How to Use a Rosary: A Beginner's Guide

"When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer."

— St. Louis de Montfort

For centuries, praying the rosary has been an important spiritual discipline in the Catholic Church. Through spiritual and personal meditations, the rosary helps Catholics deepen their relationship with God and glorify the holiness of Jesus and Mary.

If you are new to this tradition, understanding how to use a rosary can help you connect with God during your meditations. After grasping the prayer structure, where and how you pray the rosary can become a personal, religious journey. For example, Catholic author Peggy Bowes created the Rosary Workout to help Catholics pray the rosary during exercise. Bowe’s creative spin on praying the rosary inspires Catholics to meditate and enrich their faith while living a healthier lifestyle.

As Bowes has shown, establishing a process for praying the rosary will make your prayer life easier and more reflective.

Start praying the rosary with this beginner's guide:

Crucifix: Make the Sign of the Cross and say the Apostle's Creed.

First large bead: Pray the Our Father.

Three smaller beads: Pray the Hail Mary. After the third Hail Mary, pray one Glory Be.

Next large bead: Announce any intentions you may have and the first Mystery you intend to meditate on for the day. Keep in mind that each set of mysteries is said on specific days: Joyful (Monday and Saturday), Sorrowful (Tuesday and Friday), Glorious (Wednesday and Sunday) and Luminous (Thursday). After you announce the first mystery, say the Our Father.

Ten smaller beads: Moving counterclockwise, pray one Hail Mary on each bead. After the last Hail Mary, Pray one Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer.

Large bead: Announce the second Mystery and pray one Our Father.

Ten smaller beads: Pray one Hail Mary on each bead. After the last Hail Mary, pray one Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer.

Next three decades: Announce the third mystery and pray a decade for the third, fourth and fifth mysteries consecutively repeating the order above.

Medal: After the fifth decade, pray the Hail Holy Queen. Reflect on your meditations and make the Sign of the Cross to complete the rosary.

This beginner's guide to praying the rosary can help you focus on the power of God's love at any time and any place. Praying the rosary consistently builds your relationship with God. Take Peggy Bowes' example of praying the rosary during activities with opportunities for self-reflection, such as aerobic exercise, nature walks, or even long car rides, and focus your thoughts on the beauty of prayer.

Learn more about how to use a rosary by reading this helpful rosary pamphlet and browse more rosaries available at Leaflet Missal.

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