The Rosary is a devotion intended to help us reflect contemplatively on the life of Jesus through his mother Mary. Its pattern serves as an inspiration prayer that can free the mind and heart to link one’s life with the great story of our salvation in Jesus Christ. The Rosary is structured into groupings of meditations called mysteries; each begins with an Our Father, followed by ten Hail Marys, and ends with the Glory Be.
The Rosary is comprised of four sets of mysteries: the Joyful, the Luminous, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious. These are events in the life of Jesus found in the New Testament. While not necessary, people usually use a set of prayer beads — called a rosary — when praying it. The Rosary is usually prayed using either one of the four mysteries, or in its entirety (all four sets) when one wants an extended period of contemplation.
The Rosary is prayed at home in the family, by individuals almost anytime, in church before or after Mass or at regular times each month as part of a study group, in large public gatherings, or any appropriate setting. Some are able to pray all four sets of mysteries daily. Others concentrate link the Rosary to the Liturgical Calendar — the Joyous Mysteries are particularly appropriate in Advent, the Luminous Mysteries in the Epiphany season, the Sorrowful Mysteries in Lent, and the Glorious Mysteries in the Easter season.
The Rosary serves as a kind of “compendium of the Gospel” that, through the experience of silence and prayer, calls our imagination and emotions to intimate communion with the Holy Trinity.
Here is A Guide to Praying the Rosary that we use at St Paul’s Parish.