POLL: The Luminous Mysteries – For them or against them?

I saw a post which argues that we should “dump” the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary proposed by St. John Paul II.  The reflections were based in part on the writings of Bl. Bartolo Longo.  I wrote some notes about the Luminous Mysteries in my Patristic Rosary Project (which I must return to one day).

I must admit that I never use the Luminous Mysteries.

Some people on the traditional side of things have an aversion to them that seems to be on the edge of strange.  I remember one loony argument that, since Our Lady wants us to pray a third of the whole Rosary each day, if we added in the Luminous Mysteries we would be praying 66.6 Hail Marys… or something like that.  Get it?  See those evil sixes?

LET’S BE CLEAR!  Not wanting to use the Luminous Mysteries doesn’t mean that you are against the mysteries they underscore.  Who is against the Transfiguration of the Lord?

Anyway, here is a little poll.

Pick your best answer and, if you are registered, comment below.

Luminous Mysteries: When I pray the Rosary, ...

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157 Responses to POLL: The Luminous Mysteries – For them or against them?

  1. dmwallace says:

    I never could manage to meditate on the mystery of the Proclamation of the Kingdom. Now, I’m more a “Jesus Prayer” guy with komboskini in hand.

  2. APX says:

    I am 29 and grew up with 3 sets of mysteries. I left the church for about 10 years and came back to there being an extra set. I’ve never used them, and am indifferent to them.

  3. CradleRevert says:

    I use the Luminous mysteries on occasion, but not nearly as often as the other three. I’ve heard the argument that since one of the original purposes of the Rosary was that it was the “poor man’s psalter” (replacing 150 psalms with 150 Hail Marys), and that adding the additional 50 sort of de-emphasized that intent. I can understand that argument.

    I’ve also heard some rather kooky arguments in opposition to the Luminous mysteries. I remember stumbling across a homily online by some SSPX priest who was stating that unlike the other 15 mysteries of the Rosary, the 5 Luminous mysteries were not essential to the story of salvation history (a rather odd argument considering what the fifth Luminous mystery is).

  4. Glennonite says:

    I have used the Luminous Mysteries since I first heard of them. Two big reasons are: St. JPII’s advice/direction has always had weight with me; secondly, they do logically fit into the complete life/works of Our Lord.
    I have two big questions:
    I know that it is recommended the we pray these on Thursdays, but I (who pray my dailies alone) think it’s more sensible to put them into Tuesdays because of the natural progression of Christ’s life. Am I screwing-up the continuity of the Church’s prayerlife somehow?
    Also Fr. Z, I respect you counsel greatly; why have you not adopted these?!

    Thanks,
    Glennonite

  5. Geoffrey says:

    I chose “I am happy to use the Luminous Mysteries. I usually say the Rosary alone”.

    I try to use the Luminous Mysteries every Thursday, just as St John Paul the Great proposed. I once was having a discussion with a laywoman who was attached to the SSPX, and she said that the new Luminous Mysteries was an attempt to “protestantize” the Rosary. I found that laughable since two of the mysteries could not be more Catholic: the Manifestation of our Lord at the Wedding Feast of Cana, which highlights the Blessed Virgin’s intercession, and the Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist. “Protestant Rosary” indeed!

  6. TWF says:

    I have no problem with the Luminous mysteries and do pray them from time to time. By default I will follow St. John Paul’s proposed schema (Glorious on Sundays and Wednesdays, Joyful on Mondays and Saturdays, Sorrowful on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Luminous on Thursdays)…but on feast days I tend to pray whatever mysteries seem most appropriate, regardless of the day of the week. For example, on the feast of the Annunciation, I will always pray the Joyful mysteries regardless of what day of the week it is. It would just strike me as inappropriate to pray the sorrowful mysteries on such a great feast just because it happened to fall on a Friday. When the Assumption fell on Friday this past month, I prayed the Glorious mysteries – quite appropriately I think. The Luminous mysteries seem appropriate for the feast of the Transfiguration, Holy Thursday, and Corpus Christi, among others. Harmonizing the Rosary mysteries with the liturgical calendar just always made more sense to me.

  7. jfk03 says:

    I love the luminous mysteries, particularly the baptism in the Jordan (Theophany) and the transfiguration. When meditating on the proclamation of the Kingdom, I often recite the beatitudes.

  8. Southern Baron says:

    I don’t always pray the rosary. But when I do, I pray Dos Equ….

    I can’t get myself to sit and pray the rosary alone. I’ve taken up the Hours which is much better for my temperament. But I love praying the rosary when I walk/hike for exercise in the rugged park near my house. It sets a pace and gives me something to meditate on. I usually do whatever is suggested for the day, and if I walk a long time I’ll add in the Luminous for round 2.

  9. Kensington says:

    I just follow the schedule. If I’m saying the Rosary on Thursday, I use the Luminous Mysteries.

  10. JesusFreak84 says:

    If the Rosary is supposed to represent 150 Ave Marias, for the number of Psalms, the Luminous Mysteries destroy that. Not to mention that I don’t want to have to, every Thursday, say, “OK, so this Rosary meditation was written BEFORE 2003, so I can’t use it,” etc. The last time I prayed the Luminous Mysteries was in college (and I graduated there in 2008,) and that was only because the students leading the Rosary insisted. I do NOT like when using or not using the LM is held up as a “gold standard” of orthodoxy or obedience. (My best friend’s husband tends to fall into the latter camp, treating the TLM the same way, and your way-out-there “RadTrads” would fall into the former.) There ARE valid arguments against them, (as modifications to the Rosary rather than the mysteries in and of themselves;) Paul VI was urged to change the Rosary and he refused, believing that it would be too traumatic for Catholics that were still in whiplash from the new Mass. (Though of course the other side to THAT argument in the 21st century is that too few Catholics still pray the Rosary for it to have the same effect.) So if someone wants to pray the LM, knock yourself out; just don’t call me a heretic or schismatic if I stick to the Joyful Mysteries that day or the Glorious on Saturdays.

  11. Menagerie says:

    TWF I do the same thing on feast days, and on rare occasions if my intent clearly seems to draw towards a certain mystery, for example, if praying for an expectant mother, I like to pray the Joyful mysteries.

    I pray the Luminous mysteries regularly am glad to have them to meditate on. I find them a welcome addition, and I just can’t imagine a strong reaction against them. If you don’t want to pray them, fine.

    I do not relate to the Christians who are on a perpetual, never ending tirade against something. If this had been an example during the time I was being drawn toward Catholic Christianity, I might have never approached a church.

    There are important things to have strong feelings about, but I do not see this as worthy of controversy. For me, the rosary is a great blessing and I am glad we are, each of us, free to say it as we choose in a manner that enriches our prayer lives.

  12. majuscule says:

    I grew up in the time before the Luminous Mysteries and didn’t even regularly pray the rosary. When I did commit to a daily rosary a few years ago, the Luminous Mysteries were new to me. I do say them on Thursdays. They are still “new” to me.

    I pray the rosary every day, alone. When I pray the rosary with others there is still the mystery that I have prayed alone.

  13. anilwang says:

    I personally love the Luminous Mysteries. Not only do they help fill a gap in the life of Jesus (his earthly ministries were important), but they also remind us of the sacramental life (baptism, marriage, eucharist) and the importance of scripture and personal holiness. In this secularized world we most definitely need to be reminded of these aspects of the faith.

  14. Mike says:

    The way some people go on about the Luminous Mysteries, an untutored observer would think they were about rainbows and unicorns! I’m happy to meditate on the Institution of the Eucharist. It lets me calm my indignation about Eucharistic abuses and meditate on the reason for the Mass. (And you can make mine Traditional Latin every time.)

  15. roma247 says:

    I’ve never been able to get comfortable with the LM. That was even before I heard about the significance of the 150 Aves (which, at the end of the day, unless you’re praying the FULL rosary is sort of a non-argument). I guess I’m just resistant to innovations in something as important as my faith without some clear reason as to why we should need to change a traditional devotion as old as the rosary.

    And this discomfort comes from what I see happening on the altar whenever I attend the Ordinary Form. I almost have to not look anymore. I’m not even talking about clown Masses. I noticed just this week (OK, it’s been months since I attended the OF) that two different priests at two different churches are keeping the Missal open in front of them on the altar (where the corporal usually goes?) and then the paten with the Host and the chalice are sitting over there, in front of the Missal (nearest the congregation). Is this a new thing? I don’t recall seeing this before. Whatever happened to the Missal stand? How is it easier to have the missal flat on the altar in front of you instead of propped up where it’s easy to see? And now we are so unconcerned about the Real Presence that we’re totally OK if particles of our Lord’s body fall into the cracks of the Missal, or are rubbed all over the corners as the priest turns the pages? What if the priest accidentally bumps the missal and the chalice gets knocked over? The priest I saw sort of tossed Jesus onto the paten after the consecration. He was kinda short, I guess he couldn’t reach???

    Sigh. Sorry. I digress. Yeah, not a big fan of innovation in the Church.

  16. PA mom says:

    I follow the schedule and like the Luminous Mysteries. The Baptism of Our Lord reminds me to pray for my godparents and those of my children, the Marriage reminds me to pray for my husband and other couples who are struggling around me, when remembering the Instution of the Eucharist I usually try to visualize being at Adoration and just being fully present to Him.

  17. Josemaria says:

    I benefit from praying the Luminous Mysteries. They provide a helpful reminder of some of the important aspects of Christ’s earthly ministry. The Baptism of the Lord and the Transfiguration are very mysterious indeed. I love being challenged by Mother Church to reflect on them frequently.

  18. colospgs says:

    I voted reluctant/alone. I prayed them a lot when they first came out. When my parish does the planned parenthood sidewalk rosary, we do not. I never asked why not. But ever since I joined them on the sidewalk, I now rarely pray them. I’m not against them, but if the other 3 sets were good enough for the saints, they are good enough for me.

    They do cover some rather important events that happened between the finding in the temple and the agony in the garden, right?

  19. The Sicilian Woman says:

    I almost always pray the Luminous Mysteries on my own. They might be optional, but there are three sacraments in them – Baptism, Holy Matrimony, and the Holy Eucharist, the last being the source and summit of our faith. Thus, it seems fitting to reflect on them, though I’ve read online opposition to them, usually from the rad trad end of the spectrum.

    In the monthly Rosary group of which I am a part, we pray three sets of Mysteries in one sitting, the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious, not the Luminous. The exception occurs when we meet on a Thursday; then, the Luminous Mysteries replaces one of the other Mysteries. But we never pray all four sets of Mysteries. I’ll usually pray the Luminous before or after on my own. It’s not a problem.

    In terms of order, I don’t always pray in the order St. JPII suggested, preferring to pray them in the order of Christ’s life – Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, Glorious.

  20. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    I like the Luminous Mysteries. I have no problem with them at all. If they bother someone so much: Just don’t do ’em.

    Out of Everything Else to take issue with in the Church,(and there are many legitimate gripes to be had.) is this REALLY the hill some people want to die on?

    Go against The Luminous Mysteries, OR fight against liturgical abuses, near-sacrilegious services, and/or heresies preached from the pulpit?

    One is not worth arguing over, and should be left alone. The other is something that is worth fighting for and making a stand against.

    Pick your battles wisely.

  21. tominrichmond says:

    I don’t know about dying on hills or being obsessed with anything, but I have little interest in yet *another* unneeded, unasked for, inorganic change being imposed from above. The rosary devotion seemed to be chugging along quite well without an unasked-for tampering with it. It seems like this change was just another example of the mania for officious tampering and change for the sake of the god of the change.

    By the same token, I care not whether others want to use the LM; knock yourselves out by all means; but as another commenter mentioned, please avoid making them some silly litmus test of devotion to JPII or the papacy, etc.

  22. cyrillist says:

    Before the new mysteries were invented, the gap between the Finding in the Temple and the Agony in the Garden used to bother me a little. Then, one day, it occurred to me: Even though the things that Our Lord said and did during His ministry were all overwhelmingly important, they all pale in comparison with the facts of the Incarnation and the Redemption, and I began to perceive that as an unspoken message of the “missing” mysteries. The affinity between the 150 Psalms and the 150 Aves is also significant, and not to be lightly abandoned. I voted “never, abolish, alone.”

  23. Uxixu says:

    If I’m doing a Novena and for regular devotion I don’t pray the Luminous Mysteries. I have no interested in a 20 decade rosary and do appreciate the symmetry of 150 Ave Marias to complement the 150 Psalms, etc.

    That said, I find most of the ‘trad’ arguments against them rather silly, and I have found the Luminous Mysteries useful and laudable as separate Mysteries to contemplate outside of a “normal” Rosary cycle. Specifically I’ll usually say at least a decade of the Luminous Mysteries on my walk/job from the gym back home, usually with a special intention.

