The Rosary is a beautiful way to pray. Threading the beads through our fingers, our hearts and minds are turned to the Mystery of Mary’s son and Saviour.
Each particular Mystery of the rosary inclines us to an incident in the life of Jesus. Accompanied by Mary’s prayers, we are drawn closer to Christ, for Mary is the one through whom he comes into the world.
She is the one who points us to the one who comes that we may have life in all its fullness.
At St Mary's, we pray the rosary every week.
You are more than welcome to join us.
The Rosary consists of 5 groups of 10 beads arranged in a circle. Each group is divided by a larger bead. Each group of beads is called a ‘decade.’ It is each ‘decade’ of the rosary that focuses our hearts and minds on a particular Mystery. It is our prayer that we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.
There is also a short string of five beads finishing with a cross or crucifix. These are for our preparatory prayers. Beginning with the sign of the cross we make a physical gesture, placing our trust in Christ who through his saving death and resurrection has given us life and a new future with God.
We begin by holding the cross in our hand and making the sign of the cross. We then say the Apostles’ Creed
Now hold the first bead and say the Lord’s Prayer.
As you thread the next three beads through your fingers say a Hail Mary for each bead, finishing off with a ‘Glory be…’ on the final bead.
Recall the mystery you are about to meditate upon, and then begin with the Lord’s Prayer on the first bead, then ten Hail Marys for each bead of the decade.
Whilst you are praying each ‘Hail Mary’ meditate upon the particular mystery. Let the rhythm of the prayer still your mind, and Mary’s prayers open your heart to what God is showing you.
Complete the decade with a prayer of praise as you say the Glory be.
Use the same bead to start the next decade, beginning again with the Lord’s Prayer. It’s as simple as that!
When the Rosary is being prayed with others it is customary for the person leading to say the first half of the Lord’s Prayer up until ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ and then the people respond with the second half.
The same occurs with the ‘Hail Mary.’ On the next decade, the people lead on the first half of the Lord’s prayer and Hail Mary. This continues to alternate through the Mysteries
It is traditional to say the various decades on different days of the week: for example, the Glorious Mysteries on Sunday, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday, but you should feel free to say whichever mysteries are appropriate to you at the time.
Perhaps you will want to offer your time of prayer as intercession for someone or something. Maybe a particular Mystery seems relevant to some prayer of concern or need you are carrying in your heart. You could also read the relevant section of Scripture as you make your way through the Mysteries
There are also a few prayers which may be said after the rosary including an Anthem to Our Lady such as Hail Holy Queen.
There are 20 Mysteries arranged into 4 groups, and each Mystery can be found within the pages of the New Testament:
The Joyful Mysteries
The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)
The Visitation (Luke 1:39-56)
The Birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-9)
Presentation of the Lord (Lk 2:22-39)
The Finding in the Temple Lk2:41-51
The Mysteries of Light
The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:1-17)
Jesus at the Wedding in Cana (John 2:1-12)
The Proclamation of the Kingdom (Mark 1:15)
The Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36)
Institution of the Eucharist (Mat 26:26-29)
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony in the Garden (Luke 22:39-46)
The Scourging (Matthew 27:26)
Crowning with Thorns (Mat 27:29-30)
Jesus carries his cross (Luke 23:26-32)
The Crucifixion (Luke 23:33)
The Glorious Mysteries
The Resurrection (Luke 24:1-8)
The Ascension (Luke 24:50-53)
Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)
The Assumption (Revelation 3:21)
The Crowning of Mary (Rev 2:10/12:1)
Download a leaflet with the prayers of the rosary
by clicking on the image above.