In time of bereavement, it is customary for the family and friends to gather in a prayerful vigil around the loved one who has died. The Rosary is a very old way of praying. In the company of Mary, our Blessed Mother, we ponder the great moments of Jesus’ life. We can use the Rosary beads to help us as we pray.
The word rosary comes from Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say, “The rosary, of course.” We’re familiar with the images: the silently moving lips of the old woman fingering her beads; the oversized rosary hanging from the waist of the wimpled nun; more recently, the merely decorative rosary hanging from the rearview mirror.
Often a Rosary beads are placed in the hands of the deceased, so it as though you are saying the prayer with your beloved one.
Leader: O Lord open my lips.
Others: And my tongue shall announce thy praise.
Leader: Incline unto my aid, O Lord.
Others: O Lord make haste to help me.
The Joyful Mysteries
(Said on Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays of Advent, and Sundays from Epiphany until Lent)
First Joyful Mystery The Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary
Think of… The humility of the Blessed Virgin when the Angel Gabriel greeted her with these words: “Hail full of grace”. Luke 1:26
Second Joyful Mystery The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Think of… Mary’s charity in visiting her cousin Elizabeth and remaining with her for three months before the birth of John the Baptist. Luke 1:39
Third Joyful Mystery The Birth of Jesus
Think of… The poverty, so lovingly accepted by Mary when she placed the Infant Jesus, our God and Redeemer, in a manger in the stable of Bethlehem. Luke 2:1
Fourth Joyful Mystery The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Think of… Mary’s obedience to the law of God in presenting the Child Jesus in the Temple. Luke 2:22
Fifth Joyful Mystery Finding Jesus in the Temple
Think of… The deep sorrow with which Mary sought the Child Jesus for three days, and the joy with which she found Him in the midst of the Teachers of the Temple. Luke 2:41
The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Said on Tuesdays, Fridays, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday)
First Sorrowful Mystery Agony of Jesus in the Garden
Think of… Our Lord Jesus in the garden of Gethsemani, suffering a bitter agony for our sins. Matthew 26:36
Second Sorrowful Mystery Jesus is Scourged at the Pillar
Think of… The cruel scourging at the pillar that our Lord suffered; the heavy blows that tore His flesh. Matthew 27:26
Third Sorrowful Mystery Jesus is Crowned With Thorns
Think of… The crown of sharp thorns that was forced upon our Lord’s Head and the patience with which He endured the pain for our sins. Matthew 27:27
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery Jesus Carries His Cross
Think of… The heavy Cross, so willingly carried by our Lord, and ask Him to help you to carry your crosses without complaint. Matthew 27:32
Fifth Sorrowful Mystery The Crucifixion of Jesus
Think of… The love which filled Christ’s Sacred Heart during His three hours’ agony on the Cross, and ask Him to be with you at the hour of death. Matthew 27:33
The Glorious Mysteries
(Said on Wednesdays, and Sundays throughout the year)
First Glorious Mystery The Resurrection of Jesus
Think of… Christ’s glorious triumph when, on the third day after His death, He arose from the tomb and for forty days appeared to His Blessed Mother and to His disciples. John 20:1
Second Glorious Mystery The Ascension of Jesus
Think of… The Ascension of Jesus Christ, forty days after His glorious Resurrection, in the presence of Mary and His disciples. Luke 24:36
Third Glorious Mystery The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Think of… The descent of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles, under the form of tongues of fire, in fulfillment of Christ’s promise. Acts 2:1
Fourth Glorious Mystery The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Think of… The glorious Assumption of Mary into Heaven, when she was united with her Divine Son.
Fifth Glorious Mystery The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
Think of… The glorious crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven by her Divine Son, to the great joy of all the Saints.
(Said on Thursdays throughout the year)
First Luminous Mystery The Baptism of Jesus
And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
The Second Luminous Mystery The Wedding at Cana
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.John 2:11
The Third Luminous Mystery, the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
The Fourth Luminous Mystery The Transfiguration of Jesus
And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. Matthew 17:2
The Fifth Luminous Mystery The Last Supper.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26
Prayers of the Rosary
The Our Father:
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.
The Hail Mary:
Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed are 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 to the Father:
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.
Hail Holy Queen:
Hail! Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your 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.
Prayer After The Rosary
O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech 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 the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Family That Prays Together… Stays Together.
The family Rosary is the Rosary recited aloud together, by as many of the family and their friends as can be present. Any family (two or more people) may say the Family Rosary in any suitable place and at any time. At home or in the funeral home while in the presence of the deceased it can be a lovely and peaceful prayer as people get into the ‘rhythm’ of the prayers it can create a lovely atmosphere.