  24. Thorfinn says:

    Instead of being dictated from on high, the only good changes are the ones that emerge from below, far below, from the very pits of h- No, wait, that can’t be right…

    I like having the Luminous Mysteries as a nice change of pace. I imagine if I prayed enough I could get bored with 3 sets. Maybe some day I will find out!

  25. Priam1184 says:

    For all those who say that the Rosary is supposed to be this or supposed to be that, I think it is important to remember that the Rosary is a living tradition that kind of worked itself out in the long course of the history of the second millennium. I personally love the Luminous Mysteries and have profited much from meditating on the Baptism of the Lord, the Wedding at Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist. But I didn’t start saying the Rosary until about a decade after Saint John Paul II penned Rosarium Virginis and recommended this new Mysteries.

    For me it is the most natural thing in the world, but I understand that there are those who had been reciting the 15 Mysteries for decades before the late Holy Father made these new recommendations and if they don’t feel inclined to use them then they should do what works for them.

  26. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    1. JesusFreak84: No lesser than N.T. Wright has observed of the creeds that to go from “born of the Virgin Mary” to “Crucified under Pontius Pilate” would have prompted the four evangelists to raise their hands and exclaim: “Just a minute! We wrote about a whole lot of things that happened between these two events.” The same for the Rosary.

    2. CradleRevert: The Rosary was not a “the “poor man’s psalter”; it was an illiterate man’s Divine Office for daily prayer. And until the 19th C the overwhelming majority of the population was illiterate. That’s not the case now. So where is daily public Divine Office?

    Private devotions mean that people want something more than just daily Mass. Once the daily public Divine Office for laity ended in the 6th C (at least in the Western Church), private devotions proliferated. The Rosary ought not be a substitute for the Divine Office. Its proper place is as a Christian mantra prayer, leading to the spiritual insights that such a prayer can give. I also like the private devotions of the Sacred Heart and Eucharistic devotions. Otherwise, I can’t see private devotions replacing the Liturgy of the Hours — which of course is hardly a private devotion!

  27. Matt R says:

    I really don’t understand why St. John Paul II issued the Luminous Mysteries as a part of the Rosary. 150 Hail Mary’s corresponds to the Psalmody of the Office, and the Dominican Rosary as well as its historical antecedents have always been prayed in this manner. It was one more change on top of decades of change. I suppose the Rosary is fair game, because even the liturgy was subjected to great tumult (sadly both from on high and below). But the Rosary is very near and dear to peoples’ hearts, and it feeds into and receives from the liturgy. It’s one of the best forms of popular piety for that reason. It has been very stable in its form, and it also adapts well to local additions.

    cyrillist is exactly right. The mysteries of the Rosary focus on the mystery of the Redemption, and not on the works of Our Lord during His earthly ministry which are related to them.

    I don’t make a fuss about the Luminous Mysteries, but if I have a choice, I usually don’t say them.

    That being said, I would have happily supported the composition of a chaplet dedicated to Our Lady which included meditations on what are now the Luminous Mysteries.

  28. Mary Jane says:

    Our family prays the rosary together every evening. We stick to the “old” schedule (Mon/Thurs – Joyful Mysteries, Tues/Fri – Sorrowful Mysteries, Wed/Sat – Glorious Mysteries, Sundays – the Mysteries that are proper to the liturgical season). I will pray the Luminous Mysteries if I am praying the Rosary in a group and the group leader initiates the LMs…but that’s it.

  29. Unwilling says:

    Over the centuries there have been several suggestions for additional (i.e. JSG) chaplets. Every one I heard of had been created with pious intent and saintly devotion — often by later-declared saints. The meditations proposed were potentially profound and edifying. I consider them respectfully as acts of Christian creativity and expression. [Though I do not doubt some diabolical ones have been devised by Black Mass advocates or Nuns on the Bus.] That said, none of these alternatives have become integral parts of Catholic devotion. Nor is it likely.

  30. ppb says:

    It was only around 2005 that I learned how to pray the Rosary properly and starting doing it regularly, and by that time the Luminous Mysteries were well circulated and heard on EWTN, etc. So I never really perceived them as an addition – I learned them when I learned the Rosary. They are optional, of course, and I like to pray them occasionally. As some others have noted, the mysteries are appropriate for certain feasts in the liturgical year (Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration, etc.).

  31. A.D. says:

    For years I thought something was missing from the mysteries – going from the childhood to the suffering and death of Our Lord. I am glad for the Luminous Mysteries. They fill the gap and give much material for thoughtful meditation.

    As for the 666 and 66.6% of the Rosary. Folks, get over it. We are Catholics! We don’t believe in superstition. Doesn’t the “666” have a different interpretation than as the literal “mark of the beast” anyway? If not, according to your vote number tally, the voter two persons back from mine (at #668) should be very worried.

  32. Marc M says:

    I like ’em. I find each of the 20 mysteries helpful. It’s a private devotion, I don’t get the controversy… if one doesn’t find it helpful, one doesn’t have to make use of it. If I’m praying alone, as I usually say the Rosary in the car, I sometimes substitute something else for the traditional Salve Regina, as I can’t manage to put my heart into some of the flowery language. As long as you’re not being heretical, do whatever works for you in a private devotion, right?

    I do appreciate the symmetry of the 150 Aves, the trinitarian character, etc. But the addition of the Gloria Patri and the Fatima prayer were once innovations, too.

  33. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I didn’t like them at first, but now I do. First, I found out that there had always been a lot of different Mysteries in use, and that even the Dominican Rosary had gone through a lot of changes over time. Second, I found out that it was quite traditional to have special Thursday-only prayers which were concerned with Jesus’ preaching and the Last Supper. So my sense of symmetry stopped being offended.

  34. Tony McGough says:

    Hey, Fr Z, you really are missing out!

    The Mysteries of Light really do light up the world: Baptism, Marriage (that’s MY sacrament, and where would I be without it?), Holy Orders (and where would YOU be without it?); with a touch of Evangelisation (how could one not find stuff to meditate and give thanks for re the Sermon on the Mount) and the Transfiguration (Jesus’ Glory, and the gob-smacked Apostles).

    Come on, Father, get into gear and talk with Our Lady about this stuff. It’s the berries!

  35. schmenz says:

    I ignore them. Contrived and frankly embarrassing.

    I will not be surprised if someone in Rome adds yet another mystery: The Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mysteries.

  36. PaterAugustinus says:

    I came to the Catholic Church from the Orthodox Church, and, as a student in Classics and in Medieval Studies, I was drawn to much of the Medieval spirituality of the Church. In that epoch, the Rosary was prayed with a great variety of different Mysteries, the standard 15 being finally recognized by Pope St. Pius V in the early modern age. For that reason, while I tend to give pride of place either to these standard 15 (Glorious, Sorrowful, Joyous), I also feel free to meditate on other Mysteries as appropriate or as the mood strikes, usually having recourse to the Middle Ages’ “Five Joys of the Virgin” (back before the Joys became 7 in number!): Annunciation, Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension, Assumption/Coronation (treated as one and the same thing).

    I do understand the idea that the Rosary is the poor man’s psalter, and so I always started and ended it like the Office, only to discover later that I was praying the Rosary almost exactly as the Dominicans do! But unless someone is praying all 15 decades in a day, and truly making their Rosary into a little office, it seems silly to object to including other Mysteries for occasional devotion (like the Luminous, etc.) on the grounds that this disrupts the resemblance to the Psalter. If you are only praying one set of five Mysteries a day, you have already broken up the resemblance to the Psaltery; I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, as I myself often only pray five or ten mysteries a day, I’m just saying that if you aren’t saying 150 Aves, your Rosary is already not a full psalter and you may as well pray the Luminous (or any other) Mysteries if you like. Indeed, one can easily follow the Medieval practice and meditate upon whatever mysteries one likes – or, as in some medieval rosaries, each Ave can have a rhymed stanza reflecting on an element from the life of Christ and the Virgin. Google this first stanza to find one such version: “Suscipe rosarium, Virgo, deauratum, Iesu Christi compendium vita decoratum.” I know you’ll find English translations alongside the Latin on some sites. I pray this version on occasion.

    So, long story short: I feel free to meditate on whatever Mysteries, but I also see a wisdom in the 15 that were ultimately chosen. I most often meditate on the Five Joys, but still frequently use the standard 15. I have never prayed the Luminous Mysteries as a group, but I have meditated upon some of the Mysteries included in those now named Luminous, as part of a more free-form employment of whatever Mysteries. Often if I meditate on an “alternate” Mystery, it is because we are on or near the feast for that Mystery – Transfiguration, Corpus Christi, Nativity of the Theotokos, Presentation of the Mother of God in the Temple, etc.

  37. Papabile says:

    I honestly believe that the Luminous Mysteries will eventually be adopted by most people who pray the Rosary. However, it’s important to remember that the Pope only “proposed” them.

    I think the reason why they will be adopted is that the Bishops have acted as if they are now officially part of the Rosary, and that this Marian Devotion has made a comeback. When Paul VI added the XV Station of the Cross, I don’t think it survived because those devotions had fallen almost by the wayside at that point.

    With that said, I wonder if they will modify the Enchiridion of Indulgences that the rosary if 150 Aves…. Is it now really 200?

    Personally, I don’t say them, though my kids do at school every day. I am somewhat indifferent to them. I tried offering them when originally proposed, but it really broke my concentration on the Mysteries and and I had an extraordinarily hard time meditating on them, particularly with respect to the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God – which is not an explicit incident as all other Mysteries are.

    I wish them the best, but they are not for me.

  38. I don’t say the Luminous Mysteries because they destroy the correspondence between the 150 Hail Marys and the 150 Psalms. I’m inclined to agree with the comments of tominrichmond. I don’t recall that there was a huge clamor for structural changes to the Rosary. (For that matter, was there a huge clamor from the pews for changes to the Mass?)

  39. Nicholas says:

    As one of the youngest readers of this blog(16) I have never thought of this. The controversy is before my time, and I have always said the Luminous on Thursdays, and never thought there was some other way to say the Rosary, though I did know they were added in at some point.

  40. frahobbit says:

    The Luminous mysteries evoke for me references to Jesus as Bridegroom, in a way uniquely set off from the rest of the Mysteries.

  41. KM Edwards says:

    I am grateful that, sinful as I am, Our Lady has led me to pray Her Rosary daily. I could not imagine living a day without it. As She said to St Dominic “I will save the world through the Scapular and the Rosary”. Perhaps, the fact that in the face of so much ecclesial turmoil over most of my life, and with such a precipitous descent into apostasy on a global scale that has impacted society, family, friends and the Church as a whole, the Rosary is a true refuge for me. I escape the world through this means.

    I studied the history of the Rosary. And its roots in the Davidic Psalter are real – a 150 Psalms not 200. Having 3 sets of mysteries in the official Rosary has a harmony – 3 for the Trinity, 3 for the Theological Virtues.

    Padre Pio prayed about 30-35 Rosaries each day. If we are saintly, we might approach several Rosaries each day as well. Even when I am able to pray 7, 8, 9 or more Rosaries a day, I pray only the 3 traditional sets of mysteries – my feeble mind gets much less confused that way.

    On the individual level, as one studies scripture, praying a decade (1 Pater, 10 Aves, 1 Gloria) as a meditation upon any event or aspect of the Lord’s life should definitely yield good fruits. It is to be encouraged. The events captured by these so-called Luminous mysteries are wonderful to meditate on.

    I am firmly behind keeping the traditional 3 sets of mysteries instituted by Pope Pius V the official form of the Rosary and I advocate to abolish the official use of the Luminous mysteries.

    An important reason to abolish their “official” or “public” use is the perception that even within the Faith, “the new” must replace “the old”, which tends to undermine (does not have to, but often the perception leads to an undermining) of Sacred Tradition. A false perception that we perpetually must have some aggiornamento. Not to mention that we have “Rosary mayhem” – you have no idea what Rosary a parish group will recite on Thursday. I have also seen parishes trying to squeeze in the additional Luminous mysteries into their stained glass repertoire, only to be forced for lack of space to eliminate the 4th and 5th glorious mysteries – much more efficient to conjoin “Our Lady’s glorification” to make way for the Luminous mysteries. Which I think is rather horrendous.

    For my part, when the public Rosary in a parish I visit on Thursday is the Luminous one, I walk out the door and pray the Joyful ones by myself. Nothing against the Transfiguration, the Last Supper or other wonderful events in our Lord’s life which I love to meditate on when reading Scriptures or reviewing my apologetics.

