The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostle's Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Christian faith. The Our Father which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary. The Mysteries of the Rosary center on the events of Christ’s life. There are four sets of Mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and––added by Pope John Paul II in 2002––the Luminous.
The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ’s spirit dwells. The Rosary can be said privately or with a group.
“The traditional image of the Madonna of the Rosary depicts Mary holding the child Jesus in her arm and giving the rosary to St. Dominic. This significant iconography shows that the rosary is a means given by the Virgin for contemplating Jesus and, meditating on his life, for loving and following him always more faithfully.” Benedict XVI
The Five Joyful Mysteries - are traditionally prayed on Mondays, Saturdays, and on the Sundays of Advent:
The Five Sorrowful Mysteries - are traditionally prayed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and on the Sundays of Lent:
The Five Glorious Mysteries - are traditionally prayed on Wednesdays and on the Sundays outside of Lent and Advent:
The Five Luminous Mysteries - are traditionally prayed on Thursdays:
Praying the Mysteries
After saying the five decades, say:
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life. Grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating on these mysteries of 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. Amen.