Praying the Rosary

The prayer given to us by the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tradition tells that the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary was given to Saint Dominic directly by Our Lady. In so many ways, it is a perfect prayer for Dominicans: Dominic tirelessly contemplated the Word of God, and he had deep devotion to Mary as Mother of Christ and Protectress of his Order.

The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer that reflects on profound events (“Mysteries”) in the lives of Mary and Jesus that are remembered throughout the liturgical year. The repetition in the Rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery.

As Dominicans, we pray the Rosary in an ancient Catholic manner that affirms the notion that the Rosary is "the layperson's breviary." As such, the introductory prayers are based on the opening prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours.

Mysteries of the Rosary

The Rosary is truly a “compendium of the Gospel,” complete with reflections on

  • the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the Joyful Mysteries)
  • the sufferings of Christ’s Passion (the Sorrowful Mysteries)
  • the triumph of his Resurrection (the Glorious Mysteries),
  • particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the Luminous Mysteries (or “The Mysteries of Light”)

The most popular way of praying the Rosary is to pray five decades, i.e., an Our Father and 10 Hail Marys, while reflecting on particular events in the life of Jesus or of the Virgin Mary, each event corresponding to one mystery:

The Joyful Mysteries

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Birth of Our Lord
  4. The Presentation in the Temple
  5. The Finding in the Temple

The Sorrowful Mysteries

  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

The Glorious Mysteries

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

The Luminous Mysteries

  1. The Baptism in the Jordan
  2. The Wedding Feast of Cana
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom
  4. The Transfiguration
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist

Dominican Rosary Opening Prayers

The suggested pattern for praying the Rosary

Monday The Joyful Mysteries
Tuesday The Sorrowful Mysteries
Wednesday The Glorious Mysteries
Thursday The Luminous Mysteries
Friday The Sorrowful Mysteries
Saturday The Joyful Mysteries
Sundays of Advent and Christmas The Joyful Mysteries
Sundays of Lent The Sorrowful Mysteries
Other Sundays The Glorious Mysteries
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