Q: What is the meaning of the first part of the rosary?

A: The first part of the rosary (Creed, Our Father, three Hail Mary's, Glory) is the introductory or preparatory part of the rosary. Per anticipation, all the mysteries of the rosary are summarized in the Creed, our profession of faith. We make a profession of faith to renew our disposition as believers in all the mysteries of our salvation as commemorated in the rosary. The Our Father stresses the importance of prayer. Following Christ's teaching on prayer we make ours his insistence and disposition with regard to prayer. The three Hail Marys are an expression of special communion with God's grace as it expresses itself in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. This is the spirit in which we should say the rosary: with faith, hope and charity similar to that of Mary. The rosary is more than a prayer. It symbolizes our destiny in and with God according to Mary's example. To live up to this destiny, we need faith in God's marvelous deeds for us, perseverance in his ways (hope) and a practical attitude toward living our faith, that is charity. All of this preparation culminates in the Glory to highlight the ultimate meaning of the rosary, Christ's mission, Mary's pilgrimage on earth as mother and disciple of her Son, and our own destiny: to give glory to the holy Trinity.

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