Whether you’re new to praying the rosary, or just need a friendly reminder on the meaning behind each step, the following guide can help! In this companion to the diagram below (which you can download here), we share everything you need to know about praying the rosary – the steps, the prayers, and the mysteries.

Graphic explaining the steps to pray the rosary

Step by Step:

1. We begin with the sign of the cross and recite the Apostles Creed.

2. On the first bead we recite the Our Father.

3. On the three beads following, we recite the Hail Mary – three times in total, once for each bead.

4. Recite the Glory Be.

5.We now move on to the first of the five decades. The day of the week determines which mystery we meditate on. Announce the mystery and then say the Our Father.

6. For each bead, recite the Hail Mary while meditating the mystery. In total we recite the Hail Mary ten times. Finish with the Glory Be. 

7. Repeat for each decade. (Some say the Fatima prayer after each decade: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.)

8. After completing the five decades, recite the Hail, Holy Queen followed by the following prayer:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, 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.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: O God, whose Only Begotten Son,

by his life, Death, and Resurrection,

has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life,

grant, we beseech thee,

that while meditating on these mysteries

of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

we may imitate what they contain

and obtain what they promise,

through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

9. End with the sign of the cross

The Mysteries of the Rosary

The mysteries of the Rosary focus on the events of Christs’ life. We pray four sets of mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and the Luminous.

The Five Joyful Mysteries

Prayed on: Mondays, Saturdays and, during the season of Advent, on Sundays. The Five Joyful mysteries are as follows:

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Nativity
  4. The Presentation in the Temple
  5. The Finding in the Temple

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries

Prayed on: Tuesdays, Fridays and, during the season of Advent, on Sundays. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries are as follows:

  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning with Thorns
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion and Death

The Five Glorious Mysteries

Prayed on: Wednesdays and on Sundays, with the exception of during Advent and Lent.

  1. The Resurrection
  2. The Ascension
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Assumption
  5. The Coronation of Mary

The Five Luminous Mysteries

Prayed on: Thursdays

  1. The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan
  2. The Wedding Feast at Cana
  3. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist

Why Do We Pray the Mysteries of the Rosary?

The Rosary, and our repetition of it, is meant to lead us into restful contemplation of each mystery. The repetition of words helps us to connect with Christ.

The Prayers of The Rosary

The Rosary is a scripture-based prayer, meaning we pray from the bible.

The Apostles Creed

The Apostles Creed summarizes the great mysteries of our faith.

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 from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;

from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting.


The Our Father

The Our Father introduces each mystery and can be found in the Gospel of Matthew 6:9-13.

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.


The Hail Mary

The first part of the Hail Mary announces Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;

blessed are you among women,

and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners

now and at the hour of our death.


May you find peace and serenity in your prayers.


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