The Simple Rosary

The best rosary is the rosary we pray.

If the litany of prayers, their order and beads and how many prayers are on one bead baffles you, as it does me, prune your rosary prayers that they may grow stronger and bear fruit. Yes, simplifying the rosary can be justified with scripture, as well as logic and reason. The best rosary is the rosary we pray.

  • One bead, one prayer.
  • Three prayers to know. Glory be, Our Father, and Hail Mary.
  • If it's a crucifix, pray the Glory be.
  • If it's a single bead, pray the Our Father. If it's in the circle, announce the next mystery.
  • If it's next to other beads, pray the Holy Mary.
  • Allow the life of Jesus our Christ to open through the beads.

Simple Rosary Rules

Glory Be

(Holding the Crucifix, pray at the beginning and end. The Holy Trinity is your bookend prayer.)

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Our Father

(At the single beads. If the bead is on it’s own, pray the Our Father. If you are in the circle of beads, announce the next mystery after the Our Father. Your rosary may or may not have a three-way intersection bead. Either way, go through the intersection without stopping and turn right.)

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.

Hail Mary

(As you pray the rosary you will find yourself entering into a contemplative prayer, especially in the ten-bead strings of Holy Mary prayers. This is part of the plan, to experience Jesus’ life through contemplative prayer. See each mystery through the eyes of Holy Mama Mary, Holy Papa Joseph, and Jesus our Christ. If beads are next to other beads, pray the Hail Mary.)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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.


Some rosaries may pray better in your hand than others. I love the large beaded wood rosary my wife gave me. It’s 10mm beads feel right in my hand and I do not lose them or where I am. I often find myself in Holy Papa Joseph’s workshop working with Jesus while I pray. The wood is a direct connection for me with Holy Papa Joseph.

Men’s Rosaries

Men’s rosaries (with 8–10mm Hail Mary beads) are now often made. If you find yourself frustrated with small beads, check one out.

Women’s Rosaries

Most rosaries you can find are well suited for a woman’s hand. 6–8mm Hail Mary beads.

Family Rosaries

Rope rosaries are heartier than chain rosaries in our family’s experience. When praying with kids, skip ornate rosaries and go for knotted rosaries (the beads are made of knots), or at least rope rosaries (beads of wood or metal on rope with knots).

Simple Prayer Leads to More

Every prayer is simple. I pray the simple rosary because it is the one I can pray without having to read all the time (I have brain injury and no short term memory and do not remember the prayers). As you get to know the rosary and experience its flow, and perhaps pray it with others, you may want to add prayers in. That’s fantastic! Neither way is better than the other. There is a wonder and beauty in the simplicity of three prayers, one prayer per bead, and there is a different kind of wonder and beauty in adding in more Glory be’s, the Fatima prayer, St. Michael prayer, and others.

Remember, the best rosary is the rosary we pray. Kneel before the crucifix (and you always have one with you when your rosary has a crucifix!), and pray the rosary daily. It is a powerful way to choose Christ, choose your marriage! May God startle you with joy!