In the Catholic calendar, October is commemorated as the month of the Rosary, a prayer devoted to keeping certain mysteries in our memories and to thank and praise God for them. It is a devotion to God through a devotion to the Virgin Mary, and it is also what I was named after. When praying the Rosary, we use the Rosary beads to guide us; in this post, I will be showing you how to pray this most beautiful, powerful and sacred of prayers.
As with any prayer, start by making the Sign of the Cross followed by the profession of faith through the Apostles’ Creed. Then, continue to the first bead with Our Father followed by three Hail Mary’s for the next three beads. Next, say the Glory be to the Father, reflect on the First Mystery and complete with the Our Father. For the next ten beads, pray one Hail Mary for each bead (the first decade). This is followed by the Glory be to the Father, the Second Mystery and the Our Father. Continue along the Rosary beads repeating a decade of Hail Mary’s, the Glory be to the Father, the next Mystery and so on. After the fifth and last decade of Hail Mary’s, finish with the Hail, Holy Queen and end with the Sign of the Cross. Have a look at this image below to understand more about what each bead represents and how to pray the Rosary.
There are a total of twenty mysteries, which are further separated into four groups of five: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, the Glorious Mysteries and the Luminous Mysteries. Each of these mysteries observes Jesus’ story from birth to death and beyond, and is central to the Catholic belief. As suggested by Pope St. John Paul the Great, the Joyful mysteries are to be recited on Mondays and Saturdays, the Sorrowful on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Glorious on Wednesdays and Sundays, and the Luminous on Thursdays. The following are details of what each group of mysteries entails:
- The Annunciation of the Lord to Mary
- The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
- The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
- The Presentation of our Lord
- Finding Jesus in the Temple at Age Twelve
- The Agony of Jesus in the Garden
- The Scourging at the Pillar
- Jesus is Crowned with Thorns
- Jesus Carried the Cross
- The Crucifixion of our Lord
- The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
- The Ascension of Jesus to Heaven
- The Descent of the Holy Ghost
- The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
- Mary is Crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth
- The Baptism in the Jordan
- The Wedding at Cana
- The Proclamation of the Kingdom
- The Transfiguration
- The Institution of the Eucharist
So this month I’ve been praying the Rosary every night, sometimes alone in my room and other times with my local prayer group, to the point that whenever I’m scared or anxious about something, the Hail Mary is the prayer that I subconsciously start mouthing.
I love that my parents named me after one of the most beautiful, powerful and sacred prayers, but I haven’t always felt that way about it. When I was still in high school, whenever someone asked me my name I would always pronounce it “Rosarrry”, and yet they’d still mistake it for Rosemary or Rosalie or Rosie. It happened so often that I used to wish that my parents had just named me a more generic name like Jessica or Laura so that people would get it right the first time. I also got teased a lot because of my unusual name; I remember this one conversation with this guy that went something like this.
G: You know, when I heard that your name is Rosary, I thought your surname is ‘Beads’.
Me: It’s not.
G: Yeah, I know. But wouldn’t that be funny? Rosary Beads? *laughs*
Me: …… *awkward fake laugh*
I’m 90% sure he was just teasing me and didn’t really mean any harm, but it still wasn’t a particularly fun experience. However, since then, I have learned to embrace my name. All teasing aside, it’s a pretty awesome name and really one of a kind; I’ve never met anyone with the same one – not many people can say that about theirs, right?