How to pray the rosary for a deceased person

Updated March 23, 2017

Roman Catholics pray the holy rosary for many intentions including the eternal rest of departed souls. Although it is possible to pray for someone who has died at any time with the rosary, the rosary is often said at the vigil prior to the funeral. Use ordinary rosary beads to pray the rosary for someone who has recently died.At the vigil, the priest may lead the rosary and people will say it as a group.

Recite the rosary as you normally would, with a small exception (explained in Step 3). Cross yourself and begin the rosary on the crucifix with the Apostle's Creed, three Our Father recitations, and a Glory Be.

Pray the holy rosary while recalling the Glorious Mysteries: the resurrection of Jesus, the ascension of Jesus, the descent of the Holy Spirit, Mary's assumption into heaven, and her coronation as queen of heaven. (See References.) If praying in a group, announce each mystery before reciting each decade of ten beads. Then begin to pray the Our Father (at large beads) and ten Hail Mary prayers on the small beads. The large beads also require a "Glory be" before the next mystery is announced or prayed. (See References.) Meditate on each Glorious Mystery before the decade if reciting the rosary privately.

Include a special prayer for the dead as you progress through the rosary beads. After the "Glory Be" at the end of a decade, pray the Eternal Rest prayer: "Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen." (See References. )

Things You'll Need

  • Rosary beads
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About the Author

Alyson Paige has a master's degree in canon law and began writing professionally in 1998. Her articles specialize in culture, business and home and garden, among many other topics.