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.


  • Step 1: Begin on crucifix Begin on the crucifix by making the sign of the cross.
  • Step 2: Say Apostles' Creed Say the Apostles’ Creed, a profession of faith.
  • Step 3: On the first large bead ... On the first large bead, say an Our Father.
  • TIP: Rosary beads are actually optional. You can also use your fingers to keep track of where you are.
  • Step 4: On the next three beads ... On each of the next three smaller beads, say a Hail Mary.
  • Step 5: On the next large bead ... On the next large bead, say a Glory Be.
  • Step 6: Meditate on the first mystery Meditate on the first mystery. If you’re in a group, the leader will announce it first.
  • Step 7: Say an Our Father Say an Our Father.
  • 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.
  • Step 9: On the next large bead ... On the next large bead, say a Glory Be.
  • Step 10: Meditate on the second mystery Meditate on the second mystery.
  • TIP: Deepen the experience by saying the prayers slowly and really reflecting on the mysteries.
  • 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.
  • Step 12: After fifth decade ... Once you’ve completed the fifth decade, say the Prayer after the Rosary on the medallion.
  • Step 13: Make the Sign of the Cross Make the Sign of the Cross.
  • FACT: Prayer beads are used in Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

You Will Need

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

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