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The Rosary

Step-By-Step" Instructions for Praying The Rosary

  1. Begin by holding the crucifix, saying "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," (making the sign of the Cross while doing that), then say the Apostles Creed.

  2. On the single bead just above the cross, pray the "Our Father." This and all prayers of the rosary are meditative prayers.

  3. The next cluster has 3 beads. The "Hail Mary" prayer is said on these three beads. You pray the 3 Hail Mary’s while meditating on the three divine virtues of faith, hope, and love/charity.

  4. On the chain or cord after the three beads, say the "Glory be..."

  5. On the next bead, which is a single bead, you announce the first divine mystery of contemplation.  For example, if it were a Monday, you would say the first Joyful Mystery is "The Annunciation", at this point you pray the "Our Father" prayer.

  6. Now this will bring you to the first decade, or set of 10 beads of the Rosary.  You will then pray 10 Hail Mary’s while contemplating the first mystery, example: The Annunciation.

  7. After the 10th Hail Mary you will have completed the first of 5 decades which make up a Chaplet of the Rosary.  You now come to another single bead, at this point, you pray the... Glory be to the Father... then (on the same bead) pray the O My Jesus... then (on the same bead) announce the next or second mystery.  For example: if it is Monday and your praying the Joyful Mysteries, the second Joyful Mystery is The Visitation.  At this point you pray the Our Father....

  8. You will now come to the second decade or group of 10 beads, you will now pray the 10 Hail Mary’s while contemplating the appropriate mystery.

  9. You continue to pray the rosary the same way throughout. If your intention is to pray a Chaplet (a single set of mysteries) at the end of the fifth mystery you will come back to the joiner, this is where the decades all join with the lower part of the rosary which contains the cross.  When you come to the joiner, you decide whether or not you wish to say another Chaplet or end.  If you decide to say another Chaplet you simply announce the next mystery and continue.  If you wish to end, you simply say the Glory Be To The Father, the O My Jesus, The Our Father and end the rosary with the Hail Holy Queen and the sign of the Cross........

Various Rosary Prayers in approximate order as prayed in the Rosary


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; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth 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.


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.


Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen. (this prayer is optional and may be said after all Glory Be to the Fathers ....).


After each decade say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy." (Our Lady at Fatima, 13th July 1917).


Devotion and Prayers

After the Rosary:


(Hail Holy Queen):  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, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

V: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God

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



O God, by the life, death and resurrection of Your only begotten Son, You purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech You that while meditation on these mysteries of the Holy rosary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.


V. May the Divine assistance remain always with us.

R. May the souls of the faithful departed, through your mercy, O God, rest in peace.



Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to Your protection, implored Your help, or sought Your intercession was left unaided.  Inspired with this confidence, we fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother.  To You we come; before You we stand, sinful and sorrowful.  O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Your mercy, hear and answer us.  Amen.


ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, defend us in our hour of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who wander through the world, seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.


GUARDIAN ANGEL, O Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.


FINISH by making the sign of the Cross,  (making the sign of the Cross while doing that), "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".  From Let Us Pray onwards are optional prayers,  it is up to the individual.


"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."



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.



Before Confession

Be truly sorry for your sins.  The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with repentance.  The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic.  This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary.  A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance.  God's grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.

Examination of Conscience

Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins, hatred for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again.

A helpful pattern for examination of conscience is to review the Commandments of God and the Precepts of the Church:

  1. Have God and the pursuit of sanctity in Christ been the goal of my life?  Have I denied my faith?  Have I placed my trust in false teachings or substitutes for God?  Did I despair of God's mercy?

  2. Have I avoided the profane use of God's name in my speech?  Have I broken a solemn vow or promise?

  3. Have I honored every Sunday by avoiding unnecessary work, celebrating the Mass (also holydays)?  Was I inattentive at, or unnecessarily late for Mass, or did I leave early?  Have I neglected prayer for a long time?

  4. Have I shown Christlike respect to parents, spouse, and family members, legitimate authorities?  Have I been attentive to the religious education and formation of my children?

  5. Have I cared for the bodily health and safety of myself and all others?  Did I abuse drugs or alcohol?  Have I supported in any way abortion, "mercy killing," or suicide?

  6. Was I impatient, angry, envious, proud, jealous, revengeful, lazy?  Have I forgiven others?

  7. Have I been just in my responsibilities to employer and employees?  Have I discriminated against others because of race or other reasons?

  8. Have I been chaste in thought and word?  Have I used sex only within marriage and while open to procreating life?  Have I given myself sexual gratification?  Did I deliberately look at impure TV, pictures, reading?

  9. Have I stolen anything from another, from my employer, from government? If so, am I ready to repay it? Did I fulfill my contracts? Did I rashly gamble, depriving my family of necessities?

  10. Have I spoken ill of any other person?  Have I always told the truth?  Have I kept secrets and confidences?

  11. Have I permitted sexual thoughts about someone to whom I am not married?

  12. Have I desired what belongs to other people?  Have I wished ill on another?

  13. Have I been faithful to sacramental living (Holy Communion and Penance)?

  14. Have I helped make my parish community stronger and holier?  Have I contributed to the support of the Church?

  15. Have I done penance by abstaining and fasting on obligatory days?  Have I fasted before receiving communion?

  16. Have I been mindful of the poor?  Do I accept God's will for me?



During Confession

After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional.  You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest.

Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  My last confession was _______ weeks (months, years) ago."

The priest may read a passage from Holy Scripture.

Say the sins that you remember.  Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say.  (In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.)  After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."

Listen to the words of the priest.  He will assign you some penance.  Doing the penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.  When invited, express some prayer of sorrow or Act of Contrition such as:

An Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell.  But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

After Confession

Listen to the words of absolution, the sacramental forgiveness of the Church through the ordained priest.

As you listen to the words of forgiveness you may make the sign of the cross with the priest.  If he closes by saying, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good," answer, "For His mercy endures forever."

After Confession

Give thanks to God for forgiving you again.  If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, rest assured that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next Confession.

Do your assigned Penance.


Resolve to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often.  We Catholics are fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven.  This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and virtuous life

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