Praying The Rosary; part 2. All those Hail Mary’s

The main body of the Rosary  is where our meditations on the life of Jesus begins.  The main body of the Rosary is divided up into five decades.  While we pray each decade we meditate on the mysteries of that day.  As we have reflected on the Joyful Mysteries I will use them as an example.  We begin each mystery announcing the mystery and reflecting on that mystery.  We then pray 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.

We then pray ten Hail Mary’s.  This is of course when those who don’t understand the Rosary begin to speak of “vain repetition” and “empty phrases”.

A word on “vain repetition” and the “empty phrases”.

We should remember as a good and faithful Jew, Jesus repeated prayers often as well.  Many Psalms have a repetitive rhythm to them.  Jesus himself being a good and faithful Jew would pray these repetitive prayers Himself.  In the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed to the Father three times for the same thing.  No, repetition is not necessarily bad depending on the meaning behind it.  The context that Jesus speaks of in Matthew’s Gospel about “vain repetition” was to the hypocrites, the people who prayed without believing.  Those who prayed in public for show.  Praying ten Hail Mary’s and meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary (the events in the life of Jesus) is hardly vain or empty.  Our minds can wander if we don’t keep it focused and those Hail Mary’s help with that.

In recent years a new trend in praying the Rosary has emerged.  It is called the Scriptural Rosary.  It has become popular in our family.  While still meditating on the mysteries as we pray the Hail Marys.  We also pray a scripture verse in between each Hail Mary that relates to the mystery we are meditating on.  It further focuses our thoughts on the life of Jesus in our prayer.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

After the tenth Hail Mary we end the decade with

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

After the Fatima Prayer

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins.  Save us from the fires of hell.  Lead all those to Heaven in most need of thy Mercy.

we then move on to the next mystery and pray another decade until the end of the fifth decade.  Tomorrow I will explain the ending prayers to the Rosary.

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