The Common Way of Praying the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Glorious Mysteries

The most common manner of praying the Rosary in the United States is given below, although variations exist in different parishes, etc.:

First, one makes the Sign of the Cross.

Then one recites the Apostles’ Creed.

On the first large bead connected to the Cross, the Our Father is prayed.

For each of the three small beads that follow, the Hail Mary is prayed.

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.

Then, the first Mystery of the set is announced, e.g., “The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation.” After the Mystery is announced, one begins to meditate on that portion of Christ’s life.

The Our Father is prayed on the first large bead.

On each of the next ten (smaller) beads, a Hail Mary is prayed. While pronouncing these prayers, one continues to meditate on the Mystery of Christ’s life.

At the end of the “decade” of 10 Hail Marys, one prays the Glory Be. Then, one announces the next mystery (e.g., “The Visitation”) and recites the Our Father on the large bead. After the Our Father is finished, one moves to the first small bead of the next decade and begin the Hail Marys again.

This process continues through each of the five decades until you return to the beginning, where the Glory Be is prayed. Most ordinary Rosaries have beads for five decades, although a “full” Dominican rosary has fifteen decades.

Then, the first Mystery of the set is announced, e.g., “The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation.” After the Mystery is announced, one begins to meditate on that portion of Christ’s life.

The Our Father is prayed on the first large bead.

On each of the next ten (smaller) beads, a Hail Mary is prayed. While pronouncing these prayers, one continues to meditate on the Mystery of Christ’s life.

At the end of the “decade” of 10 Hail Marys, one prays the Glory Be. This is typically followed by the Fatima Prayer. Then, one announces the next mystery (e.g., “The Visitation”) and recites the Our Father on the large bead. After the Our Father is finished, one moves to the first small bead of the next decade and begin the Hail Marys again.

This process continues through each of the five decades until you return to the medallion, where the Glory Be is prayed. Most ordinary Rosaries have beads for five decades.

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