    In fact, Pope John Paul II only ever “suggested” their use – he never mandated their use, and if one reads his introduction of the luminous mysteries, I do not believe he ever intended them to take a Church-wide official usage. Having read his document carefully, the sense I got was that, in a world where people are praying less and less, and where more and more Catholics are abandoning the Faith, he offered additional mysteries to encourage those who casually read the Scriptures to join their reading with a holy meditation.

    Perhaps Fr Z can share the original Latin and explain in slavish detail Pope John Paul II’s words in his intro … I believe “suggestion” was a good translation of the words actually used. Why so many are so keen to jump on a suggestion to effectively throw even public Rosary recitations into confusion.

  42. LeeF says:

    I didn’t like them at first but do now, and only added them because it was JPII who was asking. They are not contrived as some maintain, because they are clearly based on the gospel, unlike a lot of loopy alternate suggestions people have proposed over the years. And arguments about not corresponding to the psalms only matter if one actually meditates on those psalms with each bead. The luminous mysteries take the place of extra glorious ones during the week, so nothing is lost.

    Pray the LM or don’t, it doesn’t matter. What matters is praying the Rosary daily in some form.

  43. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    “The mysteries of the Rosary focus on the mystery of the Redemption, and not on the works of Our Lord during His earthly ministry which are related to them.” MattR

    EVERYTHING that Our Lord did and does and will do is redemptive. Every mystery in the LM involves redemptive activity.

  44. benedetta says:

    I don’t see the Luminous Mysteries as taking away from or changing tradition especially; I see them as enhancing tradition in light of apparitions of Our Lady etc.

    It’s an interesting question, however. What defines to what extent and where traditions of the Church are fixed and may never be added to? Of course, adding dissent does not enhance tradition but negates. Adding upon a solid foundation something like the optional Luminous mysteries, by a Pope no less, to me does not seem like something that would in the long run be harmful for the tradition or the Church, but in fact seems like it would only serve to encourage these.

  45. iPadre says:

    Since the Rosary is only a simple devotion (I’m not downplaying it) and not something of Divine Institution, you can suggest a new set or 20 new sets of mysteries. If it were what Bugnini suggested, that is another story.

    I use them and I especially like the 5th – The Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist as the Sacramental Expression of the Paschal Mystery. Anything that promotes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and encourages meditation on that Most awesome mystery is good for me.

  46. Wiktor says:

    I’d say that I pray the Extraordinary Form of the Rosary, i.e. as it was in 1962 ;-)

  47. Militans says:

    I was given a rosary by my grandmother before she died and it has the names of the decades on a 3-sided piece of metal as the decade marker (and when to pray each on a similar marker above the cross).

    As I prefer to pray with this rosary I usually ignore the luminous mysteries unless someone else is leading.

  48. Charles E Flynn says:

    My only problem with the Luminous Mysteries is that the print in the book containing the reflections on them is harder to read than the print in the original book for the other three sets of mysteries:

    The Rosary with Fra Angelico and Giotto

  49. trespinos says:

    Having only begun daily recitation of the Rosary last December when the booklet “Praying the Rosary Without Distractions” (The Rosary Center, Dominican Fathers, Portland, OR) fell into my hands and removed a lifelong barrier, I have been pleased to include the Luminous Mysteries on Thursdays. For those who don’t wish to include them but still say the older set of mysteries, I see no harm done, nor could I imagine it justified to get one’s hair on fire over the issue.

  50. SaintsSQPNcom says:

    tap your screen, pray your rosary – http://catholicsaints.mobi/rosary.htm

  51. capchoirgirl says:

    I love them. I’ve used them every since they came into being and I’ve always thought they make a lot of sense. When we teach about the rosary in my first grade CCD class, we teach the Luminous Mysteries.

  52. Widukind says:

    I agree with what Suburbanbanshee said above. I do like them very much and find them very enriching. They make Thursdays a little bit special. I remember reading somewhere that a reason for the Luminous Mysteries, was being theophanic in nature, would appeal to Eastern Catholics.
    I think part of the problem may be in what one considers the rosary to be. By and large for the masses, the rosary consists of just five decades. For the purist, it is fifteen decades. So, if you pray the five decade rosary daily, there is no problem to use the Luminous Mysteries. If you pray the fifteen decade rosary, for the sake of integrity, keep to the traditional sets of mysteries. So then where is the problem? What really bothers me greatly (and actually saddens me) about all this is the stridency, stringency, or vehemence by which some on here dismiss the Luminous Mysteries in order to defend the traditional fifteen. What Fr. Z. sometimes says, do not destroy the good by always wanting the perfect, I think can apply here with this. Perhaps another way to see the Luminous Mysteries for Thursday, is that we see it as taking in a Byzantine liturgy rather than our regular Roman liturgy. (But God forbid, why should one do that? Cause, its not even Roman, so how can it be of any good?)

  53. Janol says:

    I’m grateful for the addition of the luminous mysteries, and as I usually say the Chaplet of Mercy daily except Sundays, I skip the sorrowful mysteries and say the luminous mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays.

  54. Lots of good comments on both sides. But there is something to be said for respecting tradition. What’s to keep another pope from introducing the “Mysteries of Humility” for example? Sure, they’re optional, but try getting an Imprimatur on anything that doesn’t include them. (I base that on a disclaimer carried by a traditional rosary book explaining why the included the Luminous Mysteries.) The 150 makes a nice correspondence to the psalter. But the reality is young people coming up are probably learning the Luminous Mysteries and the three-mystery cycle’s days are numbered.

    Since it is a purely private matter (unless you want episcopal approval of your rosary book) the Bear doesn’t care. He’ll go on meditating upon the original three sets unless he finds a compelling reason to change from what he is used to.

  55. SubjectVerb says:

    I usually follow the schedule because I am still working on developing my devotion to the rosary. I am always delighted by the Luminous Mysteries, especially the Wedding at Cana and the Institution of the Eucharist. I often think, “How did the other mysteries miss the Institution of the Eucharist?!”

  56. FrAnt says:

    The Holy Father, SAINT John Paul II asks the People of God to pray the Luminous Mysteries. Maybe we should listen to a saint. A saint that was very close to our Blessed Mother. A saint that sat in the chair of Peter. Just a thought.

  57. JustaSinner says:

    No problem with the Luminous mysteries…just kind of a Sorrowful Mysteries prayer. Don’t think God is too angry that I usually use the sorrowful mysteries, though.

  58. Gaetano says:

    I’m not a fan of the Luminous Mysteries, and pray them only when the leader of the Rosary selects them.
    The LMs are even the change introduced by John Paul II I disagree with the most. (Qualification: I believe JPII was a great Pope). I find the placement of Divine Mercy Sunday to be far more objectionable.

  59. St. Rafael says:

    The Luminous Mysteries should have been released as a separate chaplet, and not an option for the Rosary. Mary’s psalter.

    This article pretty much sums up what is wrong with the Luminous Mysteries:
    The Twenty Mysteries of the Rosary?
    http://www.seattlecatholic.com/article_20021108_The_Twenty_Mysteries_of_the_Rosary.html

  60. Makemeaspark says:

    Along with many here, I have derived great benefit from meditating on the LM. That being said, I am shocked that no one here has the approach that I do to things of the Church. When I was young it was presented to me that OBEDIENCE was a virtue. Further I learned that many orders consider obedience a cardinal virtue. At first, I was not crazy about the new mysteries when they first came out, HOWEVER, out of obedience to the Church, and trusting (or shall we say having faith) that what the Church gives us is always good I learned them.

    The more that I pray the Luminous the more insight I have into the life of Christ and the life of the Church. I also agree here with those who say the luminous mysteries fill gaps that are between the joyful and sorrowful. And I find that knowing the whole Bible better increases my understanding of the incarnation and the redemption of Christ .

  61. Will499 says:

    While I’m not really against them, I mainly just use the original three sets, using the Luminous Mysteries on a few Thursdays here and there. Mainly because, as others have already said, of the 150 Hail Marys being Our Lady’s Psalter.

  62. LarryW2LJ says:

    The best response I could pick was:
    “I never use the Luminous Mysteries. I’m indifferent about them. I usually say the Rosary alone.”

    I wouldn’t say that I am indifferent to them, I would just say that I am a creature of habit and stick to what I know. I’m not against them, and if anyone wants to use them, particularly in a group setting, I’m OK with that.

    But for my own private prayer, one of my favorite mottos is; “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

  63. marnold says:

    I think it’s fine if someone wants to pray the LM. However, the original three sets of Mysteries are based on a purely Catholic process of discovering the prayer from Monks reciting the Psalms then simplified for peasants, 150 Prayers total. When JPII announced the LM he specifically stated that they were in response to criticism about the rosary being centered on something other than Jesus (where have I heard that Catholics are too focused on Mary in place of Jesus again?). Frankly, the idea that Catholic traditions are created in response to Protestant criticism does not sit well with me.

  64. JesusFreak84 says:

    That’s the thing; it’s NOT an obedience thing, and implying that someone who prays the JSG mysteries is therefore disobedient is as erroneous as saying so because they prefer the TLM. I honestly believe that JPII himself would not be pleased to see the LMs used as an obedience litmus test.

  65. Makemeaspark says: Along with many here, I have derived great benefit from meditating on the LM. That being said, I am shocked that no one here has the approach that I do to things of the Church. When I was young it was presented to me that OBEDIENCE was a virtue. Further I learned that many orders consider obedience a cardinal virtue. At first, I was not crazy about the new mysteries when they first came out, HOWEVER, out of obedience to the Church, and trusting (or shall we say having faith) that what the Church gives us is always good I learned them.

    This is not the first time I have heard or seen this argument, and reinforces my conviction that we need catechesis on the parameters of obedience. In fact, this isn’t something we owe obedience on.

  66. HyacinthClare says:

    Oh dear, I didn’t get the memo about Thursdays, or if I did, I forgot it. I love the Luminous ones and pray them on Saturdays, rather than doing Glorious two days in a row. I’ve thought about wanting to put them between the Joyful and the Sorrowful, for chronological accuracy, but I’m so new at rosary praying (one of the last things this convert is getting to) that I’m sticking with the Monday-Thursday, Tuesday-Friday, Wednesday-Sunday schedule I learned at first.

  67. Magash says:

    I usually pray the Luminous Mysteries if I’m saying the Rosary on Thursdays. I also say the Fatima decade prayer, which of course only goes back to 1917.
    I’m all for tradition (little ‘t’) however in the area of private devotions the Luminous Mysteries aren’t even in the running when it comes to silly additions to Catholic practices. They all have solid theological and scriptural origin. It does break the link between 150 Psalms and 150 Hail Marys, but as other have said if you are only doing 5 decades that correspondence doesn’t matter anyway.
    So my opinion is say them or don’t. Making them a kind of litmus test of either tradition, JPII or orthodoxy is really silly.

  68. Supertradmum says:

    As most likely one of the oldest and pre-Vat II people commenting on this blog, I must say that over the years I have come to like the Luminous Mysteries for one reason. These help in meditation on the Life of Christ.

    The reason for the rosary is to encourage the prayer of meditation. I have found these mysteries helpful in this regard. But, I know some traddies who are against them, which I think is an over-reaction.

    The rosary developed over many centuries, so why not more development, if it is useful for us in our prayer, leading to meditation and contemplation?

  69. Papabile says:

    Makemeaspark makes a comment about obedience.

    Perhaps she might read the actual letter by the Holy Father who only proposes the new mysteries.

    For the purpose of gaining an indulgence for praying the Rosary, one only need to pray 10 Paters, 10 Glorias, and 150 Aves – in NO particular order.

    That’s as close as the Church has come to formally demanding anything with respect to the content of the Rosary.

  70. paladin says:

    roma247 wrote:

    I noticed just this week (OK, it’s been months since I attended the OF) that two different priests at two different churches are keeping the Missal open in front of them on the altar (where the corporal usually goes?) and then the paten with the Host and the chalice are sitting over there, in front of the Missal (nearest the congregation).

    Ugh! I am in absolute spiritual *agony* whenever I see that… and for the very reasons you describe (e.g. How many particles of Our Lord’s Body are between the pages holding Eucharistic Prayer #2?)! It’s insane and thoughtless, and I’ve seen it done by Priests who teach at seminaries…!

    The priest I saw sort of tossed Jesus onto the paten after the consecration. He was kinda short, I guess he couldn’t reach???

    Maybe… but I’ve seen priests who have a very lackadaisical approach to Our Lord in the Sacred Host (e.g. tossing Him like a coin onto a beggar’s plate); it’s so sad. In contrast, a visiting Hispanic priest (who struggles with English, which makes some people frustrated with him), when he comes to the consecration, looks so lovingly at Him as he raises the Host (and he says some sort of prayers under his breath during the elevation–he’s in no hurry to set Our Lord down!), and sets Him down on the paten so tenderly and slowly, that it comes close to bringing tears to my eyes. What a difference!

