I find that, when trying to explain how to pray the rosary, it helps to have a physical rosary at hand. Since I cannot virtually transport myself and my rosary into your home or office, here is a template that I think will be helpful as we go along. You can refer to this post on the Prayers of the Rosary to read about the prayers mentioned below. Here is the post for the mysteries. The numbering I have given below corresponds to the numbers on the diagram.
Begin with the Sign of the Cross.
1. The Apostles' Creed.
2. Our Father
3. three Hail Marys--these are your "intention beads". You mentally declare your intentions or petitions as you pray each of the three Hail Marys. You can make the same intention for each bead, thus offering your rosary for a single cause, or you can use three separate intentions.
4. Glory Be
5. First Decade
- On the previous single bead or the chain connecting the single bead with the first set of 10, recite state the first mystery and pray the Our Father.
- On each of the ten beads, pray one Hail Mary and reflect on the first mystery.
- On the chain following the set of ten and preceding the next single bead (6), pray one Glory Be and one Fatima Prayer.
7. Second Decade
- On each of the ten beads, pray one Hail Mary while reflecting on the second mystery.
- On the chain following the set of ten and preceding the next single bead (8), pray one Glory Be and one Fatima Prayer.
9. Third Decade (follow guidelines for Second Decade but using the third mystery)
10. State the fourth mystery and pray the Our Father.
11. Fourth Decade (follow guidelines for Second and Third Decades but using the fourth mystery)
12. State the fifth mystery and pray the Our Father.
13. Fifth Decade (follow guidelines for the Second through Fourth Decades but using the fifthy mystery)
14. Pray the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen).
15. Pray the "Prayer After the Rosary" and finish with the Sign of the Cross. I actually like to do this while holding the crucifix, but strictly speaking, the prayers are not for any particular bead of the rosary.
Later this week, I will write about my own personal experiences with praying the rosary and what it means to me. Have a blessed Monday.