When praying the rosary, each day of the week has a specific set of mysteries associated with it. Sunday is typically associated with the Glorious Mysteries, which is fitting, since each Sunday is like a mini-Easter celebration of the Lord’s resurrection from the dead. During Advent, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recommends praying the Joyful Mysteries on Sunday, and during Lent, they recommend praying the Sorrowful Mysteries, in observance of the solemnity of these liturgical seasons (source). Monday is typically associated with the Joyful Mysteries, Tuesday with the Sorrowful Mysteries, and Wednesday with the Glorious Mysteries. Friday is associated with the Sorrowful Mysteries, which is fitting as Friday was the day of the events of Jesus’ death. Saturday is associated with the Joyful mysteries.
Today, Thursday, is associated with the Luminous Mysteries of Pope St. John Paul II. Prior to the implementation of the Luminous Mysteries in 2002, Thursday was associated with the Joyful Mysteries. Some conservative members of the Church still observe this, contending that when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Dominic and gave him the prayers of the rosary, she did not give him the Luminous Mysteries. Further, when she appeared to the children in Fatima, she said to pray the fifteen mysteries of the rosary for the reparation of sins, not twenty.
Personally, I like the Luminous Mysteries. They complete the story of Jesus’ life as observed in the mysteries of the rosary. If one prays all twenty of the mysteries in a single sitting (ambitious, but possible), one meditates on the entire life of Jesus, including the years of His public ministry. Leaving them out, to me, feels like missing an important piece of Jesus’ life: His example to us through His shared humanity with us.
Of course, there isn’t one right way to pray the rosary. It is a private devotion. What matters is that we use it in a way that is beneficial to us as well as to the world. It doesn’t really matter which Mysteries one meditates on each day. The typical associations noted above simply provide some unity throughout the Church’s prayer of this devotion.
How do you pray the rosary? What is your opinion of the Luminous Mysteries? Share in the comments below, and please remember to be respectful and courteous of others and their views and opinions.