  71. Joseph-Mary says:

    Actually pray all four mysteries daily. Love the Luminous Mysteries!

  72. rtrainque says:

    Have only known the four sets, so I’ve always used them all. I have no particularly strong feelings for or against the addition, but can see good points on each side. While I like the idea of sticking with the “original” mysteries, I also appreciate that the LM “fill in” the chronology of Christ’s life on Earth (Joyful–>Luminous–>Sorrowful–>Glorious) maybe it’s a “weird” way to think if it, but without them you jump from the finding in the temple to the agony in the garden.

    Whichever mysteries you like to use, at least pray your Rosary every day!

  73. Geoffrey says:

    “Actually pray all four mysteries daily. Love the Luminous Mysteries!”

    I’ve only been able to do this when flying on a plane. What a wonderful way to mediate on the life of Jesus and Mary!

  74. eulogos says:

    I was slow to learn about them just as I was slow to learn about the Divine Mercy prayer, because neither was ever mentioned in the parish I was attending when they came out, nor as far as I know, mentioned in the diocesan newspaper, and there was no internet then. (They could have been mentioned and I missed it, as I was a pretty busy mother of young children then.) Once I learned about them I was glad to pray them. They are important mysteries in Christ’s life. My only problem is how to fit them into the week. Tuesday seems to make more sense than Thursday, so that is when I do them, if I am alone.
    I am usually resistent to change, but I liked the idea that Pope JPII gave them to us. It seems as if they are a gift from his life of prayer to his people, and a gift that is fruitful without being difficult. I found the Theology of the Body difficult and dense to read (I am told the translation I had was poor but never found the energy to try again) although I was able to get through Love and Responsiblity. The Acting Person was entirely beyond me. But this set of Rosary meditations is like a suggestion, or a gift, from one’s spiritual father. I think such a gift is to be treasured. So during my better times, when I am praying the Rosary regularly, I do pray them.

    I have to say, though, that during my depressed times when I hardly have the energy to drag myself through the day, and even pulling my rosary beads out of my pocketbook or remembering which mysetery I am on, seems too difficult, the Jesus prayer is my refuge.
    Susan Peterson

  75. dominic1955 says:

    Personally, I think it would have been best if they were introduced as a sort of supplimental rosary chaplet. I have nothing against them and use them myself, but in that way-as an extra “chaplet” of sorts.

    Either way, they were introduced as “optional” so I don’t see why anyone gets all upity about them either way. I find the radtrad “arguments” against them to be very silly just as I find the neo-con use of them as a sort of litmus test of “orthodoxy” to be just as silly. They are a devotional, they are optional, no one said you “have” to say them or they “replace” the old way. Using them or not using them (or even saying the Rosary at all as some/many Easterns do not do it at all) does not make you a good/bad Catholic. As such, do whatever floats your boat.

  76. dominic1955 says:

    P.S. I think it did make sense to make them “part” of the Rosary as most Western Catholics have a rosary. The various other sorts of “rosaries” or chaplets that use a different set of beads are hard to make fly because of the variant beads that are not commonly found. I think the Divine Mercy chaplet was intelligently based on the standard rosary that most everyone has.

  77. FrHorning says:

    I have prayed the Holy Rosary almost every day of my life. I have been a priest for over 10 years. I cried the day that Rosarium Virginis Mariae came out. These mysteries are a great gift to the Church and the world. I love the Luminous Mysteries! Viva el Rosario!

  78. Allan S. says:

    Well, I suppose if one were to seek out as close to an authoritative ruling on them, one would consult the “The CONFRATERNITY OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY” (An Archconfraternity), and “A World-Wide Movement of Prayer Entrusted to the DOMINICAN ORDER by the HOLY SEE More than 500 Years Ago.” According to their website, they state the following:

    Since the Holy Father has recently added the five luminous mysteries, we encourage members of the Confraternity to include that extra weekly Rosary. However, we have as yet received no official statement regarding this matter. Those who recite only the fifteen traditional mysteries will continue to share in the benefits of the Confraternity until some official source declares the contrary.

  79. The most recent edition of the Enchiridion of Indulgences says:
    ” A plenary indulgence is granted, if the Rosary is recited in a church or public oratory or in a family group, a religious Community or pious Association; a partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances.

    “Now the Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of “Hail Marys” with an “Our Father” before each decade, and in which the recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of our Redemption.” (Roman Breviary)

    The name “Rosary,” however, is commonly used in reference to only a third part of the fifteen decades.

    The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:

    The recitation of a third part only of the Rosary suffices; but the five decades must be recited continuously.
    The vocal recitation must be accompanied by pious meditation on the mysteries.
    In public recitation the mysteries must be announced in the manner customary in the place; for private recitation, however, it suffices if the vocal recitation is accompanied by meditation on the mysteries. ”
    Official text in latin here:
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/documents/rc_trib_appen_doc_20020826_enchiridion-indulgentiarum_lt.html

    I have no problem with the Luminous Mysteries. They are an option for those who want to meditate them.

  80. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I pray the Rosary by myself and find the LM helpful. That being said, I wouldn’t presume to impose them on anyone else.

    This schedule suits me –
    Sunday: Luminous and Glorious
    Monday: Joyful
    Tuesday: Sorrowful
    Wednesday: Glorious
    Thursday: Luminous
    Friday: Sorrowful
    Saturday: Joyful

  81. I’ve grown quite fond of them, particularly the 2nd and 5th mysteries.

    (We pray the Rosary as a family).

    Honestly, I don’t recall if this is the correct schedule, but it’s what we’ve stuck with.
    Sunday: Glorious
    Monday: Joyful
    Tuesday: Sorrowful
    Wednesday: Glorious
    Thursday: Luminous
    Friday: Sorrowful
    Saturday: Joyful

  82. Cafea Fruor says:

    I love them.

    Honestly, I don’t understand the argument that they’re a novelty and therefore not worthy or something. At one time, the rosary itself was a novelty, so I just don’t buy that argument.

    At one point or other, everything in the faith was a novelty. The miraculous medal, the Memorare, Eucharistic adoration, devotion to St. Joseph, monasteries, etc. were all novelties until they got their feet on the ground. Give the Luminous Mysteries a chance!

  83. Arele says:

    I am not a big fan of the Luminous Mysteries. Not sure why, but something has always seemed a bit contrived about them.

    However, I usually pray the rosary with a group, and I never make a fuss or say a word when it’s a Thursday and they are said. I just go along with everyone else.

    But when I pray alone, I never say them.

  84. ProfKwasniewski says:

    Resistance to the Luminous Mysteries is truly one of the most embarrassing things in the traditionalist movement. One gets the impression that folks have never studied the great Marian doctor and Dominican tertiary St. Louis de Montfort, one of the very greatest preachers of the Rosary of all time, who talks about all kinds of possible mysteries for meditation during the Rosary, and even organizes and groups them into alternative sets. John Paul II, who knew Montfort’s writings intimately, was simply taking his inspiration from him.

    Yes, some people are bothered about the loss of the symbolic 150 (the Rosary being called the poor man’s psalter), but honestly, how many of us pray all 15 decades each day? Those who do should probably stick to the 150, but those who vary their mysteries by the day of the week can follow St. Louis de Montfort’s and St. John Paul II’s suggestion and use the Luminous Mysteries for their meditations as well.

  85. Folks just need to relax. RELAX.

    Like the Luminous Mysteries? Pray them.

    Don’t like them? Don’t pray them.

    This is pretty important: the Rosary, venerable as it is, is a private devotion. Which means…

    You can pray it any way you like.

    One mystery a day? Fine.

    “Wrong” mysteries on the wrong days? No problem.

    Mix-and-match mysteries? As you please.

    Invent new mysteries (I mean, coming from the life of our Lord)? Go for it.

    The Rosary is venerable and as such, deserves great respect. I would not lead any Rosary but one using the four sets of “standard” mysteries, and I wouldn’t deviate from the “usual” methodology (i.e., the warm-up and the cool-down).

    But…over the years, I’ve seen a lot of variations even in the “standard” Rosary: do you offer intentions first? Do you do the Apostles Creed/Our Father/Three Aves/Glory Be before the Mysteries? Do you wrap up with a Salve, or a Memorare? Fatima Prayer, or no? St. Michael’s Prayer? There’s a lot more variation in the Rosary than many people realize, because I suspect most people pray the Rosary, most of the time, with people who pray it the way they do.

    Relax. Pray your Rosary pretty much as you like.

  86. Kathleen10 says:

    I like them very much. They include important aspects of the life of Jesus and they “fit” perfectly. There did seem some gaps and who could argue with The Institution of the Eucharist, The Baptism in the Jordan, or The Wedding at Cana as worthy of contemplation. I appreciate tradition but when something makes sense it makes sense.

  87. JuliB says:

    The best response I could pick was:
    “I never use the Luminous Mysteries. I’m indifferent about them. I usually say the Rosary alone.”

    I try to pray a full Rosary a week (3 days) and usually only accomplish that when I’m traveling for work. I tend to forget the LMs so unless I specifically make a point to look I don’t say it on a 4th day.

    I like the LMs overall but haven’t gotten around to memorizing them. (I’ve only been back with the Church for 9 years or s0…)

  88. The problem is not with the Luminous Mysteries themselves. Variations of the Rosary have existed as devotions for generations. But that which was known as “Our Lady’s Psalter” by any number of Popes, was known as such for a reason. The present assumption is that that reason suddenly means nothing, as if John Paul II came along and changed it by fiat. The fact is, he never intended to, but we are led to believe that he did. That alone is a disservice to the truth, and to the memory of a sainted pontiff.

    “[T]he Luminous Mysteries are simply not part of the Rosary. Does this make them a bad thing …? Of course not. No contemplation of the life of Christ, in the context of a popular devotion, could ever be construed that way. Could the Holy Father make a twenty-decade rosary in continuity with its venerable tradition? No more than he could add fifty new prayers to the Book of Psalms”

    http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-rosary-shedding-light-on-mysteries.html

  89. Rachel K says:

    Come on guys! How can anyone be “indifferent” to the Luminous Mysteries? They are part of the scripture! I use them and say the rosary on any day, using any mysteries, but sometimes like to pray the sorrowful ones on Friday, or whichever mystery jumps out at me as corresponding to a particular intention.
    Once upon a time, the Rosary itself was an innovation. Is there a word for being too rigid about new things? In fact, if you get hold of Fr Gabriel Harty’s book on the Rosary you will learn all kinds of things that people have done with the Rosary prayers over the centuries and see that it is not a static thing at all. What about the “Jesus clauses” where after each occasion the Holy Name comes in the Hail Mary, you make an invocation such as “Saviour of the world” , a different one for each decade, or even each Hail Mary! And how about the Scriptural Rosar where a line of scripture relating to the mystery is recited befor each prayer.
    The Rosary is amongst those things which are given to us as tools to help us to speak to God. We can use them in any way which is useful. I am always shocked by hearing people say “How dare the Pope change the Rosary after Our Lady gave it to us”; as if Our Lady appeared and passed over a rigid scripted prayer form and as if the Pope is a heretic for excercising his authority to try and lead us into authentic prayer and meditation. ST John Paul’s encyclical on the Rosary encourages us to remember that the Rosary is CHRISTOCENTRIC . So in fact we are free to meditate on any part of the mystery of our faith while we pray the decades, it does not even have to be a passage from scripture; these were given to help those who could not read! We could spend a decade thinking about Jesus as the Word through whom all things were created, or any other part of the creed for example. Let’s get creative with our Rosary prayer!

  90. xraytango says:

    I have to agree with Fr. Martin Fox.

    I personally like the LM as I feel like they complete the mysteries.

  91. yatzer says:

    Well, I almost always attend the EF and also love the Luminous Mysteries, usually praying by myself. I wasn’t aware there was supposed to be some sort of inverse correspondence. There is the Lord’s baptism where he identified with us, marriage, and so on. OTOH, I occasionally go to a prayer group where they don’t use those mysteries. Whatever, they are all good.

  92. Rachel K says:

    St. Rafael says:
    This article pretty much sums up what is wrong with the Luminous Mysteries:
    The Twenty Mysteries of the Rosary?
    http://www.seattlecatholic.com/article_20021108_The_Twenty_Mysteries_of_the_Rosary.html

    The article is by John Vennari.
    Hmmm. Nuff said.

