The Rosary (Forrest)/Chapter V

V. How to Say the Rosary

The Rosary really consists of fifteen decades, and each decade is made up of one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one “Glory be to the Father.” Thus the complete Rosary consists of fifteen “Pater Nosters” and “Glorias,” and one hundred and fifty “Ave Marias.” This devotion is usually, though not necessarily, recited on beads, and it is highly recommended to have these beads blessed and indulgenced. It has been stated above that, while reciting each decade, we meditate on some particular mystery in the lives of Jesus and Mary.

Custom has divided the Rosary into three parts, each of which consists of five decades. In fact, when we now speak of saying the Rosary, we generally refer to the recitation of five decades, and the Rosary beads are arranged accordingly.

The three parts of the Rosary commemorate respectively the joyful, the sorrowful and the glorious mysteries in the lives of Jesus and Mary; hence there are five joyful, five sorrowful, and five glorious mysteries. The Joyful Mysteries are assigned to Mondays and Thursdays throughout the year and to the Sundays of Advent, as well as to the Sundays from the Feast of the Epiphany until Lent. The Sorrowful Mysteries are prescribed for Tuesdays and Fridays, and for the Sundays in Lent. The Glorious Mysteries are designated for Wednesdays and Saturdays, and for the Sundays from Easter to Advent.

It is customary to commence the Rosary by reciting the Apostles' Creed, one “Our Father,” three “Hail Marys,” and one “Glory be to the Father.” We then proceed to the five decades with the respective mysteries. At the beginning of each decade a brief outline of the mystery is often read in order to help us to fix our mind upon that particular mystery while reciting the decade. At the end of each decade, before announcing and reading the reflection on the following mystery, a suitable prayer regarding the fruit to be derived from the previous decade is frequently recited.

At the end of the five decades the “Hail, Holy Queen” is generally said.

In the last part of this pamphlet I submit meditations and prayers that have been consecrated by long usage. These reflections and prayers will assist those who desire to derive the greatest fruit from the recitation of the Rosary, that beautiful devotion so dear to the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother.