What are the mysteries for the Sunday rosary during Advent and Lent?


Within the last few months I have begun praying the rosary regularly. Now that it is Lent, I am a little confused about the designated days for each mystery. Some sources I have come across say that the sorrowful mysteries should be prayed on Sunday during Lent instead of the glorious, but others make no distinction between Lent and other times of year.

Is there any definitive teaching on this?


No. The rosary is a private devotion and Catholics are free to pray any of the four sets of mysteries (joyful, luminous, sorrowful, glorious) on any day they wish. It is however customary that each day of the week is devoted to one set of the mysteries. In John Paul II’s apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae he describes the custom this way:

According to current practice, Monday and Thursday are dedicated to the “joyful mysteries,” Tuesday and Friday to the “sorrowful mysteries,” and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday to the “glorious mysteries.” Where might the “mysteries of light” * be inserted? If we consider that the “glorious mysteries” are said on both Saturday and Sunday, and that Saturday has always had a special Marian flavor, the second weekly meditation on the “joyful mysteries,” mysteries in which Mary’s presence is especially pronounced, could be moved to Saturday. Thursday would then be free for meditating on the “mysteries of light”
(RVM 38).*If you wish to follow this order of praying the mysteries throughout the week, the schedule would appear this way:

[quote]Monday: Joyful
Tuesday: Sorrowful
Wednesday: Glorious
Thursday: Luminous
Friday: Sorrowful
Saturday: Joyful
Sunday: Glorious

According to this ordering of the weekly rosary, no provision is made for the change of the liturgical season; but, if you wish, you are free to set aside Sundays mysteries for the current liturgical season. If so, the Sunday order would appear this way:

Sundays of Advent and Christmas: Joyful
Sundays of Lent and Holy Week: Sorrowful
Sundays of Ordinary Time: Luminous
Sundays of Easter: Glorious

Recommended reading:

Light for the World by Michelle Arnold (sidebar)
Rosarium Virginis Mariae by John Paul II

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