The Rosary

The Rosary

What is it?

The rosary is a form of structured prayer that can be said alone or with others, out loud or in silence. While praying the rosary we are invited to meditate on the mysteries of our salvation through Jesus. Traditional rosary beads are used as an aid to praying the rosary, but although repetition of the Hail Mary is a key component of the prayer, at its heart the rosary is a meditation on the miracles and mysteries of the life of Jesus.

How do I do it?

The rosary consists of five sections, called “decades.” During each decade you meditate on a “mystery” of Jesus’ life. A decade begins with the announcement of the mystery, a recitation of the Our Father prayer, followed by ten Hail Marys (the “decade”) and ending with the Glory Be prayer. Moving the beads through your fingers helps you remember how many recitations have been made.

For more detailed instructions on praying the rosary, click here.


The Joyful Mysteries

Through the Joyful Mysteries we recall and reflect on how Jesus came to be born through Mary and some of the events of his infancy and childhood.
  • The Annunciation: The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she is to become the Mother of Jesus. Luke 1:26-38.
  • The Visitation: Mary visits and helps her cousin Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-56.
  • The Nativity: Mary gives birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. Luke 2:1-20.
  • The Presentation in the Temple: The child Jesus is presented in the Temple. Luke 2:21-38.
  • The finding of the child Jesus in the Temple: Jesus is found in the Temple and "all who heard Him were amazed." Luke 2:41-51.

The Luminous Mysteries

In the Mysteries of Light we recall and reflect on the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and his teachings.
  • The Baptism in the Jordan: Jesus' public life begins when John baptizes him in the Jordan. Matthew 3:13-17.
  • The Wedding Feast at Cana: Jesus performs his first sign, turning water into wine. John 2:1-11.
  • The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God: Jesus calls everyone to enter the Kingdom of God. Matthew 4:12-17.
  • The Transfiguration: Jesus briefly reveals his divine glory in the presence of Peter, John and James. Mathew 17:1-8
  • The Institution of the Eucharist: The Passover meal receives a new meaning with the institution of the Eucharist, anticipating the glory of the Kingdom. Matthew 26:26-29.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Sorrowful Mysteries invite us to recall and reflect on Jesus’ suffering and death.
  • The Agony in the Garden: Jesus suffers his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and overcomes temptation through prayer. Matthew 26:36-46.
  • The Scourging at the Pillar: Jesus is taken to Pilate and is mocked and whipped at the pillar. John 19:1-3.
  • The Crowning with Thorns: Jesus is crowned with a circle of sharp thorns. Matthew 27:27-31.
  • The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus carries the cross to Golgotha. Mark 15:21-24.
  • The Crucifixion: Jesus dies on the cross. Luke 23:33-46.

The Glorious Mysteries

The Glorious Mysteries recall the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead and his commissioning of the apostles. Mary is also glorified in her bodily assumption into heaven and her crowning as Queen of Heaven.
  • The Resurrection: Jesus rises from the dead on the third day. Luke 24:1-12.
  • The Ascension: Jesus ascends into heaven forty days after resurrection. Mark 16:19-20.
  • The descent of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit descends upon Mary and the apostles. Acts 2.1-4.
  • The Assumption: Mary, "when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven" (CCC, 974). Luke 1:46-55.
  • The crowning of Our Lady Queen of Heaven: Mary is crowned Queen of heaven and earth. Revelation 12:1.

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