Question: So I’m a semi-recent convert from Protestantism to Catholicism, maybe like 4 or so years ago? I still go to a Protestant church but it’s for geographical and family reasons. I intend to change churches when I finish college and find my own place. I recently went through a breakup of a 3yr relationship and my first girlfriend too, and I’m having internal struggles about my studies in college like questioning if it’s even what I want to do.
So because of my situation I’ve been praying a lot more recently, and decided I wanted to learn the Rosary. So I went out and bought one, but I couldn’t find any books on the subject in the religious store I was at. So I decided to google it.
And google had all sorts of different variations on how to do it and it left me all the more confused. I found a website that had all the prayers required but nowhere on the website did it say the order, which had me even doubting the legitimacy of the prayers it listed.
So, how does one pray the rosary? Thanks! – Source: Reddit
Before we can answer this question, we need to know what “the rosary” even is:
“The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events in the history of our salvation. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries (said on Monday and Saturday), the five Luminous Mysteries (said on Thursday), the five Sorrowful Mysteries (said on Tuesday and Friday), and the five Glorious Mysteries (said on Wednesday and Sunday). As an exception, the Joyful Mysteries are said on Sundays during Christmas, while the Sorrowful Mysteries are said on the Sundays of Lent.
The question is sometimes asked, why, of all the incidents in our Lord’s life, the Rosary only considers these particular twenty. The mysteries of the Rosary are based on the incidents in the life of Our Lord and His Mother that are celebrated in the Liturgy. There is a parallel between the main feasts honoring our Lord and his Mother in the liturgical year, and the twenty mysteries of the Rosary. Consequently, one who recites the twenty mysteries of the Rosary in one day reflects on the whole liturgical cycle that the Church commemorates during the course of each year. That is why some of the Popes have referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel. One cannot change the mysteries of the Rosary without losing the indulgences that the Church grants for the recitation of the Rosary.” – Rosary Center
Let’s see what the Bible says:
How are we to remember the things that God has done for us and promised in His Word? Should we use prayer beads or something else?
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” – Joshua 1:8
“Blessed is the man[a] who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” – Psalm 1:1-2
What does the Bible say about how we’re to pray?
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” – Matthew 6:7
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” – 1 Timothy 2:5
“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” – Romans 8:34
The only context a “Queen of Heaven” is mentioned in Scripture
“19 And the women said,[b] “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands’ approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”
20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: 21 “As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them? Did it not come into his mind? 22 The Lord could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day. 23 It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.” – Jeremiah 44:19-23
Tl;Dr: There is zero scriptural basis for praying the Rosary or to ask anyone other than Jesus Himself to intercede on your behalf.
Answer originally posted February 27, 2019 to Reddit.