Rosary Mysteries Confusion


I’ll try to keep this brief. I’m a cradle Catholic who recently came back to the church after almost two decades. My parents didn’t really do much in the way of teaching me about the faith when I was a child, so I’ve been reading up on the church, in particular the traditions, customs and sacraments. Admittedly I still have much to learn.

At any rate, when I returned to the church in late summer, I started small by trying to pray the rosary a few times a week and I’ve worked my way up to a rosary a day. I bought two short books that have a “how to” section regarding the rosary. The first one says to pray the Joyful Mysteries on Monday and Saturday, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursdays, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays and the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesdays and Sundays.
The other book is similar, however it differs in that it states that the JM should be prayed on Sundays from Advent until Lent, the GM should be prayed on Sundays from Easter until Advent, and the SM daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday.
Is this a situation where either is okay, or is one correct while the other isn’t? Both have the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur markings on the title page. I’m more than a little confused about this. Most forum posts I’ve read indicate that everyone does something to make it their own but if there’s any specific days I should be meditating on specific mysteries I’d like to at least get that right.
Well, I said I’d keep it short and I failed. Whoops. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


The Rosary is a private devotion, and one of the Church’s best. There is no “right” way to pray it, and no “right” mystery to meditate on. You can freely choose to follow the Church’s guidelines or not. I sometimes say the SM on days when I should be saying the JM, simply because my mood at the time inclined towards
meditating on those mysteries.
Welcome back to the Church. Wish you a long and fruitful journey in Christ.


You can do either one, you can combine the two, or you can just do what you like.
The Rosary is a private devotion, which means you can pick the mysteries you want to say on any given day.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to select Rosary mysteries for the day.

I personally follow the approach in your first book, except that in Advent I say Joyful on Sunday and in Lent I say Sorrowful on Sunday, and other times sometimes I say Luminous on Sunday or Monday because they only get one day per week otherwise.


Any Rosary is better than no rosary. Those are suggestions, opinions. You are bound by none of it.


That’s good to know. Thank you.
While we’re here, can anyone recommend any good books (besides the Summa Theologica). I’d like to start in the sub 500 page category!


“The Fathers” by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Actually anything written by him, as the world’s most brilliant living theologian.


The first thing to remember is that the Rosary, unlike the Liturgy of the Hours, is not considered part of the "public prayer of the church " (though it may certainly be prayed publicly), but rather is a private devotion, so how you pray it is your decision. It makes sense, though, for there to be some rhyme and reason behind the mysteries chosen. Personally I pray the Joyful Mon and Sat, Sorrowful Tues and Fri, Luminous on Thurs, and Glorious on Wed. For Sunday, I pray Joyful during Advent, Sorrowful during Lent, Glorious during Easter, and Luminous during Ordinary Time (since the luminous mysteries don’t focus specifically on either the beginning or end of Christ’s life). I also adapt when certain occasions arise - such as Ash Wednesday, when I pray the sorrowful mysteries rather than the glorious.


Praying the Rosary in private is something I have to work on. I can’t seem to find the discipline to pray the Rosary privately. I do however try to attend regularly when it is said before or after certain Masses. There is something about sitting in Church praying the Rosary in a group that greatly appeals to me.


I’d start with Trent Horn’s “Why We’re Catholic” and then read all of the Frank Sheed & Peter Kreeft you can get your hands on :slight_smile:

A subscription to would be worth looking at.

About Rosary mysteries, a good priest once told me that sometimes only one mystery is all we need. After that, I prayed nothing but the “Finding In The Temple” for at least a year, I often go back to that one.


As Pope St Paul VI said in his Exhortation Marialis Cultus (worth reading with link below) : " In concluding these observations, which give proof of the concern and esteem which the Apostolic See has for the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, we desire at the same time to recommend that this very worthy devotion should not be propagated in a way that is too one-sided or exclusive. The Rosary is an excellent prayer, but the faithful should feel serenely free in its regard. They should be drawn to its calm recitation by its intrinsic appeal."


Thanks for all of the input everyone. When I have some time today I will check out the links and such. And there is a related question I want to ask.
I tend to pray the rosary right after I get home from work in the morning (I work third shift) or when I wake up in the evenings so it’s the first thing I focus on (and so I don’t get sidetracked). Last night I was running late and wasn’t able to pray before work. I don’t have my rosary with me so I’m waiting for a lull to say a quick decade (one left at the moment) and I find that even though I try to simplify it I do lose track of have many Hail Mary’s I say.
I usually say four, then two sets of three so I don’t forget where I am, and yet I do. I’m pretty sure I said 12-17 Hail Mary’s for my last decade. Based on what was written above it doesn’t seem to be a bad thing, but just to be safe, a few extra prayers can’t hurt right? I doubt Mary is annoyed that I had enough reverence for her to devote an extra few minutes to her just to make sure I said a minimum of ten. Am I on the right track here?


It’s okay if you screw up and make a decade a little more or a little less. Most of us who are trying to pray “on the go” have this issue. Mary and Jesus look at your sincerity and effort, not at the perfection of whether you got exactly 10 in a decade.


What does Dr. Elaine Pagels and “Why Religion” have to do with Rosary Mysteries? I don’t want to flag you on your very first post, but the rules of the forum say that we need to stay on topic for threads. It’s considered bad form to just barge into a thread and make a totally off-topic post.

Dr. Pagel’s book that you mention seems to be a reflection on her own grief after she suffered a death. Did you post in the wrong thread by accident? Maybe you want to start a new thread in the "“Non-Catholic Religions” or “Spirituality” subforums?

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