  93. Bea says:

    Voted:
    Never use/abolish/say alone (doesn’t really have to be abolished since it is optional)

    Our Lady gave us 15 mysteries which equal the 150 Hail Marys which equal the 150 psalms (which is why the Rosary is sometimes called the “psalter”)
    I prefer Our Lady’s version to the optional man-made version.

  94. Rachel K says:

    Bea says:
    Our Lady gave us 15 mysteries

    Bea, that’s the point. She didn’t.

  95. seattle_cdn says:

    I’ve always seen it as JP2 proposing them and letting us take them out for a test drive. Doesn’t seem to be taking hold as well as others so maybe there will be some fine tuning in the future. Seems about 50-50 on uptake, though doesn’t it?

  96. iamlucky13 says:

    I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other – neither happy nor reluctant. Adding on to the 150 count cycle that imitates the recitation of the psalms did strike me as unnecessary, at first, and it seemed hard to downselect from Jesus’ life five acts to reflect on in particular (the proclamation of the kingdom in particular seems an oddly ambiguous choice), but I can’t imagine anybody managing to convince me that reflecting on significant moments in Jesus’s ministry while He was on earth while spending time with our Blessed Mother is in any way wrong, even if the traditional mysteries of the rosary may be successfully argued to hold some greater significance. One might as well argue against offering any prayer at all other than the rosary.

    I do have to object, however, to an previous poster’s claim that the Luminous Mysteries were “imposed from above.”

    First of all, while in our times I definitely understand the concern about tampering for the sake of tampering, I’m much more concerned that among traditionalists, of all people, there would scoffing at the Church’s authority to impose disciplines from above.

    More importantly, however, it is simply false that the Luminous mysteries were “imposed.” There is certainly no meaningful parallel between their introduction and the imposition of abstinence from meet on Fridays, for example.

    John Paul II introduced them as “a proposed addition to the traditional pattern” in the letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” where he spent most of his time promoting and explaining the rosary as a whole, while buried in the middle he makes his suggestion, “without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer’s traditional format.”

    So in conclusion: Go to confession and…

    ….pray the rosary (whichever mysteries suit you)!

  97. slainewe says:

    Tried them in respect for Saint John Paul and liked them from the beginning except for the awkwardness of the 3rd mystery not being a singular event to meditate upon, as are the other 19 mysteries. (Although now I see it as an opportunity for everyone to pick a favorite example of the Lord’s preaching on which to meditate. Kind of a “wild card” mystery.)

    I think these “manifestation” mysteries fill a hole in the Ordinary Form resulting from the season of Epiphany being downgraded. I like praying them on the day JPII suggested: Thursday – the traditional day of the first Mass. (They are perfect for Holy Thursday, Ascension Thursday and Corpus Christi Thursday.) Even more, I really like praying the Joyful Mysteries on Saturday – Our Lady’s Day. They just fit!

    [Also was very happy when a certain priest started the movement to call them the “Luminous Mysteries” rather than the awkward “Mysteries of Light.”]

  98. stephen c says:

    Lots of great comments here! I usually do not think of the Luminous mysteries as an innovation of any pope; I am not very accurate on my history of saints, but I feel sure that one – St. Louis de Montfort was mentioned earlier in this thread- or more saints described the luminous mysteries long before Karol Wojtyla – who I am certain was humble enough to consider himself at best an instrument of the Lord – was born. I particularly like the Proclamation of the Gospel, because that focuses on the 70 or more specific individuals that Jesus talked to in the Gospels in a way that the other mysteries, beautiful as they are, do not. I like to think that, absent any evidence to the contrary, every single one of those who were mentioned in the Gospel as being healed by Jesus, or who had the grace to converse with him about some topic or other, must have eventually realized they had been talking with the Son of God, and so they are unlisted saints (I hope) who remind me of the many suffering people I have known, cared for (at least a little, I hope), and lost in this life, most of whom are now pretty much unremembered by every living person they used to know. I like to think of those people being remembered innumerable times in the devotions of so many people. That being said, I vote for “abolish”, although I know that will never happen, mostly because I would love to see, before I die, an unmistakeable indication of humility among the great and powerful in the Roman Catholic Church, because so many of them (that is, the great and powerful) have, in my lifetime, treated so many of their humble and powerless flock in an unempathetic and imperious fashion with their insistence on the wonderfulness of their innovations, and it would be nice, for their sake, to see some real acknowledgement of this, even if I don’t think for a second that any of them were actually able to either improve or not improve something as immense as the Rosary of our Lady.

  99. I say the Rosary alone and sometimes with others. I do not meditate on the Luminous Mysteries since these do not fit in with the original canonized Rosary defined by the Blessed Mother and by Papal statements. The Rosary is a representation of the 150 Psalms which integrates with the Church’s daily Office.

    When you say a chaplet a day, after 3 days you have said the whole Rosary, since
    Monday [Joyful], Tuesday [Sorrowful], Wednesday [Glorious] = Whole Rosary
    Thursday [Joyful], Friday [Sorrowful], Saturday [Glorious] = Whole Rosary
    so I find that the Lumimous Mysteries interrupt the saying of the whole Rosary.

    The Luminous Mysteries have never been made a part of the official Rosary given to us by Mary, but are an extra chaplet of meditations. There are many chaplets such as the Chaplet of St. Michael, or the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother. These may be good and profitable meditations, but these are not part of the real Rosary.

    The Rosary has special power. Our Lady specified that the 15 Mysteries are what are to be said and meditated on to fulfill the requirements of the Five First Saturdays.

    The Popes have repeatedly stated what the Rosary is. These many statements and proven history are why the 15-Mystery Rosary can never be changed – and the Rosary has never changed. The Luminous Mysteries are simply a set of meditations outside of the accepted 15 Mysteries of the Rosary.

    In case you need confirmation of what the Rosary is, its purpose, practice and history, following 43 Rosary Encyclicals are about or mention the rosary:
    [Pope Leo XIII wrote twelve encyclicals on the rosary and five apostolic letters!]
    1. MARIALIS CULTUS
    Paul VI

    2. SUPREMI APOSTOLATUS OFFICIO
    Leo XIII

    3. FIDENTEM PIUMQUE ANIMUM
    Leo XIII

    4. MAGNAE DEI MATRIS
    Leo XIII

    5. DIUTURNI TEMPORIS
    Leo XIII

    6. IUCUNDA SEMPER EXPECTATIONE
    Leo XIII

    7. SUPERIORE ANNO
    Leo XIII

    8. AUGUSTISSIMAE VIRGINIS MARIAE
    Leo XIII

    9.
    Adiutricem (On the Rosary) September 5, 1895
    Confraternity of the Holy Rosary) September 12, 1897
    Diuturni Temporis (On the Rosary) September 5, 1898
    Leo XIII

    10. ADIUTRICEM
    Leo XIII

    11. INGRUENTIUM MALORUM
    Pius XII

    12. INGRAVESCENTIBUS MALIS
    Pius XII

    13. LAETITIAE SANCTAE
    COMMENDING DEVOTION TO THE ROSARY
    Leo XIII

    14. VI E BEN NOTO
    ON THE ROSARY AND PUBLIC
    Leo XIII

    15. OCTOBRI MENSE
    Leo XIII

    16. GRATA RECORDATIO
    John XXIII

    17. FAUSTO APPETENTE DIE
    Benedict XV

    18. CHRISTI MATRI
    Paul VI

    19. QUOD AUCTORITATE
    Leo XIII

    20. Consueverunt Romani [In 1569 St. Pope Pius V, himself a Dominican, issued an apostolic letter establishing the fifteen-decades as the official Church-authorized Rosary.]
    Pius V

    21. QUAMQUAM PLURIES
    Leo XIII

    22. PASTORALE MUNUS
    Paul VI

    23. SAECULO EXEUNTE OCTAVO
    Pius XII

    24. E SUPREMI
    Pius X

    25. AD CAELI REGINAM
    Pius XII

    26.
    On the Most Holy Rosary) October 16, 2002 [Apostolic Letter]
    Sacrae Disciplinae Leges (For the Promulgation of the New Code of Canon Law) January 25, 1983 Apostolic Constitution
    John-Paul II

    27.
    On Reciting the Rosary) September 15, 1951
    Invicti Athletae (St. Andrew Bobola) May 16, 1957
    Pius XII

    28.
    Malis (On the Rosary) September 29, 1937
    Iniquis Afflictisque (On the Persecution of the Church in Mexico) November 18, 1926
    Pius XI

    29. MENSE MAIO
    Paul VI

    30. LE PELERINAGE DE LOURDES
    Pius XII

    31. AD SINARUM GENTEM
    Pius XII

    32. Munificentissimus Deus
    Pius XII

    33. Non Abbiamo Bisogno
    Pius XI

    34. Amantissima Voluntatis Amantissima Voluntatus
    Leo XIII

    35. DALL’ALTO DELL’APOSTOLICO SEGGIO
    Leo XIII

    36. MENTI NOSTRAE
    Pius XII

    37. Iniquis Afflictisque
    Pius XII

    38. SACERDOTII NOSTRI PRIMORDIA
    John XXIII

    39. Indulgentiarum Doctrina
    Paul VI

    40. Rerum Ecclesiae
    Pius XI

    41. Gaudete in Domino
    Paul VI

    42. Studiorum Ducem
    Pius XI

    43. MEDIATOR DEI
    Pius XII

  100. greg3064 says:

    I am young, so I have always known the LM as much as the others (though I was aware that they were new). I have found them to be very helpful, and I appreciate that they allow me to meditate on the whole of Jesus’s life.

    I remember reading on some pamphlet that one doesn’t have to pray the Rosary with any mysteries, so I have always figured that adding the Luminous can’t hurt. I do pray the LM once a week, the others twice.

  101. Doug says:

    I really like the Luminous Mysteries. I especially like their sacramental focus (baptism, marriage, eucharist), as well Jesus’ earthly ministry and His Transfiguration. I do understand some of the objections to their inclusion, but I trust St John Paul to have been guided by the Holy Spirit. I actually find myself looking forward to Thursdays.

  102. CarpeNoctem says:

    I typically do not pray the Luminous Mysteries, but I don’t go out of my way to reject them, for instance when praying them in public. I guess that makes me “indifferent”. For me, they just don’t exactly stay in my memory as the “official 15” do, so I find myself reaching for a note card reminder in my breviary when I need to remember them so I don’t mess up (which might be embarassing if praying in public or in a group). I simply consider the extra mysteries optional and don’t think a second thing about it. JP2 is not the only bishop to come up with a set of mysteries. I seem to remember Archbishop Buechlein came up with a set for vocations. Whatever.

    Like having a whole bunch of alternate Eucharistic Prayers which I don’t use (namely, those for Reconciliation and those for Special Needs,) I neither deny their efficacy nor their legitimacy, but I do not value their novelty… they do not particularly lead me (or, I think, ‘my people’) into prayer as I negotiate the unfamiliar phrases and wording which are mere variations on a prior, more familiar form. There might be a good reason to use them on occasions, but short of the bishop ordering them, I can’t think of what they might be. I might be called on to concelebrate with one of those forms, which I find the height of inconsideration for a celebrant to impose on an unsuspecting concelebrant, (as I and I presume the vast majority of other priests don’t have the formula memorized.) In this case, to be a valid concelebration, I would have to do my best to ‘lip synch’ the prayers as I hear the celebrant proclaim them, which is not a pretty thing, either. Again, do I reject the prayers? Not absolutely, but I would not otherwise go out of my way to use them on my own, for a lot of good and prudent reasons. The same goes for the Luminous Mysteries.

  103. Michelle F says:

    I never pray the Luminous Mysteries, and I would like to see them abolished because they break the Rosary’s tie to the Psalms (150 Psalms / 150 Hail Marys), and they destroy its Trinitarian aspects (3 sets of Mysteries / 3 Divine Persons).

    Someone will likely mention the fact that a full Rosary actually contains 153 Hail Marys, but even that number fits the Psalm / Trinity pattern. You still have the primary 150 Hail Marys (15 Mysteries x 10 Hail Marys each), but you add 3 Hail Marys at the beginning for the 3 theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity), which still is evocative of the Blessed Trinity.

    The numeral 4 has strong associations with the Earth and things of the Earth: 4 corners, 4 winds, 4 cardinal directions. There are 4 cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude), but, even though these 4 virtues are good and true, they come from pagan Greek philosophy. They can be discerned by man through his natural abilities.

    This strong association of the numeral 4 with things of the Earth is something I cannot get out of my mind when thinking about 4 sets of Mysteries for the Rosary. For me, it turns the Rosary into something Earthly as well as destroying its ties to the Psalms, and its Trinitarian aspects.

