The Rosary is traditionally prayed with a set or string of rosary beads – the beads represent points in the cycle of prayers which repeat through the cycle. If you don’t have Rosary beads, you can use the picture shown on the left to keep track, or just use your fingers to count! The whole Rosary is composed of twenty “decades”; a decade is made up of an Our Father, ten ‘Hail Marys’ and a ‘Glory be’. Each decade is recited in honour of a mystery in Our Lord’s Life and that of his Blessed Mother. It is customary to recite five decades at a time while meditating on one set of mysteries – this is the structure you will find common Rosary beads built upon.

How to pray the Rosary

Follow the instructions below. The prayers mentioned can be found in full at the bottom of this page.


  • While holding the crucifix make the Sign of the Cross and say the ‘Apostles’ Creed’.
  • Recite the ‘Our Father’ on the first large single bead.
  • Recite a ‘Hail Mary’ on each of the three small beads.
  • Recite the ‘Glory be to the Father’ on the next large single bead.

The Mystery Meditations

You will complete this section five times, once for each mystery in the set. Select the set you are going to use below and keep this tab open during the prayer. Traditionally JOYFUL are said on Monday and Saturday, SORROWFUL on Tuesday and Friday, GLORIOUS on Wednesday and Sunday and LUMINOUS on Thursday.

Joyful Sorrowful Glorious Luminous
The AnnunciationThe Visitation

The Nativity

The Presentation

Finding in the Temple

Agony in the GardenScourging at the Pillar

Crowning with Thorns

Carrying of the Cross

The Crucifixion

The ResurrectionThe Ascension

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Assumption

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Baptism of the LordThe Wedding at Cana

The Proclamation of the Kingdom

The Transfiguration

The Institution of the Eucharist

  • Pause and call to mind the Mystery Set you are starting to contemplate.
  • Recall the first or next Mystery in the Set (they are numbered 1 to 5 above) and recite the ‘Our Father’ on the large single bead (note this is the same bead you just said a ‘Glory be’ on).
  • On each of the adjacent ten small beads (also referred to as a decade) recite a Hail Mary while reflecting on the mystery.
  • After the ten ‘Hail Mary’s, on the next large single bead, recite the ‘Glory Be to the Father’.
  • Repeat the Mystery Meditation for each of the remaining mysteries within your chosen set. If this is now your fifth and final mystery you will find you have travelled full circle around your beads.


  • Say the ‘Salve Regina’ (Hail Holy Queen) and a final Sign of the Cross.


Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the Communion of Saints,
the forgivness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name:
Thy kingdom come:
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread:
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation:
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Salve Regina

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.