Joyful                           Sorrowful                        Glorious


The hymns of the traditional Divine Office for Our Lady of the Rosary provide beautiful and evocative reflections that we can use to contemplate the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries as we pray the Rosary.


First Vespers Hymn – The Joyful Mysteries


The messenger from God's high throne   [The Annunciation]
His secret counsel making known
Hails Mary, child of David's race,
God's Virgin-Mother, full of grace.

The Mother-Maid with joyous feet  
[The Visitation]
Her friend, John's mother, goes to greet;
He, stirring in the enclosing womb,
Declares that Christ his Lord has come.

The Word, who ere the worlds began,  
[The Birth of Our Lord]
From God the Father's thought forth ran,
Of Mary, Virgin undefiled,
For us is born a mortal child.

Christ to the temple courts they bring;  
[The Presentation in the Temple]
The King's own law subjects the King;
The world's Redeemer for a price
Is there redeemed, our sacrifice.

The joyful Mother finds once more  
[The Finding of Our Lord]
The Son she mourned as lost before;
While doctors by his speech were shown
The mysteries they had never known.


Matins Hymn – The Sorrowful Mysteries


The Mount of Olives witnesseth  [The Agony in the Garden]
The awful agony of God:
His soul is sorrowful to death,
His sweat of blood bedews the sod.

And now the traitor's work is done:
   [The Scourging at the Pillar]

The clamorous crowds around him surge;
Bound to pillar, God the Son
Quivers beneath the blood-red scourge.

Lo! clad in purple soiled and worn,  
[The Crowning with Thorns]
Meekly the Saviour waiteth now
While wretches plait the cruel thorn
To crown with shame his royal brow.

Sweating and sighing, faint with loss  
[The Carrying of the Cross]
Of what hath flowed from life's red fount,
He bears the exceeding heavy cross
Up to the verge of Calvary's mount.

Nailed to the wood of ancient curse,  
[The Crucifixion]
Between two thieves the sinless one
Still praying for his murderers,
Breathes forth his soul, and all is done!


Lauds Hymn – The Glorious Mysteries


Now Christ, the conqueror of death,   [The Resurrection of Our Lord]
Breaks sin's enslaving chain,
And rising from the tomb returns,
And opens heaven again.

Awhile beheld by mortal men,  
[The Ascension of Our Lord]
He rises from their sight;
Ascending to the Father's throne,
He reigns in equal light.

His promised gift unto his own  
[The Descent of the Holy Spirit]

He sends forth from above,
And rains the Holy Spirit down
In fiery tongues of love.

The Virgin, freed of mortal weight,  
[The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin]

Is borne than stars yet higher,
And with glad melody is hailed
By each angelic choir.

Our Mother's gentle brow now shines  
[The Coronation of Our Blessed Mother]
With crown in starry sheen,
As nigh her Son, in light enthroned,
She reigns creation's Queen.


One way to contemplate the mysteries concretely when praying the Rosary is to read the appropriate verse above before each decade of Hail Marys, and then reflect on its scriptural imagery and allusions throughout the decade.



The following collect is a familiar Marian prayer that is often added at the end when reciting the Rosary.


Collect for Our Lady of the Rosary

Deus, cuius Unigénitus per vitam, mortem et resurrectiónem suam nobis salútis ætérnæ præmia comparávit: concéde, quǽsumus; ut, hæc mystéria sacratíssimo beátæ Maríæ Vírginis Rosário recoléntes, et imitémur, quod cóntinent, et quod promíttunt, assequámur.

O God, whose only-begotten Son, by his life, death and resurrection, hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation; grant, we beseech thee, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.


When has the Rosary ever been needed more than now,

for our protection from enemies both within and without?