How can I pray the rosary better?

Full Question

When I pray the rosary, I can’t concentrate on the mysteries when I am saying the Hail Marys, so instead, I pause and think of the mystery. If I try to do both at the same time, I find it difficult. I wonder if I am doing it wrong. Any suggestions you have that could help me?


First, it is not unusual to become distracted during prayer. When this happens one may try a number of things.—For example, praying for a shorter time but striving to be more focused as you pray. This might mean that instead of the whole rosary; you say only one decade but will have fewer distractions while praying it. Then, little by little, lengthen the time. Be sure to set aside a special time and place for prayer so that you will not feel like you should be doing something else.

Second, it is not wrong to have a special time of meditation during the rosary, separate from saying the prayers. In fact, this seems to be envisioned as the normal way of doing it in Pope Paul VI’s 1974 apostolic exhortation on Marian devotion. In it, he noted the various elements of the rosary and then observed that each of them has its own particular character which, wisely understood and appreciated, should be reflected in the recitation in order that the rosary may express all its richness and variety. Thus the recitation will be grave and suppliant during the Lord’s Prayer; lyrical and full of praise during the tranquil succession of Hail Marys; contemplative in the recollected meditation on the mysteries, and full of adoration during the doxology. (Marialis Cultus, 50)

This seems to envision meditation on the mysteries as a separate element; alongside the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the doxology (the “Glory Be”). He characterizes the attitude displayed in the Hail Marys as being “lyrical and full of praise” but the attitude as “contemplative” in the meditation on the mysteries.

It should be noted that Paul VI was not trying to establish one and only one way of saying the rosary, but it seems that what you are doing is in line with what he envisioned.

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Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

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  1. Hi Guys.
    I have been reciting the rosary everyday on my travel home to work. And with the use of YouTube I downloaded and made it one of my music it helps me a lot concentrating on the mysteries. And I feel so great when doing that so praying the rosary instead of playing or listening to some other music. I have so many questions and this site Catholic and proud helped me a lot to know the truth about catholics and gives me answers to my questions. God bless everyone. I may say I am proud to be Catholics and in Jesus Christ our salvation and to Blessed Mama Mary I offer everything.

  2. Help me ,sometimes when I say the Hail mary I feel like crying and I even shed tears even when I listen to the radio saying the rosary I start crying.i also experienced it when one of the fathers came to bless my house and said we say hail mary I started crying.

    1. Mary, you are blessed with the Holy Spirit and you feel God in your heart manifested by the tears in your eyes. The tears of fulfillment and Joy that God is with you. Do not worry if you cry whenever you say the rosary, it is that spiritual happiness that brings joy to your heart and to our GOD. God bless you , Mama Mary loves you!

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