The 5 Decade Dominican Rosary

"Whatever you ask through the Rosary shall be granted."   
--Promise of Our Lady to St. Dominic

Basic Rosary Prayers and Instructions

We begin with the Sign of the Cross:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then follows an introduction to the mysteries we will be prayerfully reflecting upon, which is prayed on the pendant part of the beads.

What is the significance of this introduction? The first prayer, upon the Crucifix, is the Apostle's Creed, which is a concise summation of what we believe as Roman Catholic christians. When we say this prayer with full recollection, we are calling to mind all that we believe. The first Our Father reminds us of the Sermon on The Mount, and calls to our minds that this is the pattern of prayer that Jesus gives us. It also has a resonance with Roman Catholic Liturgy, in which this perfect pattern of prayer is always included. Not only do we pray the Lord's Prayer at Mass, but also at Lauds and Vespers (Morning and Evening prayers) in the liturgy of the hours. Finally, the three Hail Marys are traditionally prayed as a reflection, in turn, on each of the three theological virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity.

On The Crucifix, we pray theApostles Creed

I believe in one God, the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again 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 body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Then, on the first Our Father bead, pray an Our Father,reflecting carefully on the meaning of this rich storehouse of prayer.

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.

On each of the next three Ave or Hail Mary beads,focusing prayerfully in turn on each of the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity), pray a Hail Mary, asking for an increase of these virtues in your life.

Hail Mary, full of grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Now we begin the main part of the Rosary for the day. For each decade, the following pattern is used:

  First, announce or reflect on the mystery briefly (in private recitation, it is not necessary to announce the mystery aloud). Traditionally, each mystery has associated virtues or graces, for which we may pray. The summary below will include some suggestions for these, but the Rosary is also an intensely personal prayer. The intention or grace the Holy Spirit suggests to us for prayer, the prayer of our heart, that is the intention for which we should pray.

Next, on the large Our Father bead, pray the Our Father. On the 10 beads of the decade, pray the Hail Mary. On the chain divider between the decades, pray the Glory Be or Doxology. You may also pray the Fatima Prayer. Take another moment to reflect on the mystery, asking for the graces associated with it. Then proceed to the next mystery.

The Doxology or 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 ever shall be, World without end. Amen


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen

The Fatima Prayer

This was the prayer revealed at Fatima, to be prayed as part of the rosary, for the salvation of souls. Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and bring all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

After the heading for each mystery you will find a brief list of possible intentions for which to pray, as well as suggestions for the focus of the imagination. However, the prayer of the rosary is very personal; it may be that the right intention and focus for you will be gently suggested to you by the Holy Spirit as you pray. For a deeper exploration of themes and intentions I would recommend devotional works by St. Louis de Montfort, Our Holy Father John Paul ll and others

It is worth noting here that the Dominican Order does not actually begin the recitation of the Rosary in this manner. Rather, their introduction is drawn in part from the liturgy of the hours. This resonates with the idea that the Rosary was originally "the poor person's breviary".

Here is its pattern:


Sign ofthe Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

V.   Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
R.   Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

V.  O Lord, open my lips
R.  And my tongue shall announce your praise.

V.   Incline to my aid, O God.
R.  O Lord, make haste to help me.

V.   Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to he Holy Spirit.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.    Amen. Alleluia!
(Or during Lent: Praise be to You, O Lord, King of eternal glory!)

After this the decades are begun immediately: one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and one Glory be to the Father, for each decade. (The preliminary Apostles' Creed, Our Father, three Hail Marys and Glory be are not said.)

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