The right way to pray the Rosary

When you pray the Rosary, what do you meditate on? The words of the prayers, intentions that you are offering to God, the mysteries of that decade? For someone who has just begun the devotion, it can be overwhelming to know where your mind should be during the recitation.

Michael takes a walk while he prays his Rosary and offers each decade for a special intention. He says that he meditates on the words of the prayers rather than the specific Mysteries of the Rosary. He wondered if his way of praying the Rosary was acceptable.

“There’s many right ways of praying the Rosary and very few wrong ways. It would be hard to even come up with a wrong way unless one didn’t have the intention to give God glory and praise ,and to meditate in one way or another on the mysteries of his love for us,” said Msgr. Stuart Swetland, host of Go Ask Your FatherTM.

With so many ways to pray, find what works best for you. Msgr. Swetland offered some examples. “I have a priest friend who uses his Rosary every day to make petitions. Every bead is another petition; he has lots of parishioners to pray for … in his daily Rosary he treats it as a time to offer petitionary prayer.”

“There are certain intentions that go along with … the mysteries. You can find books and meditation material that will give you suggestions that way,” said Msgr. Swetland. “Others also pray for a virtue or think about a virtue associated with each of the mysteries of the Rosary. For example, when I’m doing intercessions with the Rosary, when we’re doing the Sorrowful Mysteries—the Crowning with Thorns—I always offer that decade for bishops. The bishop miter is closest I can come to in ornamentation today of a crown of thorns because anyone who is called to that vocation as successor to the apostles takes on a great deal of the suffering of Christ in leading the local Church.”

Your praying of the Rosary may change and evolve as you move along your faith journey. “There was a period of my own early time as a Catholic when I was just really learning to pray the Rosary that I mediated a great deal on the words of each of the prayers because I was learning, if you will, the deeper meaning of those prayers. And that was fruitful for a while, obviously at some stage it was good to move away from that onto other ways of praying it,” remarked Msgr. Swetland. “But I think there’s many right ways of praying the Rosary.”

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.