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How to say the rosary

For many Catholic Christians, the Rosary has been a vital part of their prayer life and faith journey throughout their lives.  The Rosary consists of several prayers, each being said, or prayed, on a specific bead or section of the Rosary.  The Rosary helps each person pray these prayers and also helps to keep track of their place while praying an entire Rosary. 

Getting started, one might ask, "How to say the rosary"?  What prayers do I need to know?  In what order do I say each prayer?  We can help you with all of these questions.

While praying specific prayers on specific beads of the rosary is a great start on how to say the rosary, we also need to remember that there is much more to just saying these prayers to really learn how to say the rosary.  We also need to remember that while praying these specific prayers, we are also concentrating or meditating on a specific events in the life of Christ and/or His Blessed Mother, Mary. These specific events are called the Mysteries of the Rosary.  There are four (4) sets of Mysteries with five (5) of each kind of Mystery for a complete Rosary.  These five (5) each of four (4) Mysteries can be found in this link in more detail.

According to Pope John Paul II, when we contemplate on how to say the rosary, he suggests that at the beginning of each decade of the rosary we 1) announce the appropriate mystery, 2) read a related Biblical passage, and 3) remain in silence for a brief period to help us focus on the mystery we are about to pray.  At the end of each mystery (end of each decade), we should pray for the grace to apply the lessons from these mysteries to our daily lives.  (1)

It is also suggested by the US Catholic Catechism for Adults on how to say the rosary, that the repetition of the ten (10) Hail Mary's in each decade for each mystery is meant to lead us into contemplative and restful prayer realted to that mystery.  There are also many who say the rosary think of these 10 Hail Mary's as a kind of background music that helps them to rest in the devine presence.  The gentle repitition of the words helps us to enter the silence of our hearts, where the Holy Spirit dwells. (2)

The rosary beads themselves have significant meaning on how to say the rosary.  In its most simple form, we use the rosary beads as a counting mechanism to keep track of the number of Hail Marys in each decade of the rosary.  But the rosary beads can also take on a symbolism which gives added depth to comtemplation.  Here, "the beads converge upon the Crucifix, which opens and closes the unfolding sequence of prayer.  The life and prayer of believers is centered upon Christ.  Everything begins from Him, everything leads toward Him, everything, through Him, in the Holy Spirit, attains to the Father." (3)  We can also look a the rosary beads as the unending path of contemplation and of Christian perfection. (4)  Blessed Bartolo Longo saw the rosary beads as a kind of "chain" that links us to God. (5) And finally, another symbolism of the rosary beads is to let them remind us of our many relationships, which unites us all in Christ. (6)

 

References

(1) Pray The Rosary pamphlet from Priests of the Sacred Heart.

(2) United States Catholic Catechism for Adults; 2006, p. 300.

(3) Apostolic Letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae; RVM), of the Supreme Pontif John Paul II/The Rosary Beads.

(4) Apostolic Letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae; RVM), of the Supreme Pontif John Paul II/The Rosary Beads.

(5) Apostolic Letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae; RVM), of the Supreme Pontif John Paul II/The Rosary Beads.

(6) Apostolic Letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae; RVM), of the Supreme Pontif John Paul II/The Rosary Beads.

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