through us.

Praying the Dominican Rosary

Dominicans pray the Rosary slightly differently than may be your experience in your home or parish. This version seems to be an ancient Dominican tradition.

Why not try it for yourself?

LEADER: Sign of the cross.

LEADER: Hail Mary, full of Grace the Lord is with thee.

ALL: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

LEADER: O Lord open my lips.

ALL: And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

LEADER: O God, come to my assistance. ALL: O Lord, make haste to help me.

LEADER: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit

ALL: As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, a world without end Amen.

Alleluia. (or in Lent, Praise be to you, Lord, King of eternal glory.)


  1. The Annunciation
  2.  The Visitation
  3. The Nativity
  4. The Presentation
  5. Finding of our Lord in the Temple


  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning with Thorns
  4. Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion


  1. Baptism of Jesus
  2. The Wedding feast at Cana
  3. Preaching of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration
  5. The Eucharist


  1. The Resurrection
  2. The Ascension
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Assumption
  5. The Coronation

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. The 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 (ten)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst Women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Glory Be (one)
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 a world without end. Amen.


ALL: Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears; Turn then, O most Gracious, advocate thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the Blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

LEADER: Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.

ALL: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

LEADER: Let us Pray. O God, Whose only begotten Son, by his life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life. Grant we beseech you, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sign of the Cross.

When do you say each mystery?

By tradition, the mystries of the rosary are organized according to the day of the week and the liturgical season. Feel free to pray them as you are moved to pray them.

JOYFUL- Monday (and Sundays in Advent)

LUMINOUS- Thursday

SORROWFUL - Tuesday & Friday (and Sundays in Lent)

GLORIOUS - Wednesday& Saturday (and Sundays in ordinary time)


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