If you are new to the Catholic Church, praying the Rosary may seem like a rigidly fixed practice that you only do a certain way. But that’s not the case at all. You can adjust the prayers and put in your own intentions (prayer requests/purpose) such as praying for someone.
In this guide, we explain how to pray the Rosary for someone whether it’s their health, finances, or salvation.
What You'll Learn Today
How Do You Pray The Rosary?
Let’s start with the basics. If you are already familiar with the Rosary prayers, you can skip this part.
If you are new to praying the Rosary, start here.
The Rosary follows a basic structure that’s laid out visually (and by touch) using beads. It consists of 5 types of prayers and the Mysteries of the Rosary.
The six prayers are: Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Hail Holy Queen, and Fatima prayer.
There are 20 Mysteries divided into 4 categories with 5 Mysteries each: Joyful Mysteries, Sorrowful Mysteries, Glorious Mysteries, and Luminous Mysteries.
Typically, you pray only one set of Mysteries when you pray the Rosary. You are free to pick which one you want to focus on.
Here’s the traditional sequence of prayers starting from the Crucifix.
- While holding the Crucifix, make the sign of the Cross and say these words ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’
- While still holding the Crucifix, say the Apostle’s Creed.
- Hold the first bead and say Our Father.
- After the first bead, there are three beads spaced tightly. Say the Hail Mary prayer for each of the beads.
- The next bead is for the Glory Be prayer.
- This takes you to the first decade of the Rosary, a set of 10 Hail Mary beads. Start by pronouncing the first Mystery from the category you’ve picked. If you’ve picked the Glorious Mysteries, then the first Mystery is ‘The Resurrection of Jesus Christ’.
- Pray the Hail Mary prayer for each of the ten beads while meditating on the first mystery.
- After the last bead, pray Glory Be followed by the Fatima prayer.
- On the next lone bead, proclaim the second Mystery and then Our Father.
- Pray the Hail Mary ten times through the second decade and finish with Glory Be and Fatima.
- Repeat this sequence (Mystery – Our Father – 10X Hail Mary – Glory Be – Fatima) until you complete the fife decades.
- After the fifth decade, say the Hail Holy Queen prayer and then finish with the concluding prayers (Let us pray: O God, whose Only Begotten Son, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection…).
And that’s it. If you are more of a visual learner, you can follow along with this video.
How To Pray The Rosary For Someone
So now that you know how to pray the Rosary, how can you use it to intercede for a friend, family member, children, or anyone else?
There are two approaches to this. Both involve declaring your intention or intentions if you have multiple prayer requests.
An intention is the aim or purpose of the prayer.
If it’s just one intention, you can declare it at the beginning of the Rosary. After you make the sign of the cross, say something like, “This Rosary is for the needs/health/salvation of so and so.”
You can make whatever statement you want. Something like this also works: “I want to pray for my friend so and so for x or y problem.”
The point is to declare your intention for the Rosary to help you focus on it as you say the prayers. You can then go ahead and say the Apostle’s Creed.
If you have multiple intentions (e.g. praying for several people or needs), the second approach is dedicating each decade for each intention.
After saying the Glory Be prayer, announce your intention and then pronounce the Mystery for that decade. For example, “I dedicate this decade to so and so for this or that need.”
Note that you can also follow the first approach if you have multiple intentions. List them all at the beginning of the Rosary and keep them in your heart throughout the prayers.
Make a prayer list so you can remember exactly who or what you want to pray for.
How To Pray The Rosary For Someone Who Is Sick
If your intention is to pray for someone who is sick, consider adding a special prayer for them at the beginning of the Rosary.
You can also proclaim a scripture that talks about healing. Jeremiah 33:6 is an uplifting verse in times of sickness.
I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
Say the prayer or scripture after making the sign of the Cross and before saying the Apostle’s Creed.
You can also choose to have multiple prayers/verses and say each at the beginning of each decade. That way, you can focus the entire Rosary to praying for the sick loved one.
You can also choose to focus on a specific set of Mysteries that align with your intentions. For example, you can pray with the Joyful Mysteries to impart the Joy of Christ into your prayers and meditations.
How To Pray For a Departed Soul
The Rosary is typically prayed during the wake or vigil when a Catholic faithful passes on. The priest or another member of the clergy will usually lead the prayers.
You can also pray a private Rosary to intercede for the departed soul and ask for comfort for the loved ones who are grieving
As with a sickness Rosary, all you need to do is declare your intention for the Rosary (praying for the eternal rest of the departed and comfort for the grieving family) and insert a special prayer.
You can say the prayer at the beginning of the Rosary after you make the sign of the Cross.
You can write your own prayer or read specific Bible verses. But most people opt to say the Eternal Rest prayer.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
In keeping with the intention of the Rosary, you can choose to recite the Glorious Mysteries. These cover the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, which helps remind us that the separation from our beloved departed is only temporary.