  104. Giuseppe says:

    Since last Lent, I’ve started carrying an old paperback version of the Liguori Stations of the Cross with the Stabat Mater lyrics, and sneak out to a church midday (there are 3 within a few blocks of my office) and read them. I pray them daily. I know it’s out of season, but I think Our Lady would look kindly on a devotion to her Son, plus she hears the beautiful Stabat mater. I find this to be so much more grounding and inspiring to me, as I put myself in to Jesus walk, and I know I will fail, but through repeat attempts, I understand what it took to succeed. Ultimately, a pretty powerful leap of faith.

    I might take up the rosary again. Or meditations on the beatitudes. One preist suggested a chaplet on Baptism, Penance, Communion, Confirmation, and Annointing, then if I joined the Priesthood, I could tack that on, and if I got married, I could tack that one on.

    And I’ve always loved the Angelus.

  105. sirlouis says:

    I voted to “abolish” them, but that’s not quite right, because they haven’t really been “established,” only “suggested.” That being so, let’s please not make their use a matter of obedience. I would also think, however, that they ought not be automatically adopted for public recitation. The hierarchy — including parish priests — should be very careful not to shove a new devotion at people who are getting along very well without it.

    I have very often heard that the Rosary is a “popular” devotion, perhaps the popular devotion par excellence. But if it is truly a popular devotion, then the way the Luminous Mysteries would come about is that someone in some corner of the world would come up with them and start using them and then introduce them to other people and the practice would spread and finally come to the attention of authorities who would establish it or recommend it. But the Luminous Mysteries happened the other way around. Supreme Authority recommended it to begin with. And that’s the reason I object to the Luminous Mysteries, because the manner in which they are introduced makes the Rosary something other than a truly popular devotion. Yes, there is no longer the numerical correspondence with the 150 psalms, but that correspondence doesn’t seem to me essential. The Rosary’s popular character, on the other hand, strikes me as of its essence as a religious practice, and that is at least compromised when the Supreme Pontiff puts forward a change in it on his own hook. He hedged it around with disclaimers so that it was not mandated, but he ought to have known that many people would supply that mandate, as is evidenced by some of the comments that have appeared here.

    Not really established, they can’t be abolished. What I would like to see is not a withdrawal of JPII’s suggestion, but an agreement that only members of the laity can decide that the Luminous Mysteries are to be used in a public recitation of the Rosary. That might do something toward at least recognizing the popular character of the devotion, even if it cannot be restored, the genie being, so to speak, out of the bottle.

  106. RafqasRoad says:

    As a Catholic Christian of only three years this coming 8th Oct., the luminous Mysteries have always been part of the rosary that I have come to learn, love and cherish. the congregation into which I was received had daily public Rosary and CDM recitation in English and Arabic (the latter immediately prior to the daily evening mass, the former later in the evening around 8PM). On the rare Sunday night I would attend, they prayed the Luminous mysteries on this day thus preserving the continuity of ‘Joyful, sorrowful, Glorious’ twice per week but with the Luminous as an added bonus each Lord’s day. This has become my private prayer practice also. during those too rare seasons when I manage to pray all 15 mysteries a day, I triple up on Sundays with the LM’s thrice. Back at St. Charbel’s, we had our Melchite brothers and sisters in spitting distance a block or so away. Some of their members used to come along to evening Rosary recitation (as in many Eastern Catholic churches the Rosary does not feature at all, already noted by another commenter on this thread). Likewise I have been blessed with and by the CDM, a beautiful 3 O’clock tradition that I endeavour to cultivate so as to come away for several minutes when practicable during busy afternoons.

    I have recently been given a rarer ‘niner’ rosary; a chaplet consisting of three sets of three beads with a saint’s medal at one end and the crucifix at the other. From what my friend has informed me, one prays the ‘saint’s prayer’ at the medal, followed by three sets of ‘Lord’s prayer, Hale Mary, and Gloria’ with the Apostles Creed at the crucifix. Then there’s the question of the ‘Anglican Rosary’; from what I understand, this is considered a legitimate option for those who come into Catholic Christianity from an Anglican background; not sure if it is a formal part of the Anglican Ordinariate’s prayer repertoire. Now, fR. Z., how’s about another poll??? English or Latin recitation???

  107. FrG says:

    –There was no “gap” in the Rosary. It’s seems a tad arrogant to suggest that the faithful for so many centuries, not to mention Our Lady’s own apparitions, somehow missed or failed to mention this huge crater.

    –The Rosary is about *Our Lady’s* joys, sorrows, and glories. Period.

    –The Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection are the central mysteries of our faith. Hence the “hinge” seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. That’s not to disparage any other event in Our Lord’s public life.

    –What about organic development and continuity? Those who subscribe to these principles seem, at times, rather selective when the personal fiat of one man, however saintly, alters one of the oldest and most privileged devotions of the Church with the stroke of a pen.

  108. Legisperitus says:

    I voted for “abolish them,” but only in the sense that we need to abolish the media-generated idea that “the Pope ordered a change to the Rosary.” He didn’t order anything. The Pope made a general suggestion that variations in the method of praying the Rosary may enhance the spiritual life, and then he gave a couple of specific examples. One of these was the Luminous Mysteries, which gained attention due to their novelty but in fact partially corresponded to what I had long heard recited on WEWN Catholic Radio as the “Living Mysteries.” (Anyone remember those?)

    There have been a lot of variations on the Rosary through the years, including using the beads to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I think the Luminous Mysteries have received undue attention because they were (a) new, and (b) proposed by the Pope.

    The other specific suggestion he gave in that encyclical was something I’d already been doing for many years: inserting a phrase describing the mystery into each Hail Mary instead of announcing the mystery at the beginning of the decade. This is an old German tradition, which my grandfather picked up from some German Benedictines he studied with. But even though the Pope proposed this method in the same breath with the Luminous Mysteries, the media ignored it because it didn’t carry the whiff of novelty.

    I have no problem if anyone wants to use the Luminous Mysteries. I don’t personally, because I see the tripartite division of the Rosary as a Trinitarian symbol, and adding a fourth set of mysteries reminds me uncomfortably of the way Satan is supposedly invoked along with the three Persons of the Trinity in the Black Mass.

  109. Skeinster says:

    Giuseppe,
    Kind of OT, but you can make the Stations of the Cross at any time, not just during Lent. I do them almost every Sunday, they are my favorite devotion.

    In our EF parish, the LM are not included in the public recitation of the Rosary, but I’ve never heard anyone ever comment on them in casual conversation. Not an issue, I guess. Though frequent recitation of the Rosary is greatly encouraged. Pounds of plastic beads have gone out into the world over our last four years…

    I like them, myself.

  110. Reconverted Idiot says:

    I pray the Rosary with others after Mass every day (when I can) except Thursdays, when the Luminous Mysteries are prayed, and when I pray the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament during Holy Hour/Exposition. On such occasion I tend to meditate ‘in general terms’ on the Blessed Sacrament and what it means, and in that case I suppose – obliquely at least – I meditate on the 5th Luminous Mystery (among others, particularly the Sorrowful).

    I’m not against the Luminous Mysteries as such, though I am slightly annoyed by the fact that they feature in all modern guides, by default, and that the weekly Rosary schedule includes them, again by default despite the fact that they were given as optional. I do balk at the fact that if I want to pray the Rosary with the Church on Thursdays then it’s Luminous all the way.

    I never understood the ‘original’ 15 Mysteries to have been ‘set in stone’ in the first place: there have been variations throughout history as far as I’m aware, with different religious orders having specific practices. In a similar way I sometimes try to adapt it to my own needs at a given time. It often depends on the intentions I’m praying for as to whether I will use the day’s mysteries or not when praying alone.

    One thing I try to make a habit of these days, when praying alone / before the Blessed Sacrament, is to pray the entire Rosary in Latin. There are a variety of good resources online that I have used to get me up to speed with this, and I find that it can really have a positive effect on the meditative/contemplative nature of the practice. It tends to add around 5 minutes to the time spent, which I don’t mind at all: sometimes when approaching the end of a decade I’ve felt a little disappointed that I got there so fast (even if I’m not ‘rattling it off’, which I do fall into sometimes, especially if pushed for time).

  111. Tony from Oz says:

    I never use the LMs and would have them formally omitted from public recitation.
    I endorse the idea of the harmony of the traditional, ‘Dominican Rosary’ of 150 Aves which conforms with the 150 psalms.
    I deplore the inherent post-conciliar tinkeritus and restiveness – even if well-intentioned and now-sainted, pontiff- which gives rise to an urge to try and cover every base of prayer and contemplation; the ludicrous introduction of the ‘anti-nature’ 3-year cycle of readings in the Novus Ordo exemplifies this urge to tick all scriptural boxes (even though it doesn’t, of course) as if the Mass were some endless Sunday school scripture lesson.

    Another thought is that strikes me is that, at a time of declining religious practice, to introduce another set of mysteries – rather than re-evangelise on the basics already there (in this case the Dominican rosary) – is folly and damages, rather than enhances, unity – especially where there’s group recitation involved.

    A final thought is that some of those Luminous mysteries have extremely long ‘descriptors’: e.g.,
    ‘The Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist as the Sacramental Expression of the Paschal Mystery’
    Talk about the court of King Caractacus just passing by! But then again, St JP II was nothing if not prolix ;)

  112. David Zampino says:

    I love them.

    I pray them.

    Are they required, mandated, and absolutely necessary for salvation? No.

    YoungLatinMassGuy and FrAnt got it right, in my view.

  113. Love them. They’re my favorite.

  114. RAve says:

    This blog’s readership is a great lot. It is very good to see that an overwhelming number of us have embraced the very pious commendation to us by Pope Saint John Paul the Great of the Luminous Mysteries.

    61% of us find praying the Luminous Mysteries to be spiritually pleasing – Amen!
    Another 26% of us pray them regardless of our “feelings” – very commendable!
    Combined, that is 87% of wdtprs readers actually praying the Luminous Mysteries – those stats alone are quite an endorsement.

    Apparently a tiny fraction of us don’t have the internet (or are otherwise a bit isolated – not necessarily a bad thing), are in a heterodox parish that would never even mention the Rosary or promote any orthodox theology or piety, or gave a mildly flippant answer to make the Luminous Mysteries seem irrelevant (I suppose there could be other explanations as to why someone never heard of them).

    And then there are the not quite 13% who actually wish to abolish the pious practice of imploring the help of Our Lady while contemplating her son’s baptism, His miracles, His gospel, the first Eucharist, etc. Now THAT is a real mystery.

  115. Joe in Canada says:

    RAve, I think you’re imputing motives with no evidence. I voted “abolish them” because I think it would be a dangerous innovation in Catholicism to consider that anything a Pope found personally helpful and that he “recommended” should therefore be followed. I’m certainly not going to kiss a Koran just because Saint John Paul II did so.

    I like the suggestion that the Luminous mysteries be a separate chaplet, like the various other chaplets the church has, without being added to the Rosary. The Rosary has an important public function in the Church, and should be left to a natural supernatural development, if such is to take place.

  116. Mary Jane says:

    Woah hold on there, RAve. The 13% who voted for one of the “abolish” choices hardly wish to abolish the “pious practice of imploring the help of Our Lady while contemplating her Son’s baptism, His miracles, His gospel, the first Eucharist, etc.” That’s putting quite a twist on the “abolish” poll choices. The objections to the LMs are not that there is something wrong with the LM mysteries and that they should not be meditated upon. The objections to the LMs hinge on the argument that the traditional rosary has 150 Hail Mary’s and that the LMs should be classified as a separate chaplet of meditations instead of part of the traditional full rosary.

  117. I would never leave out the Luminous mysteries. They were my dad’s favorite too.

  118. teejay329 says:

    Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, Saint John Paul the Great was MY Pope…he was always there, year after year in those formative years. So, if he instituted this new tradition, them I’m all for it. His devotion to Our Blessed Mother was so strong and so remarkable I cannot but help to think that these 5 new mysteries are sincere and important. I pray them every Thursday.

  119. Mary Jane says:

    RAve – let’s get the percentages added up correctly. 67% of voters use the LMs (that includes the reluctant groups) and 33% never use them. The split is not 87/13 as you previously mentioned.

  120. slainewe says:

    Couple more observations:

    Our Lady sees in the Office of Peter the authority of Her Son. What makes us think that the humble Virgin is not absolutely HONORED that Her Son inspired His Vicar to propagate Her prayer and even ADD to it? Are not good earthly mothers THRILLED when a son incorporates her teaching in his life and RUNS WITH IT?

    Does not reason come AFTER revelation? Men came up with all sorts of reasons to explain why Our Lady originally inspired us to pray 3 mysteries and 153 Aves AFTER She revealed it. Had She originally given us 4 mysteries and 203 Aves, we would have come up for reasons for that as well. For instance, by one account there are presently exactly 203 nations on earth.

