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Cradle Catholic with a lot of questions; such as, why am I just figuring this stuff out now?

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

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