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How to pray the Rosary


The structure of the Rosary prayer, recited using the rosary beads, is as follows: (Ball 2003)

The Rosary is begun on the short strand:

  • The sign of the cross on the Crucifix;

  • The prayer "O Lord, open my lips; (Psalm 51:15) O God, come to my aid; O Lord, make haste to help me", (Psalm 69:2) still on the Crucifix;

  • The Apostles' Creed, still on the Crucifix;

  • The Lord's Prayer at the first large bead (for the needs of the Catholic Church and for the intentions of the pope);

  • The Hail Mary on each of the next three beads (for the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity); and

  • The Glory Be in the space before the next large bead.

The praying of the decades then follows, repeating this cycle for each mystery:

  • Announce the mystery;

  • The Lord's Prayer on the large bead;

  • The Hail Mary on each of the ten adjacent small beads;

  • The Glory Be on the space before the next large bead; and

To conclude:

  • The Salve Regina;

  • The Loreto Litany;

  • Any further intentions; and

  • The sign of the cross.

ending each decade with "May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace'' (McNicholas 1917). The Fatima Prayer is commonly said after the Gloria Patri as a pious addition, still on the large bead.


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