The Rosary is a form of prayer used in the Catholic faith, and it consists of a set of specific prayers and meditations on events in the lives of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. The standard Rosary prayers are as follows:
- The Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
- The Apostle’s 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 sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence, He shall 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.
- The Our Father (The 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.
- The Hail Mary (Ave Maria): 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.
- The Glory Be (Doxology): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
- The Fatima Prayer (optional): 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 Thy mercy.
- The Hail Holy Queen: Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, sweetness, and 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, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; after this, our exile, show 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.
The above prayers make up the basic structure of the Rosary. The Rosary is divided into groups of beads, and during the recitation of these prayers, one meditates on specific events in the lives of Jesus and Mary called “Mysteries.” There are three sets of Mysteries: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. The specific Mysteries you meditate on depend on the day of the week or liturgical season.
The Joyful Mysteries:
- The Annunciation
- The Visitation
- The Nativity
- The Presentation in the Temple
- The Finding in the Temple
The Sorrowful Mysteries:
- The Agony in the Garden
- The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Crowning with Thorns
- The Carrying of the Cross
- The Crucifixion
The Glorious Mysteries:
- The Resurrection
- The Ascension
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
- The Assumption of Mary
- The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
The Luminous Mysteries
- The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River
- The Wedding at Cana
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
- The Transfiguration
- The Institution of the Eucharist (The Last Supper)
When praying the Rosary, you typically meditate on one set of Mysteries for the day and cycle through the prayers while focusing on the corresponding events in the lives of Jesus and Mary.