May 31, 2012 by Nicole
Traditionally, the rosary has been a Marian devotion in the Roman Catholic tradition, however this is the aspect of the rosary to which most Protestants object. Now, if you are at all curious about what exactly the Church teaches about her, you can read here. But, going back to what Dennis Craft says about praying a Protestant rosary, I suspect that the main prayer of the rosary (the Hail Mary) and also probably the concluding prayer of the rosary (Hail, Holy Queen) are the two main issues for most Protestants. I have provided a few more links on Protestant rosaries for you as well, if you would like to hear from others who endorse and utilize the rosary as a non Marian devotion. Before I get to that, I want to explain the “procedural” aspect of the rosary.
As I discussed before, the rosary opens with the sign of the cross and the apostle’s creed. After that, there is what is sometimes referred to as the “drop” of the rosary, in which there is a single bead (sometimes it’s a larger bead, or a bead differently colored from the rest of the rosary) followed by a cluster of three beads ( one for faith, one for hope, and one for charity). After the drop, we begin meditating on the mysteries of Christ’s life in this way:
The Fatima Prayer (see below) has always been an optional one, as the standard order is an Our Father, followed by a set of ten Hail Marys (during which you can meditate on the mystery) followed by the Glory Be. Depending on the day of the week, you can reflect and medititate on the
Joyful Mysteries (Monday and Saturday)
- The Annunciation, in which Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear God’s Son.
- The Visitation, in which Mary goes to see her cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist
- The Nativity, in which Jesus is born in Bethlehem
- The Presentation at the Temple, in which Mary presents the infant Jesus to the prophet Simeon
- Finding Jesus in the temple, after He was accidentally left behind in Jerusalem.
Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays)
- Jesus’ agony in the garden at Gethsemene
- Jesus is scouraged at the pillar (I also always recall his trial before Pilate and the events leading up to his scourging)
- Jesus’ crowning with thorns and humiliation at the hands of the soldiers
- Jesus takes up his cross (It’s helpful to meditate on the Stations of the Cross during these beads)
- Jesus is crucified and dies on the cross.
Glorious Mysteries(Wednesdays and Sundays)
- Jesus is raised from the dead
- Jesus ascends into heaven
- The descent of the Holy Spirit
- The assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- The Coronation
Luminous Mysteries (Thursdays)
- Jesus is baptised in the Jordan River by John
- Jesus performs his first public miracle at the wedding at Cana
- Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God
- The Transfiguration
- Jesus institutes the Eucharist (the Last Supper)
Getting back to Mary…
As I said in the opening of this post, not everyone is comfortable praying Marian prayers. At its essense, the rosary is a Christ-centered prayer. Along those lines, I have also posted a page providing several links on how one can approach the ecumenical rosary . Therefore, I think that the following prayers would be good substitutes if you want to pray the rosary but, as the Pathology Guy puts it, prefer not to address any of the prayers to Mary:
O my Jesus (Also known as the Fatima Prayer)
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls into heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.
The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
- Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (A really good prayer for the sorrowful mysteries)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech You, that meditating upon these mysteries in the rosary we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
God, our Father, You redeemed us and made us Your children in Christ. Through Him You have saved us from death and given us Your Divine life of grace. By becoming more like Jesus on earth, may I come to share His glory in Heaven. Give me the peace of Your kingdom, which this world does not give. By Your loving care protect the good You have given me. Open my eyes to the wonders of Your Love that I may serve You with a willing heart.