How to pray the rosary with a photographic guide to prayers on each of the beads.

Now that you have an idea of the basic structure of the rosary, how the sets of Mysteries are organized, and the daily calendar, you're ready to discover the prayers and their order in the rosary.


The graphic below shows the rosary in full, and the organization of prayers.  Please note that in this photo, the rosary is prayed in the counter-clockwise direction, with the first decade starting off from the top right of the center medal.  If you prefer, you may choose to pray the circle of decades in the clockwise direction.  In that case, the first decade would start from the top left of the center medal.

The organization of prayers on the common rosary.

Begin on the crucifix

Make the sign of the cross:


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and

of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


+ Pray the Apostle's 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,

And born of the Virgin Mary.

He 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 the Father.

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 dead,

And life everlasting.  Amen.

On the 1st bead above the crucifix (the introductory Our Father), pray:

one 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.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil. Amen.


God touches Adam.

On the next 3 small beads, pray:

one Hail Mary on each (for an increase in faith, hope and charity).


Hail Mary!  Full of Grace,

The Lord is with Thee!

Bless’ed art Thou amongst women,

And bless’ed is the fruit

of Thy womb, Jesus.


Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners

Now, and at the hour of our death.


The Archangel Gabriel visits Holy Mary.

On the next large bead (just below the center medal):

Call to mind (and keep in mind) the 1st mystery.

Announce the mystery (silently, or out loud in vocal prayer as with a group).

Pray one Our Father.

On the 1st ten beads above the center medal, pray:

one Hail Mary on each bead.

On the chain segment after the 10th Hail Mary, pray:

one 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 forever shall be

world without end.  Amen.


followed by The Fatima Prayer:


O Jesus, my Savior, forgive us our sins.

Save us from the fires of hell.

Lead all souls to heaven,

especially those most in need of Thy mercy.  Amen

The Holy Spirit dove in stained glass.

On the next large bead:

Call to mind (and keep in mind) the 2nd mystery.

Announce the mystery (silently or out loud in vocal prayer as with a group).

Pray one Our Father.

On the second set of ten small beads (second decade), pray:

one Hail Mary on each bead.

On the chain segment after the 10th Hail Mary of the 2nd decade, pray:

one Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer.

The apparition of Holy Mary in Fatima.

Continue the rest of the circle portion of the rosary,

announcing the mystery and praying one Our Father on the large beads, praying ten Hail Marys on the decade beads, and reciting the Glory Be and Fatima Prayer on the chain segment after each decade until you arrive back at the center medal.

Closing prayers on the center medal

You may choose to offer a prayer for the intentions of the Pope on the center medal.


The traditional closing prayer of the Rosary is the Hail, Holy Queen:

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.  Amen.

Holy Mary is crowned in heaven.

Your five decade rosary may also be used to pray other devotions, such as the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Please find the prayers for this and other devotions on the full rosary in Stack II of the Meinssen Handmade Rosaries library section.

Meinssen Handmade Rosaries established May 2007


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If we have died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself.
Timothy 2:11-13