  121. KateD says:

    Mary perfectly delivered the mysteries to Saint Dominic, but maybe somewhere in the translation, we lost a set? Or perhaps it was waiting till this century to be revealed? I don’t know, maybe we just leveled up.

    What I do know is that it’s a gift from the Church. We are free to take it or to leave it.

    dmwallace re: Proclamation of the Kingdom: I meditate on Christ’s teachings, particularly the Beatitudes.

  122. frahobbit says:

    Well now that I’ve heard of all those reasons to “abolish” them, I’d have to say ‘you can’t’ because at any recitation of the Rosary, I can meditate on any part of a mystery of Christ and the Blessed Mother’s life, at any time, even during a public recitation. No one can do squat about it.

  123. RAve: Wondering here if you read all the Papal Encyclicals on Rosary that I listed above, or John-Paul II’s own statement defining that the Luminous Mysteries are NOT part of the official Rosary.

    Consueverunt Romani, from Pope St. Pius V – 17 September 1569, describes the Rosary as 150 Hail Marys. “…accessible to all and wholly pious, which is called the Rosary, or Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which the same most Blessed Virgin is venerated by the angelic greeting repeated one hundred and fifty times, that is, according to the number of the Davidic Psalter, and by the Lord’s Prayer with each decade. Interposed with these prayers are certain meditations showing forth the entire life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, thus completing the method of prayer devised by the by the Fathers of the Holy Roman Church. …”
    This specific format is powerful and changes men. This is the format canonized by the Church and used by Our Lady in her apparitions.
    According to Sister Lucy of Fatima, the Rosary today has been granted unprecedented power. Our Lady of Akita states that “in the end, all that will be left is my Rosary and the Sign left by my Son.” I am not interested in anything that waters down the power of this holy weapon.

    There are other mediations and chaplets, many in fact, and the Lumionous Mysteries are part of that. But the Luminous Mysteries never have been and never will be part of Our Lady’s powerful psalter.

  124. Mary Jane says:

    frahobbit, yes, and while at Mass you can use your Missal with the readings for that day or you can meditate on something else and “no one can do squat about it”.

  125. MarieSiobhanGallagher says:

    I didn’t pray them for a while after Pope JPII came out with them as I used to have a very divisive spirit about tradition vs. modernism and thought JPII should not tinker with EVERTHING. Now I pray them and meditate on them on Thursdays with my husband and daughter and I think they are inspired. How I could have thought these mysteries modernist is beyond me. They are beautiful and they are scriptural and they are times during Christ’s ministry that ‘illuminated’ his message and taught of his love. That is far from modernist. I do not judge those who do not pray them just as I would never judge anyone who said the sorrowful mysteries on a Saturday, for example. I don’t think the rosary should be a source of negativity on any level among Catholics.

  126. RAve says:

    Correction (thank you for pointing this out):

    61% of us find praying the Luminous Mysteries to be spiritually pleasing – Amen!
    Another 6% of us pray them regardless of our “feelings” – very commendable!
    Combined, that is 67% of wdtprs readers actually praying the Luminous Mysteries – those stats alone are quite an endorsement.

    20% of us are indifferent about them and choose not to pray them – also commendable because they don’t mean much to you yet you don’t begrudge them to others in the Church and don’t denigrate them.

  127. Suzanne Carl says:

    I use a Rosary App on my phone, with audio and ear-buds. It allows me to do my housework and cooking while praying the rosary. The app includes the Litany to Mary, and scriptural passages for each mystery including the Luminous Mysteries. It is the best use of a smart phone I’ve ever found, with the possible exception of texting assignments to my college students.
    Here’s a link to the app I use. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.rosario.it&hl=en
    I am happy to pray the Luminous Mysteries as they reflect the importance of the sacraments instituted by Jesus!

  128. RAve says:

    Tina, I did not say anything about the official Rosary. I was discussing Father Z’s poll.

    Interestingly, the biggest block is the 47% who pray the Rosary alone and are happy to pray the LM – in other words they fully embrace what Pope Saint John Paul gifted to us with no pressure from any group – they encountered the LM and chose to pray them (even though they aren’t official). Devout laymen. Choosing an optional pious practice.

  129. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    I am grateful to see that most writebackers are in favor of the Luminous Mysteries. Those opposed have effected, sadly, my abandoning Traditionalism, and I am now calling myself a “Real Conservative”.

    Those opposed to the LM offer a parade of what’s wrong with Petrified Traditionalism:

    1. Total ignorance of history – in this case the history of the Rosary; e.g. the meditation upon a mystery was added later. Also ignorance of theology. In this case, by asserting wrongly that the LM aren’t part of the Redemption, they display ignorance of what the Redemption is all about.

    2. The insistence that something is part of the Deposit of Faith and the content of revelation. The Rosary isn’t.

    3. The insistence that the Rosary is part of the defined de fide infallible Magisterium. It isn’t.

    4. The quoting and citing, with a canine’s acoustic sensitivity, a long list of Church documents – NONE of which oppose the LM – from yesteryear, and total deafness to what the Church documents of today are saying. And even worse, pitting the former against the latter. Add the twisting of documents to mean what they don’t say; I’ve seen the misnamed “liberals” do this frequently. Add here also the Fallacy of the Argument from Silence: “If the documents don’t mention the LM [or The Paschal Mystery], the LM must be wrong!”

    5. The pharisaic laying on of burdens. I once had attended a public recitation of the Rosary – the last that I ever attended, where so much was tacked on at the end and beginning, even to the end of each decade, that it lasted over an hour, forgetting that the human knee can only take so much.

    6. And after the Pharisee, comes the Scribe: the excessively legalistic posture that “my way is the only legal way and thus the right way and thus everyone must do it my way”. Thank Goodness that some good writebackers above have the practical reasonableness to say “It does no harm, so let them pray the LM”.

    7. With the end result that Petrified Traditionalists end up damaging and destroying what they claim they love. I’ve seen Petrified Traditionalists in my neck of the woods actually damage the chances of the Mass in the Ordinary Form by acting like donkeys (for “donkey” you can substitute another word) and alienating priests who otherwise would have been willing to offer the MEF. So they also damage and destroy the Rosary itself. The Rosary is mantra prayer, and it can do what a mantra prayer can do best. It was designed not really for meditation, although it can be the narthex to meditative/contemplative prayer, or to any prayer: I find it useful for calming the mind, removing distractions, and focusing the attention before beginning prayer. And it certainly is not a substitute for the Divine Office. I add that if the number 150 for the 150 Psalms were an argument, then why not put down your Rosary and pray the Office? Not to respect the Rosary as a Mantra prayer is not to know what the Rosary is. To be continued in my next post.

  130. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    To continue:

    To rescript Karl Mannheim’s metaphor, Petrified Traditionalists look an existing building and demand that there be no changes, however much the building might need restoration, repair, and addition to serve its real purpose. Thus the building becomes at best a museum, and at worst a ruin. Levelers – aka the misnamed “liberals” (these people aren’t liberal) — look at a blueprint, and want to dynamite and bulldoze the existing building. Thus all revolutionaries. Sadly, Petrified Traditionalist and Levels resemble each other. The fuel that drives them both is emotion, and often that emotion is sheer hate. Thus Petrified Traditionalists in character are identical to Levelers – the same steely gaze, the same intolerance of differing opinions, the same demonization of opponents, the same throwing of tantrums, the same willful blindness to facts and deafness to argument.

    Real Conservatives, among whom I now count myself, also look at an established building, and that to preserve that building’s original purpose they also see the need for changes, and that the same building can also be altered to serve a new and needed purpose. For Real Conservatives know that the building had its origin in the past, has existed through time, and lives in time still. Real Conservatives also can look far enough back in the past to see something that once existed, that once served a good end, and can be brought back to serve an end in the present.

  131. RAve, thanks for the clarification.
    I too was adding up the ‘say it’ and ‘don’t say it’ numbers and noticing the preferences.

    Yea, there is a difference between the optional Luminous Mysteries and the official Rosary.

  132. J Kusske says:

    When they first came out, inspired by the example of the Luminous Mysteries, I had the inspiration to come up with a set of mysteries of the Rosary myself, the Choleric Mysteries, which run as follows: 1. Jesus keeps his family waiting while He is teaching the crowd 2. Jesus denounces the Pharisees 3. Jesus rebukes Simon Peter 4. Jesus curses the fig tree 5. Jesus cleanses the Temple of the money-changers.

    I suppose someone else can come up with sets for the other temperaments, if inspiration strikes! Our Lord created all the different personality types after all, and represents all of them equally…

  133. KM Edwards says:

    The traditional Rosary did not NEED to be changed.

    Nor did Pope John Paul II intend to change it – read what he wrote when *suggesting* new mysteries. His intent can easily be seen as a personal aid to scriptural study and meditation and as a few have commented one can pray the decade form in meditation of any scriptural mystery – the prayers are Divine and will undoubtedly yield fruit.

    There are also a few different forms of Rosaries. The traditional one we know, the Brigittine, the Carmelite etc. But the most popular one, and the one institutionalized by Pope Pius V after the victory of Lepanto was the traditional one.

    However, as a public and official form, the traditional 3 sets of mysteries in the traditional form (Pater, 10 Ave, Gloria) in my view should be maintained as the official public form for public Rosary recitations and the luminous mysteries demoted strictly for personal use or for use in special prayer cell groups that wish to pray it in a way that does not impose on the whole parish.

    Short of that, we have what we see in the 130+ comments above: Rosary mayhem, a false sense that the Rosary needed to be ‘updated’, a break from the traditional and scriptural Psalter (150 vs 200) and a lack of harmony (3 for the Triune God, the theological virtues).

  134. Sue in soCal says:

    I LOVE the Luminous Mysteries for two reasons: They fill a gap in the mysteries concerning the public life of Jesus (who doesn’t want to meditate on that?!) and they were instituted by one of my favorite saints, St. John Paul II.
    As far as saying them, they are said on Thursdays by our rosary group before Mass and they are in the rotation of the 4 – 8 rosaries I say when I am driving to Los Angeles or when I have time to say multiple rosaries on any given day.
    My meditations for these mysteries are as follows:
    The Baptism of the Lord – live the life of the Trinity by practicing and encouraging mutual love among Christians.
    The Miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana – trust in Divine Providence.
    The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God – live the Word of God so well that we proclaim the Gospel with our lives.
    The Transfiguration – live the will of God in order to be transformed and live in union with Him.
    The Institution of the Eucharist – in our personal encounter with Christ in the Eucharist we become like Him in order to bring Him to those in the world around us.
    That’s it! My 2 cents worth.

  135. Saint1106 says:

    I like to vary the mysteries according to the liturgial season: Joyful for Advent/Christmas, Sorrowful for Lent/Passiontide, Glorious for Easter/Pentecost, and the Luminous for Ordinary Time. As pointed out, in the use of the Rosary, we need not worry about liturgical “thunder thinkers” telling us what is proper and correct. Love the Rosary: it is a repetitive meditative prayer, which uses an outward sign (the beads). I can pray it when I cannot read (when riding in car), or even on a golf course, when all are quite, waiting to tee off.

  136. Charlotte Allen says:

    I’m old-school, so I’m not even sure what the Luminous Mysteries are. So I stick to the original 15, which, if you are going to say the Rosary every day, translate nicely into two groups of three, plus Sunday, on which you can choose appropriate mysteries (Sorrowful during Lent, etc). The original 15 also track chronologically events of the lives of Christ and Mary. The Luminous Mysteries are like the JPII Stations of the Cross: Nice, but I prefer the traditional.

  137. Geoffrey says:

    Saint John Paul the Great proposed adding the Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary, leaving it up to the freedom of the individual; he did not create a separate “chaplet” devotion.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1912 says that “the practice of meditating on certain definite mysteries, which has been rightly described as the very essence of the Rosary devotion, seems to have only arisen long after the date of St. Dominic’s death. It is difficult to prove a negative, but Father T. Esser, O.P., has shown… that the introduction of this meditation during the recitation of the Aves was rightly attributed to a certain Carthusian, Dominic the Prussian. It is in any case certain that at the close of the fifteenth century the utmost possible variety of methods of meditating prevailed, and that the fifteen mysteries now generally accepted were not uniformly adhered to even by the Dominicans themselves” (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13184b.htm).

    Let us say that the traditional Rosary fell from the sky, given to Saint Dominic by the Blessed Virgin herself in the 13th century. Why would she wait until the 20th century to request the addition of the “Decade Prayer (or Fatima Prayer)”? If Pope Saint Pius V could settle on the 15 mysteries in the 16th century, why couldn’t Pope Saint John Paul II add 5 more in the 21st century? Sounds like organic development to me. Like the Missale Romanum, neither is the Rosary a fly in amber!

