December 26, 2010
What are the Mysteries of the Rosary?
The Rosary is divided into five “decades.” A decade is a set of ten beads. Each decade represents a mystery or event in the life of Jesus. The term mystery is used to describe important events/parts of the Catholicism that cannot be confirmed outside of our religious faith. The 20 mysteries of the Rosary are categorized evenly into four general events - joyful, sorrowful, glorious, and luminous. While reciting the rosary, you are supposed to devoutly meditate on each specific mystery. Through meditation on events that rely on faith to understand, you open yourself to greater spiritual insight.
Specific Mysteries of the Rosary are focused upon on certain days of the week. During private recitation of the Rosary, each decade requires devout meditation on one of the mysteries (depending on the day of the week). If there are two or more people saying the Rosary together, the leader must announce each of the mysteries before the decade, and start each prayer.
The Joyful Mysteries (Mondays and Saturdays):
• The Annunciation
• The Visitation
• The Birth of Our Lord Jesus
• The Presentation at the Temple
• The Finding at the Temple
The Sorrowful Mysteries (Thursdays and Fridays):
• The Agony of Christ in the Garden
• The Scourging at the Pillar
• The Crowning with Thorns
• The Carrying of the Cross
• The Crucifixion and the Death of Our Lord
Glorious Mysteries (Wednesdays and Sundays)
• The Resurrection of Our Lord
• The Ascension of Our Lord
• The Coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles
• The Assumption of the Virgin Mary
• The Coronation of the Virgin Mary
The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary (Thursdays) – 2002 Five mysteries were added to the Rosary by Pope John Paul II. These mysteries focus on the public ministry of Jesus Christ (Thursdays).
• The Baptism in the Jordan
• The Wedding at Cana
• The Proclamation of the Kingdom
• The Transfiguration
• The Institution of the Eucharist
References: The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions by Mike Aquilina and Regis J. Flahert and Understanding Catholicism by Bob O'Gorman and Mary Faulkner