Praying the Rosary


To pray the full Rosary, do you just have to pray the 5 decades? Or do you also have to pray the beads at the bottom? What are those beads for anyway?


Here is a website that is very helpful to those new to the rosary:


But do you have to pray all those or just the 5 decades? Whats the mysteries?


Look up at the top of the page I gave you. You’ll see all the mysteries listed, click on the mysteries to learn what they are. Annoucning the mysteries is part of praying the rosary…as you pray, these scenes are what you reflect on. :slight_smile: It’s not just saying Hail Marys, Our Father, etc…it’s the meditation as you repeat those prayers.

Please know that praying the Rosary isn’t easy, and requires patience (and for me, solitude).


So you have to do all that? Sounds complicated. I read the mysteries change depending on the day? Also I only see 4 catiegories and there are 5 decades.


Also, certain days of the week call for certain mysteries, once you’re up to speed. Here they are:

Joyful Mysteries- Mondays, Saturdays

Sorrowful Mysteries- Tuesdays, Fridays

Glorious Mysteries- Wednesdays, Sundays

Mysteries of Light (sometimes called Luminous)- Thursdays


And yeah, it is complicated. Please don’t think anybody picks this up right off the bat; it requires a lot of attention. All you can do is try, and the more you try, the easier it will come to you. I have a prayer card I frequently reference if I forget the order of a mystery.


You pray the bottom as you begin the Rosary. Make the sign of the cross at the cross. Recite the Apostle’s Creed. Say the Lord’s Prayer on the first bead. Say three Hail Marys at the three beads. Say the Glory Be on the space between the three and the single bead. On the single bead, announce the first mystery and say an Our Father.

The Mysteries:

The Joyful Mysteries - Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Sorrowful Mysteries - Agony in the Garden, Scourging, Crowning with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, Crucifixion

The Glorious Mysteries - Resurrection, Acension, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Assumption of Mary, Coronation of Mary


There are a total of 20 mysteries to be meditated upon while praying the rosary.
These mysteries are divided into 4 sets of 5 mysteries each.
The sets are the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.
Each of the mysteries pertains to an event in the life of Christ and/or His mother Mary.

The rosary begins with the Apostles Creed “in honor of the mysteries of our faith.” This followed by the Our Father and three Hail Mary’s. In St. Louis de Montfort’s introduction, these prayers represent The unity of God’s Essence and the Trinity. The three beads are also a prayer for faith, hope, and charity. This beginning to the rosary ends with the Glory Be.

Each decade of the rosary begins with The Our Father and the mystery being meditated upon, followed by ten Hail Mary’s and a Glory Be.
You choose the set of mysteries based on the day of the week.
Please check out the links provided by other posters.


Wow, this seems really complicated, I thought you just had to pray the 5 decades at a minimum to pray the rosary.


Don’t forget the Mysteries of Light! :smiley: I think that’s my favorite.

Mysteries of Light-

Christ’s Baptism
Wedding at Cana
Proclomation of the Kingdom
Institution of the Eucharist


Bacon Man-

Sometimes, it is helpful to pray the Rosary with a group…sometimes some will arrange to do this right before Eucharistic Adoration. Anyway, in a group, you’ll have someone else leading it up, who can announce the mysteries.

Do you have a missalette? In the back are drawings of the mysteries, to better help you think about them.


There’s a little book out called “The Scriptural Rosary,” which has a Bible verse for each bead in each mystery. I found that helpful for me to focus and get started on meditating on them.


It does seems complicated when you first start.
My family prayed the rosary every evening so it has been always been part of my life.
My family did not state the mysteries and we ended with an Act of Contrition rather than the more common Hail Holy Queen
There are books and holy cards as well as other guides for the beginner.

I think it also helps if you know a little about the history of the rosary. It actually began with peasants who listened as the monks in nearby monasteries recited the 150 psalms. The rosary was peasant’s way to connect with the monks while continuing to work. They carried rocks in their pockets to keep count of the Patre Nostras that they prayed. These Our Fathers were gradually replaced with Hail Marys and the rocks strung unto string so that we have the rosary as we know it today.
The 150 Hail Marys coincide with the number of psalms in the Bible. The Luminous Mysteries, which I love, were added by Pope John Paul II bringing the total number of Hail Marys in the complete rosary to 200.
Again, most people only pray one set of mysteries per day, with 10 Hail Marys recited per mystery.

Does your parish have a rosary group? They would welcome a newcomer.


200? I thought you prayed the beads, thats 5 decades plus those 3, wouldnt that be 53?


It is 200 plus 3 if you pray all the mysteries. However, generally speaking you are right. We simply pray one set of mysteries on a particular day, or one time around the rosary.
Giving you the total number was not meant to scare you.
Again, this number is generally split throughout the week.
If you pray the 5 decades, then you have prayed the rosary.


Do you have to meditate on the mysteries? Is it required? Can’t you just say the prayer assigned to each bead?


I’ve started praying the Rosary this week, and I think it’s going well… but the Mysteries confuse me a little. My boyfriend’s mother lent me a very convenient little book with the names, descriptions, and a prayer after each Mystery… I’ve been just reading the description, pausing to think about it for a minute or so, and then launching into the Our Father… is this correct? Or should I be doing more, less…?

I love praying the Rosary. It gives me a peace to just sit in solitude and think about all of the incredible things that have been done for us… there is a certain comfort in the familiarity of it, as well as a good deal of learning as I study each of the Mysteries. I just hope I’m not offending God, Mary, or any of the Saints when I mess it up, as I’m pretty new to this… :shrug:


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