Circle of Prayer - Praying the Rosary
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The Rosary is prayed on a set of beads consisting of a crucifix, two large beads and three small beads in the single length and four large with ten small between each on the circle. Praying the complete set of beads incorporates the opening prayers on the straight stretch and then one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and one Glory Be five times. These five are known as decades and after each decade there is a prayer given to the children of Fatima by Our Lady for the Holy Souls. In all we say 5 Our Fathers, 10 Hail Marys and 5 Glory Be's. not including the 5 beads from the crucifix to the circle of beads.

The prayers of the Rosary are basically the same the world over in every language. In Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal or Medugorje people come from every nation on earth and it makes no difference what language they speak because the format is the same and each person responds to their half of the various prayers in their own language.

Some people have little additions in the prayers said after completion of the Rosary. These additional prayers are voluntary and here in Ireland we call them the 'the trimmings'. My Dad stayed with us until he died and he always requested three Hail Mary's for the Holy Souls in Purgatory when we had the five decades completed. His memory wasn't great towards the end and his 3 went on to 10 or more, so lost was he in his praying. After about 13 we'd steer him back on course again. He loved the Rosary and spent much of his day reciting it.

It's lovely to dedicate each decade to a specific intention so that you pray that decade for a particular person, whether dead or alive, or for a particular group of people - the family, young people, teachers, health care workers, government, world leaders, priests; or for a particular intention close to your own heart - a difficult situation, financial difficulties, personal or work related difficulties, a family situation, personal, family or friends' illnesses.

Non-catholics who might like to pray the Rosary can omit some of the prayers if they wish and say the basic Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father. The main purpose is to reflect on the Mysteries being said, with reverence and total focus on the prayer.

You can find a little about the Mysteries of the Rosary at the link. A Spiritual Rosary includes a Bible passage relevant to each decade of the four Mysteries: Joyful; Luminous; Sorrowful; Glorious. Learn about the History of the Rosary. and Saint Louis de Montfort's famous writings on the Secrets of the Rosary.

The Rosary can be said alone or in a group. When said in a group one person says the first half of the prayers and the group says the second half. In our house we start with the youngest in the house leading the first decade and the rest of us responding and work our way through the next eldest etc. Where only two are gathered, alternate the leader. The division for shared prayer is shown in the table below - blue for the first half and maroon for the second half. Here is how we say the Rosary in our house, we dedicate the first five beads on the straight stretch as an Our Father, three Hail Marys and a Glory Be To The Father for the Pope's intentions:

Sign of the Cross:

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

Opening prayers:

O, Lord open my lips and my tongue shall announce Thy praise.
Incline unto our aid O God, O Lord make haste to help us.

Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father, And to the Son, And the the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, Is now, And ever shall be.  World without end. Amen

Apostles' Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead and on the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall 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.

The Five Joyful Mysteries
Said on Mondays and Saturdays:
1st: The Annunciation; 2nd: The Visitation; 3rd: The Birth of Our Lord; 4th: The Presentation; 5th: The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

The Five Mysteries of Light
Said on Thursdays
1st. The Baptism of Our Lord; 2nd. The First Miracle at Cana; 3rd. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God; 4th. The Transfiguration; 5th. The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries
Said on Tuesdays and Fridays
1st: The Agony in the Garden; 2nd: The Scourging at the Pillar; 3rd: The Crowning of Thorns; 4th: The Carrying of the Cross; 5th: The Crucifixion

The Five Glorious Mysteries
Said on Wednesdays and Sundays
1st: The Resurection; 2nd: The Ascension; 3rd: The Descent of The Holy Spirit; 4th: The Assumption; 5th: The Crowning in Heaven

Start with the Our Father on the join of the circle and on each of the large beads for each decade. Follow with ten Hail Marys and finish with a Glory Be.. Repeat this five times.
 

The Lord's 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.
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil. Amen

Hail Mary:

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

Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son,
And the the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning,
Is now,
And ever shall be. 
World without end. Amen

At the end of each decade we say the following, the first one was taught to the children in Fatima by Our Lady and requested for in between decades:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Peace, Pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, Pray for us.

Hail Holy Queen - on completion of the five decades recite the following prayer:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray:

O God, Whose only begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation. Grant, we besech Thee, that meditating upon these Mysteries of the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

We close with:

May the Divine Assistance remain always with us and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Here's our 'trimmings':
 

1. O Angel of God, my Guardian dear;
Through whom God's love commits me here;
Ever this day/night be at my side;
To light and guard, to rule and guide me. Amen

2. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give You my heart and my soul;
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me now and in my last agony,
Jesus, Mary and Joseph may I breath forth my soul in peace with You. Amen

3. O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You.
Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.Tell me what I should do, give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your will. Amen

4. Saint Michael the Archangel defend us in our hour of need. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of God, cast Satan down to hell, and with him all the wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruination of souls. Amen

5. God our Father I come to say thank you for Your love today; Thank You for my family and all the friends You give to me; Guard me in the dark of night; And in the morning send Your light. Amen

6. God our Father, I thank You for loving me;
I am sorry for all my sins; For not loving others and not loving You; Help me to live like Jesus and not to sin again. Amen

We have recently added in a prayer for the whole world:

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary, be our Advocate. Amen.”

We end with a little Prayer for the Holy Souls, especially those who have no one to pray for them:

"May the Divine Assistance remain always with them, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen"

We close with the Sign of the Cross said in Irish, below is the English version:

In ainm an Athar, agus a Mhic, agus an Spioraid Naomh. Amen.

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


Moytura has several other sites with a 'Christian flavour'. Prayerful Thoughts & Thoughtful Prayers is a little collection of prayers and thought-provoking stories, and a few links to some other really nice websites. Reflections for Lent offers a daily meditation for the 40 days of lent and the week leading into Easter. As part of my Journey section of the website join me to learn a little of the Early Christian Church in Ireland by visiting Clonmacnoise, founded by St. Ciaran on the banks of the River Shannon in the 6th. Century. Read about Saint Brendan the Navigator who started a Monastic settlement in the tiny village of Clonfert in the 6th century, located on the Galway/Offaly/Tipperary border. Travel on my journeys to two of Canada's most famous Catholic Shrines - Saint Anne de Beaupré and Cap de la Madeleine, both on the shores of the Saint Lawrence river in Quebec. Finally I welcome you to come with me to see a little of Medugorje, a peaceful haven in a war-torn country - Bosnia-Herzogovina. Please also pay a visit to  Moytura's Irish Bookshop where you can find books on the history of Christianity in IrelandIrish Prayers and Celtic Christianity

Below are some of the other areas of Moytura's web site.

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