The Rosary

"Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed."Mark 1:35

I Hold the Sun

The Rosary is a long-standing devotion of the Church.  As the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults writes “The popularity of the Rosary has been attributed to St. Dominic and the Dominican Order.  It grew out of the laity’s desire to have 150 prayers to match the 150 psalms changed by the monks in monasteries” (USCCB, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. Washington, DC: USCCB, 2006. page 298).

The Rosary resembles a necklace but it is NOT a necklace or jewelry.  It is for prayer.  Typically the Rosary is assembled in five decades.  They are called decades because each decade consists of ten beads for ten Hail Mary's.  Each decade is preceded by a single bead on which an Our Father is prayed.  At the end of each decade a Glory Be prayer is said.  While praying each decade the person meditates on one of the mysteries of the rosary.  There are currently four sets of mysteries.

The Joyful Mysteries

  • The Annunciation
  • The Visitation
  • The Nativity
  • The Presentation
  • The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Sorrow Mysteries

  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Scourging
  • The Crowning with Thorns
  • The Carrying of the Cross
  • The Crucifixion

The Glorious Mysteries

  • The Resurrection
  • The Ascension
  • The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  • The Assumption
  • The Coronation

The Luminous Mysteries

  • The Baptism of the Lord
  • The Wedding of Cana
  • The Proclamation of the Kingdom
  • The Transfiguration
  • The Institution of the Eucharist

Traditionally there were only three sets of mysteries for a total of fifteen.  The fifteen decades of ten beads made for a total of 150 beads symbolizing the 150 psalms.  Prior to the beads for the decades, there are three beads and a small crucifix.  One prays the Apostles' Creed on the crucifix followed by three Hail Mary's on the beads and one Glory be prayer.

Other forms of liturgy and prayer include:

Here are some video presentations by Fr. Jeff on prayer:

Updated 7/21/22