LESSON II: The Simple Method

IN this lesson, we will learn the simplest method for praying the Rosary. It requires only two prayers; the “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary“.

You simply work your way around the Rosary counterclockwise, beginning at the Crucifix and ending at the Centerpiece or Medallion.

Begin by holding the Crucifix in your left hand while crossing yourself with your right hand. Then work your way around the Rosary. Each time you encounter an “Our Father” bead, hold the bead in your hand — usually between your thumb and forefinger — and pray the Our Father. Each time you encounter a “Hail Mary” bead, hold the bead in your hand and pray the Hail Mary.

That’s all there is to it! Now let’s get started. Simply follow the diagram below:



Diagram: Simple Rosary

Step 1: Make the Sign of the Cross and kiss the feet of the Crucifix
Step 2: Say one Our Father
Step 3: Say three Hail Mary‘s
Step 4: Say one Our Father
Step 5: Say ten Hail Mary‘s (FIRST DECADE)
Step 6: Say one Our Father
Step 7: Say ten Hail Mary‘s (SECOND DECADE)
Step 8: Say one Our Father
Step 9: Say ten Hail Mary‘s (THIRD DECADE)
Step 10: Say one Our Father
Step 11: Say ten Hail Mary‘s (FOURTH DECADE)
Step 12: Say one Our Father
Step 13: Say ten Hail Mary‘s (FIFTH DECADE)
Step 14: Make the Sign of the Cross and kiss the feet of the Crucifix


How to Make the Sign of the Cross

Roman Catholics make the Sign of the Cross in the following way: Open your right hand, with all four fingers extended. Using your right hand, touch your fingertips to your forehead, then to your heart (or belly), then to your left shoulder, then to your right shoulder. When touching your right shoulder, you may find it more comfortable to bend your fingers.

When touching your forehead, say, “In the name of the Father…” When touching your heart (or belly), say, “…and of the son…”. As you touch your left shoulder, then your right shoulder, say, “and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” See the diagram below:





When praying the Rosary, it is customary to hold the Crucifix in your hand as you make the Sign of the Cross, and to kiss the feet of the Crucifix after finishing the Sign of the Cross. See the video below:




The Full Rosary

Now you know how to pray a complete Rosary. However, you have not yet prayed one. You have prayed only one third of the Rosary, called a “Chaplet”. To pray a complete Rosary, you must pray three Chaplets, repeating the same process three times.

Diagram: Parts of the Rosary I

Why must we pray three entire Chaplets to make a complete Rosary?

The answer is that a full Rosary traditionally consists of 15 decades of Hail Mary’s. Each Chaplet has only five decades of Hail Mary’s. Therefore, in order to pray the full 15 decades, we must pray three Chaplets.

Most people don’t have time to pray three Chaplets per day. Don’t worry. No one expects you to do that. For the most part, even dedicated devotees of the Rosary pray just one Chaplet per day, completing an entire Rosary every three days. This has been common practice for centuries, and it is the practice we recommend here.

This concludes our lesson on the the Simple Method. Please proceed to Lesson III.