How to Pray the Rosary

Praying the Rosary is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular devotions and enduring images. You may want to dedicate the Rosary to a specific intention, like a sick friend or relative.


Up next in Christian Beliefs, Prayer & Practice (7 videos)

Been a while since religion class? Refresh your memory on how to pray the rosary, go to confession, say the "Act of Contrition" and say your prayers with these Howcast videos. Plus, learn what's involved in becoming a saint.

You Will Need

  • At least 20 minutes without interruptions
  • Rosary beads (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Begin on crucifix

    Begin on the crucifix by making the sign of the cross.

  2. Step 2

    Say Apostles' Creed

    Say the Apostles’ Creed, a profession of faith.

  3. Step 3

    On the first large bead ...

    On the first large bead, say an Our Father.

  4. Rosary beads are actually optional. You can also use your fingers to keep track of where you are.

  5. Step 4

    On the next three beads ...

    On each of the next three smaller beads, say a Hail Mary.

  6. Step 5

    On the next large bead ...

    On the next large bead, say a Glory Be.

  7. Step 6

    Meditate on the first mystery

    Meditate on the first mystery. If you’re in a group, the leader will announce it first.

  8. Step 7

    Say an Our Father

    Say an Our Father.

  9. Step 8

    Move clockwise

    Move clockwise to the next decade, or group of ten beads. Say a Hail Mary for each of the next 10 smaller beads.

  10. Step 9

    On the next large bead ...

    On the next large bead, say a Glory Be.

  11. Step 10

    Meditate on the second mystery

    Meditate on the second mystery.

  12. Deepen the experience by saying the prayers slowly and really reflecting on the mysteries.

  13. Step 11

    Repeat the cycle

    Repeat the cycle—saying an Our Father, followed by a Hail Mary for each of the 10 smaller beads, followed by a Glory Be, followed by the next mystery—though the fifth decade.

  14. Step 12

    After fifth decade ...

    Once you’ve completed the fifth decade, say the Prayer after the Rosary on the medallion.

  15. Step 13

    Make the Sign of the Cross

    Make the Sign of the Cross.

  16. Prayer beads are used in Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.