three crosses and sunrise on purple background for Holy Week 2023

Rosary Reflections for Holy Week and Easter Sunday 2023

Praying the rosary is a time-honored spiritual practice to ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to meditate on the life and words of Jesus. An excellent source of additional information is St. Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the Rosary, which you can read online at

This collection of traditional rosary mysteries and Scriptural rosary reflections focuses on the experiences of Jesus, as found in the Gospel stories of Holy Week. Praying the rosary during Holy Week provides two major avenues of spiritual growth. 

First, the rosary offers a way to slow down and listen to God speaking to you through sacred Scripture. Holy Week is the core time of salvation history which focuses on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Second, praying the rosary offers a practice of intercession – praying for your intentions, the needs of others, the Church, and for God’s Reign to come on earth.

The traditional mysteries of the rosary in this collection include the Sorrowful Mysteries, which focus on the Passion and Death of Jesus. For each of these mysteries, you pray five decades of the rosary. Each decade recalls a significant event from the life of Jesus. You meditate on that event to gain spiritual insight into God’s work of salvation in human history. Praying the traditional mysteries is like using a telescope to observe the big movements in salvation history.

A Scriptural rosary reflection takes one event or passage from the Gospels (or Scripture) and parses it into five “movements” of the story or the words in that passage. For example, the Agony in the Garden event is the first decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries. A rosary reflection on the Agony of Jesus at Gethsemane contains the entire Gospel text of the story of Jesus’ anguish at Gethsemane found in the Gospel of Matthew. 

The five decades contain the Scripture passages in that story. You pray the rosary in the same way as when praying a traditional mystery and then focus on the “mini” event or words from Scripture. It is a form of combining “Lectio Divina” with praying the rosary. Praying a rosary reflection is like using a magnifying glass to zoom in on the details of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.

Each page in this booklet contains one mystery or reflection. Each rosary page contains two columns. The left column includes an Introduction, What to Remember, and suggested intentions in What to Pray For. The right column contains The Five Decades, including the name of the decade, the Gospel passage, and the text of the passage (where available.)

Read the left column before you pray the rosary. Add any intentions you want. As you pray the decades of the rosary, turn to the right column. Start each decade by reading the Scripture passage, then let the words sink in as you pray the Our Father, the ten Hail Marys, and the Glory Be.

This document provides both the traditional Sorrowful Mysteries (with selected Scripture passages, where available) and rosary reflections from selected events that occurred during Holy Week.  Reflecting and meditating on these events in Jesus’ life help make His sacrifice of love more precious during Holy Week.

Scroll through the list of rosary reflections in the List of Reflections and choose one that resonates with you for your prayer time. Then, pray that rosary. Take your time. Let Jesus speak to you in your mind and heart.

As you reflect and meditate more closely upon this time in the life of Jesus, you enter more fully into the sacred time of Holy Week. You are preparing to celebrate God’s light that overcomes darkness during the Easter Season.

May your experience of Holy Week 2023 be filled with the light, love, and goodness of Jesus! 

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