The Rosary is a traditional way of praying while meditating on certain key events that define the Christian faith, called “mysteries”. Because of this, the vast majority of the Rosary is based on the recitation of verses from the Scriptures.
The word Rosary derives from the Latin word for a “crown of roses”. And in this sense, the Rosary is an offering we make to God and Our Lady, as if by crafting beautiful and fragrant flower-chains with our prayers. The Mysteries of the Rosary then are the “gems” in our crowns; the events through which God redeemed us in Jesus Christ, and demonstrated his unmeasured love for us. The beads which many people hold whilst praying the Rosary are also sometimes called “Rosary crowns” for this reason.
One of the best books the Rosary was written by a Methodist minister, Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy: Meditations on the Rosary (J.N.Ward). Notably, however, this book does not include the Mysteries of Light (Luminous) which were endorsed by the Church in the year 2000.
Where do I start?
Praying the Rosary is one of those practical things that take more time to explain how they’re done, than actually doing them. But to put it simply, anyone who knows few traditional prayers can pray a Rosary; you will also need to follow the Mysteries as you pray. If you do not have any Rosary beads, it is perfectly fine to count with your fingers, though counting beads frees your mind to help you meditate. Immerse yourself in the scene described by each mystery, whilst quietly saying the prayers.
If pray the Rosary with someone else the leader says the words in plain text, and everyone joins in with the words in bold.
1. Make the Sign of the Cross.
2. Holding the Crucifix, pray the Apostles' Creed.
3. On the first bead, pray the Lord’s Prayer.
4. Pray three Hail Mary on each of the next three beads.
5. Pray the Glory Be.
6. For each of the five decades, read the Mystery, then pray the Lord’s Prayer.
7. Sy ten Hail Mary while meditating on the Mystery, then a Glory Be. Additional prayers may be said at this point.
8. After saying the five decades, pray the Hail Holy Queen, and the concluding prayer.