Rosary Prayers and Structure

Themes: praying, Rosary
Charles Pritchard

The Rosary prayers, mysteries and structure are outlined here. This section can be used as a guide while learning how to pray the Rosary.

Introduction | Rosary Prayers and Structure | The Joyful Mysteries Rosary | The Luminous Mysteries Rosary | The Sorrowful Mysteries Rosary | The Glorious Mysteries Rosary

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father [right hand on your forehead] and the Son [right hand on your chest] and the Holy Spirit [right hand on your left shoulder, followed by your right shoulder]. Amen.

Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again 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 the life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father

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 thee. Blessed art thou among 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

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.

Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, 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 vale of tears. Turn then, 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. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Rosary Opening Prayer

The opening below prayer is merely a suggestion − pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.

My loving Father God, my Creator; my loving Jesus Christ, my Saviour; and my dear Holy Spirit, my Breath of Life; my Holy Triune God, together with my Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of the Saviour of the world, I humbly ask you to hear my petition: ________

St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael the archangels, come with your troops of angels to help me on this petition. I also invite the saints in heaven to intercede for on this petition for me, in particular, St ...mention names...

Mother Mary, I ask you to take this petition, together with the intercessions of the angels and saints [1], to your Son Jesus at the foot of his cross. I ask this prayer through your Tears of Blood, tears that you cry because of the horrific pains that the immensity of sins in this world inflict on your Son’s pierced Sacred Heart and your Immaculate Heart.

Thank you my Almighty Triune God for your love and mercy, for hearing my prayer and that of our Blessed Mother Mary. All honour, praise and glory to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rosary Closing Prayer

O God, whose only Begotten Son, by his life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech thee, that, by meditating on the mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rosary Mysteries

The mysteries outlined below are detailed in the following sections.

The Joyful Mysteries Rosary:

  • The Annunciation
  • The Visitation
  • The Nativity
  • The Presentation in the Temple
  • The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Luminous Mysteries Rosary:

  • The Baptism of the Lord
  • The Wedding at Cana
  • The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  • The Transfiguration
  • The Institution of the Eucharist

The Sorrowful Mysteries Rosary:

  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Scourging at the Pillar
  • The Crowning of Thorns
  • The Carrying of the Cross
  • The Crucifixion

The Glorious Mysteries Rosary:

  • The Resurrection
  • The Ascension
  • The Coming of the Holy Spirit
  • The Assumption of Mary
  • The Coronation of Mary

Rosary Structure

The Rosary is prayed as follows:

  • Bless yourself by making the Sign of the Cross.
  • Begin the Rosary with a Rosary Opening Prayer and petitions.
  • Announce on which Mysteries Rosary you will be meditating: the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful or Glorious.
  • Holding the crucifix, pray the Apostles Creed.
  • On the first isolated bead, pray the Our Father.
  • On the next bead, pray the Hail Mary, meditating on faith.
  • On the next bead, pray the Hail Mary, meditating on hope.
  • On the next bead, pray the Hail Mary, meditating on charity.
  • On the isolated bead, pray the Glory Be, followed by the Fatima Prayer.
  • Begin the first decade and then repeat the following five times as you go around the rosary:
    • Announce the Rosary Mystery, optionally reading the scriptural meditation and praying the suggested prayer or as the Holy Spirit leads (see below).
    • On the same isolated bead, pray the Our Father.
    • On the next ten beads, pray the Hail Mary on each, meditating on the Mystery.
    • On the isolated bead, pray the Glory Be, followed by the Fatima Prayer.
  • After the fifth decade, conclude the Rosary with the Hail Holy Queen and the Rosary Closing Prayer.
  • Bless yourself by making the Sign of the Cross.