• Rebecca Giles

Scripture on a String

The Rosary is Scripture on a string; it leads us step-by-step though the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Each group of prayers in the Rosary is called a decade. There are twenty decades of the Rosary. These are divided into four groups of five decades each.


The first group of five decades, the Joyful Mysteries, are the events of Jesus' birth and childhood.


These are the Joyful Mysteries:

  1. The annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to Mary

  2. The visitation, when Mary visited Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's baby leaped for joy

  3. The birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem

  4. The presentation of baby Jesus in the temple, where Simeon and Anna prophesied about Him

  5. The finding of 12-year-old Jesus in the temple, where He was teaching adults


The next group of five decades, the Luminous Mysteries, are the events of Jesus' ministry on earth.


These are the Luminous Mysteries:

  1. The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river

  2. The wedding at Cana, where Jesus performed His first public miracle

  3. Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God

  4. The transfiguration, when Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a high mountain to pray, and He became radiant like the sun before them.

  5. The institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper


The next group of five decades, the Sorrowful Mysteries, are the events of Jesus' suffering and death.


These are the Sorrowful Mysteries:

  1. Jesus' agony in the garden at night

  2. The scourging of Jesus, when He was whipped bloody for us

  3. The crowning with thorns

  4. The carrying of the cross

  5. The crucifixion


The last group of five decades - the Glorious Mysteries - are Christ's resurrection and ascension into heaven, and the events that took place after this.


These are the Glorious Mysteries:

  1. The resurrection, when Jesus rose from the dead

  2. The ascension, when Jesus ascended into heaven

  3. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples at Pentecost

  4. The assumption of Mary when Jesus took his mother into heaven to be with him

  5. The coronation of Mary as Queen


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