AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLY ROSARY
The Rosary is an ancient and beloved form of prayer in which we contemplate the fifteen chief historical events up-on which our faith is founded. In praying the Rosary, the Our Father is said upon every large bead, and the Hail Mary upon every small bead, with each decade, or set of ten, being ended with the Glory be. Each decade is said in honour of some sacred mystery which is set apart for contemplation during the prayers.
THE MANNER OF SAYING THE ROSARY
- Holding the cross in the right hand, make the Holy Sign, saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
- While still holding the cross, say the Apostles’ Creed
- Upon the first large bead after the cross, say the Our Father. Upon each of the next three small beads, say a Hail Mary. After the third Hail Mary, say the Glory be upon the knot or chain.
- Then name the mystery upon which you are to meditate first. For example, “The Annunciation of Our Lady.”
- While contemplating this mystery, say the Our Father on the large bead just before the medal. Then say a Hail Mary on each of the ten small beads after the medal. After the tenth Hail Mary, say the Glory be on the knot or chain. (As an aid to this contemplation, certain short devotional phrases may be added to each recitation of the Hail Mary, as is described below.)
- Now proceed to the second mystery, saying the Our Father on the large bead and ten Hail Marys on the small beads, ending with the Glory be. Continue in this wise until the Chaplet, or set of mysteries appointed for the day, has been finished.
- At the end of this set, or Chaplet, of five mysteries, recite the Salve Regina, followed by its proper versicle and collect. This last being said, the Rosary is ended.
THE PRAYERS OF THE ROSARY
Signum Crucis: In the name of the, Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Apostles’ Creed: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the body, and the Life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father: 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.
Hail Mary: 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 in the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
THE FIFTEEN MYSTERIES
Here follows a list of simple phrases which may, as an aid to both memory and devotion, be added to the recitation of each Hail Mary after the Holy Name of Jesus is said, in this wise: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, whom we ask to increase our faith. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.
The Prologue of the Rosary – Said daily upon the first three small beads before the medal.
I. Faith, “…Whom we ask to increase our faith.”
II. Hope, “…Whom we ask to strengthen our hope.”
III. Charity, “…Whom we ask to enkindle our charity.”
The Joyful Mysteries – Said on Mondays and Thursdays, and on Sundays in Advent.
I. The Annunciation of Our Lady, “…Whom thou, O Virgin, didst conceive of the Holy Ghost.”
II. The Visitation of Our Lady, “…Whom thou, O Virgin, didst bear with thee to Elizabeth.”
III. The Nativity of Our Lord, “…Who was born to thee, O Virgin.”
IV. The Presentation of Our Lord, “…Whom thou, O Virgin, didst offer in the Temple.”
V. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple, “…Whom thou, O Virgin, didst find in the Temple.”
The Sorrowful Mysteries – Said on Wednesdays and Fridays, and on Sundays in Lent.
I. The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden, “…Who sweat blood for us.”
II. The Scourging of Our Lord, “…Who was scourged for us.”
III. The Crowning with Thorns, “…Who was crowned with thorns for us.”
IV. The Carrying of the Cross, “…Who carried the heavy cross for us.”
V. The Crucifixion of Our Lord, “…Who was crucified for us.”
The Glorious Mysteries – Said on Tuesdays and Saturdays; and on Sundays from Easter to Advent and from Christmas to Lent.
I. The Resurrection of Our Lord, “…Who arose from the dead.”
II. The Ascension of Our Lord, “…Who ascended into Heaven.”
III. The Descent of the Holy Ghost, “…Who hath sent us the Holy Ghost.”
IV. The Assumption of Our Lady, “…Who hath assumed thee, O Virgin, into Heaven.”
V. The Crowning of Our Lady in Heaven, “…Who hath crowned thee, O Virgin, in Heaven.”
CONCLUSION OF THE ROSARY
Salve Regina: Mary, we hail thee, Mother and Queen compassionate; Mary our comfort, life, and hope, we hail thee. To thee we exiles, children of Eve lift our crying. To thee we are sighing, as mournful and weeping, we pass through this vale of sorrow. Turn thou, therefore, O our intercessor, those thine eyes of pity and loving–kindness upon us sinners. Hereafter, when our earthly exile shall be ended, shew us Jesus, the blessed fruit of thy womb. O gentle, O tender, O gracious Virgin Mary.
Proper Versicle & Response:
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Proper Collect: Let us Pray. O God, whose only–begotten Son, by his life, death, and resurrection, hath purchased for us the reward of eternal life; grant, we beseech thee; that as we meditate upon these Mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise; through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
The Memorare: (Which may be added to one’s devotions as desired) Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thy intercession, was left forsaken. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.