  138. Chiara says:

    Father – I have loved and prayed the Luminous Mysteries since Pope Saint John Paul instituted them. To me, they seem to spotlight the Sacraments and vocations – The Baptism of the Lord, The Wedding Feast at Cana, the Proclamation of the Gospel, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist. I always pray for priests, my bishop and the Pope, as well as my husband, when I pray these mysteries.

  139. friarpark says:

    Haven’t read the other replies so forgive me if I repeat, but I have read that the Glorious Mysteries were changed to add the two Marian decades. I can’t recall what the two originally were, but I think they had to do with the end times.

  140. Invent new mysteries (I mean, coming from the life of our Lord)? Go for it.

    Yay! I did this at one stage; I had a set called the Fruitful Mysteries which I used to say sometimes –

    Immaculate Conception
    Wedding at Cana
    Feeding of the Five Thousand
    Last Supper / Eucharist
    Crucifixion

    It made sense to me. Probably wouldn’t to anyone else.

    I still find that I sometimes use the feeding of the 5000 as my meditation when I am praying the Luminous Mystery on the Proclamation of the Kingdom.

  141. bernadette says:

    I have no problems praying the LM and have found them to be tremendously enriching to my meditating on the Mysteries of our faith. I usually pray the Rosary alone but also belong to a Rosary prayer group of Catholics who attend the EF on Sunday and the OF during the week.
    Praying the Proclamation of the Kingdom I see Jesus speaking at the synagogue and telling them that the prophecies are being fulfilled in their presence and then being run out of town. I meditate on the Beatitudes and the parables that He taught. I particularly love meditating on the Baptism in the Jordan and imagining the expression on John’s face as Jesus approached. The Wedding Feast at Cana, The Transfiguration, The Institution of the Eucharist are a banquet of meditations.

  142. jesusthroughmary says:

    Perhaps in these times I should resurrect and promote the Mysteries of Wrath that I composed in college:

    1. The Fall of the Angels
    2. The Banishment of Adam and Eve
    3. The Flood
    4. The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
    5. The Plagues of Egypt and the Drowning of Pharaoh’s Army

  143. I don’t see anything really wrong with the Luminous Mysteries. I love in particular the story of the Wedding at Cana. But I don’t pray them usually, unless I’m using my Rosary App or something. I just like things to be unchanging. I want to pray the Rosary as Mozart prayed it. As people prayed it in the Middle Ages. I love that sense of timelessness. I don’t always say the Fatima Prayer either, for the same reason. I like feeling this connection to the faithful who have gone before us. When I pray the Rosary I love thinking, this is how it’s been done for hundreds of years.

  144. Lynn Diane says:

    I love the Luminous Mysteries too, a gift to us from a saint. Which is better: to do our own will or to follow the suggestion of our pope? Ubi Petrus ibi Ecclesia.

  145. Cyrillus Mariae Cheung says:

    ok, I know this is announced by a saint. But I never succeed to discover our Lady in these mysteries in my meditation.

  146. jaykay says:

    Yes, I like them and I use them on Thursdays, although in terms of continuity of meditation on the life of Jesus I sometimes find going from the Glorious on Wednesdays back to the Baptism in the Jordan on Thursdays to be a bit of a break in sequence, but then it all gets “solved”, as it were, by leading from the Institution of the Eucharist straight into the Agony in the Garden on Friday.

    As an aside, when we have our yearly “Pattern Day” i.e. blessing of the graves in the local cemetery, I’ve noticed over the past few years that those leading the rosary have chosen to use the Luminous mysteries. Since there are many hundreds of people there, and probably over 1000 – it’s a big cemetery – it must serve for a lot of people as an introduction, or a reminder, to these “new” mysteries. I’ve no problem with it, anyway, although I’ve never heard anyone enquiring, or complaining, about it. Of course that can betoken either acceptance or indifference. Given the state of the Church in Ireland, I’d sadly tend to think the latter.

  147. jaykay says:

    Cyrillus: perhaps it’ll help if you keep in mind “Ad Jesum per Mariam – to Jesus through Mary”. She always points us towards Jesus, so while in the Luminous mysteries she is only present in the second decade it is nevertheless the one in which she speaks her last recorded words in the Gospels: “whatsoever He shall tell you, do ye”. And from then on in those mysteries we focus on what He is telling us to do, when He went out to proclaim the kingdom.

    Hope that’s of assistance.

  148. Amateur Scholastic says:

    I can’t see how the Pope can change the rosary. I don’t see how he has that authority.

  149. As a Secular Carmelite I follow St Teresa’s habit and say a six decade rosary so the idea of worrying about 150 prayers never bothered me – it’s a made up connection in any event. I do the Luminous because the Pope suggested it and I’m a Catholic, simple as that. Can’t understand the notion of being more faithful to Pius V than the Pope of the day.

  150. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Amateur Scholastic’s is the only comment I’ve caught up with, so far, so please excuse any duplication, but it is an interesting subject matter, the formalization or lack thereof, where the Rosary is concerned.

    For instance, not so long ago, there was a new edition published of one (!) of Dominc of Prussia’s sets of “meditations on the life of Christ and of His Holy Mother” added to the Rosary (to quote Ambrose Mougel, in his 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia article, who even ends with ” it is held by some authors that the ‘Psalter’ of Dominic was the form, or one of the original forms, from which the present Rosary developed”!). Has anyone here happened to notice an increase in their use, as a result? Do people use them, or his other set, together?

    By the way, there is what seems to me a nice little set of such meditations for the modern Rosary, in Latin, including the “Gloriae mysteria”, in the Internet Archive (search for: Rosarium Latinum).

    And what of Saints’s Rosaries? : I’ve read at least one edition of a saint’s life with a set of Rosary meditations upon it appended! Is that unusual (historically)? If not, do many people use them? Together?

  151. tealady24 says:

    I LOVE my rosary! If there are newer mysteries to comtemplate, then I am there!
    What is not to love about the miracle at Cana or the Eucharist?? We could think on these for the rest of our lives and insights would continue to emerge.

    Yes, I recite the luminous mysteries, and because it’s Thursday, I will today! To Jesus through Mary.

  152. marytoo says:

    This thread has been very instructive for me so many thanks to all who contributed their knowledge charitably.

    While it may very well be possible for the rosary to change organically over time, be added to and whatnot, what can’t be changed is the fact that the rosary was designed to help us join more fully with Jesus *through Mary* in her unique position as our advocate; that is the point of the entire endeavor. Every one of the 15 traditional mysteries helps us to do that, as Mary participated in Christ’s birth, passion and redemption, and resurrection in a profound way. When we chang the orientation of the rosary we miss the opportunity of the Blessed Mother’s help, as only one of the Luminous mysteries appears to fulfill this prerequisite (The Marriage at Cana).

    I can see many love the Luminous mysteries, as many here have attested to their love of praying them, and that’s lovely. But I can’t see how they help us to work *through Mary* to know our Lord better, the great benefits about which countless words have been written.

  153. SimonDodd says:

    I’m indifferent to them in part because the Rosary is a minor part of my prayer life and in part because the mysteries form no part of my experience of the Rosary. I don’t understand the concept: Do you want me to say the prayers or do you want me to reflect on something? I can’t do both at once. Maybe some people have brains that can multitask that way, but mine can’t. If I’m reading something, or reciting a prayer, or praying extemporaneously, I’m not doing something else in the back of my head, and for that reason the whole notion of the mysteries goes over my head.

    (I more often use my rosary for the CDM.)

  154. KAS says:

    I never saw the luminous mysteries as a commanded change. I always saw it as an organic addition by a great Saint. I love and respect Saint John Paul the Great (say what you will, he shall always be thus to me!) and the recommended mysteries are all part of the Gospel and I love the Gospel and I love that when I do the Rosary, on the rare occasions when I do ALL 20 decades, there is more detail from the Gospels, and so I love the additional mysteries. When I do a single round of the Rosary, I follow the schedule given by the Saint. It makes sense, I respect the man who suggested it, so that is what I do.

    But I see them as optional rather than obligatory just as I see the Rosary as an optional devotion. I see a lot of excellent devotionals that way. The Liturgy of the Hours is so very good for spiritual growth, but it is optional for most of us. The Divine Mercy is another really GOOD prayer, but it is not required either. Lectio Divina is fabulous, but not something that you sin if you don’t do it.

    If you prefer 150, go for it. I see nothing negative to say about someone who prefers to skip the Luminous mysteries. I love seeing everyone who prays the Rosary praying it!

    For me, Luminous Mysteries fit right in and are another layer of gospel to meditate on while at prayer. If I want to do the Psalms, I’ll pick up the Liturgy of the Hours and do the Psalms from there. It is all good.

    And for the prayer being through Mary– yes, and the Luminous Mysteries, especially the Wedding at Cana, are another layer of this for me. Mary wants us to have MORE of our minds on Jesus, these mysteries are more gospel, cannot see how adding them takes ANYTHING from following out good Mother’s advice to “do whatever he tells you to do” and coming to understand that by meditating on more gospel is a good start.

    Add them, or skip them– just pray!

  155. KM Edwards says:

    I will post one more time.

    The Pros can be summarized as:
    (1) Pope JP2 was a saint, so if he suggested the prayers, I’m doin’ them – OK, that’s fair
    (2) The mysteries are important scripturally and worthy of meditation – absolutely
    (3) Who cares about the universal form – 200, 150, oy vay! – Here is where my beef lies

    I voted to ‘abolish’ – but I speak strictly from a ‘formal, public form or usage’ perspective. I definitely encourage, as I have in my previous posts, anyone who wishes to meditate on any aspect of scripture using the form of the Rosary decade. The atomic prayers are Divine (Pater from Our Lord, Ave from The Archangel and reiterated by St Elizabeth under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and Gloria is ALL over Scripture) and *bound* to yield good fruit, no matter what holy mystery we meditate on by them.

    The point that is being missed in most of the comments is the importance for the Church to establish and promote universal forms, such being an important aspect of that 3rd mark of God’s Church, its Catholicity.

    From the perspective of form, I am sorry to say, adding a 4th set of mysteries has done nothing but create mayhem and demote Sacred Tradition. Sure, we are free and encouraged to grow personally and even within a specific prayer cell group in a way that is unique …

    But as a universal form, by way of what is promoted at the parish level and before parish masses, a universal form ought to have harmony … the 3 traditional sets of mysteries are very harmonious – Life, Death, Resurrection/Glory. The 4th set goes like this: Life, More Life, Death, Resurrection/Glory – not against it, but a clunky universal form. Again, 3 sets of mysteries, 3 Divine Persons, 3 Theological Virtues.

    Universal forms in the Latin Church have often be a “least common denominator”, a summary. From this perspective again, Life, Death and Resurrection is a preferable universal form to more lengthy and less harmonious Life, More Life, Even More Life, Death and Resurrection models.

    For this reason, I continue to encourage my brethren who enjoy meditating on these Johannine-Pauline mysteries to keep doing so at a personal or even a sub-parochial level, but at the parochial and parish level I encourage priests and laity to only pray the 3 traditional ones.

    In this universal sense of form, I call for an ‘abolishing’ of public parish usage of the 4 mystery set form.

    In these latter decades, as evidenced in the Novus Ordo Mass, replete with several options for responses, Eucharistic prayers etc, the presence of several options, while having some pros in some ways, often tend to create a chimera or a sense of mayhem, the victim of which may not be one’s faith necessarily, but certainly is the universality or the catholicity of the form, usage and experience of the faithful worldwide.

    And if the Church were to restrict public, official usage of the Rosary at the parish level strictly to the traditional 3 mystery sets, this would not impose on the spiritual freedom of those who wish to practice them in their own space.

    God bless, good discussion topic, thank you Fr Z.

  156. Perhaps in these times I should resurrect and promote the Mysteries of Wrath that I composed in college:

    1. The Fall of the Angels
    2. The Banishment of Adam and Eve
    3. The Flood
    4. The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
    5. The Plagues of Egypt and the Drowning of Pharaoh’s Army

    Cool! (if somewhat negative)

    There should be an app for those … Or at the very least, an interactive computer game of some kind.

  157. Aspergesme says:

    I agree with Bea, Tina and FrG. I never say the Luminous Mysteries, although I say the Rosary every day. The Rosary with 15 decades was given by the Blessed Mother to St. Dominic. She herself altered it once, at Fatima, to add the prayer we say after the Glory Be to the Father. Pope John Paul II suggested the Luminous Mysteries and any one can use them if they want but let’s not make it a litmus test as to who is more Catholic than anyone else.