Rosary During Advent and Lent

It occurs to me I may not have correctly understood the instructions as to how the Rosary is to be prayed during Advent and Lent. (I read something that causes me to question.)

What I had been doing was Joyful Mysteries on every Sunday during Advent – with everything else remaining the same. And Sorrowful Mysteries on every Sunday during Lent – with everything else remaining the same.

Is that correct? Or is really supposed to be:

Joyful Mysteries every single day during Advent?
Sorrowful Mysteries every single day during Lent?

Is there someone on the Boards here who knows the answer? Thank you.

There hasn’t been just one “correct” arrangement. For those who pray five mysteries a day, the assignment of mysteries to days of the week depends on matters like custom and one’s own piety.

The arrangement with seasonal Sunday changes has been relatively common, especially before the widespread adoption of the luminous mysteries and an arrangement that has no seasonal changes.

I’ve seen occasional references to praying the sorrowful mysteries daily during Lent, but this custom was probably rarer. An analogous custom for Advent (or for the Easter season) isn’t hard to imagine, but I’ve never heard of one in actual practice (though maybe someone else has, and maybe people have tried the idea).

I repeat, though, that there are no official rules about assigning mysteries to days or seasons, and neither idea mentioned in your post would therefore be “incorrect,” even if something like prevailing local custom differs.

There are no instructions. It’s a private devotion. Do as you please.

Something I’ve been thinking about, too, with Advent here.

From what I gather, and from various Catholic sources, I’d agree that there’s no right or wrong answer, especially since we’re not obligated to pray the Rosary under penalty of sin in any event.

My Rosary brochure says that it’s “optional” to pray the Joyful Mysteries on Sundays during Advent and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Sundays during Lent.

From two Catholic sources:

From 2001:

After the discussion of assignment of the Mysteries to certain days of the week:

**Where this system is rigidly adhere to, conflict can arise between the content of the mysteries and that of the Liturgy of the day: the recitation of the sorrowful mysteries on Christmas day, should it fall on a Friday. In cases such as this it can be reckoned that “the liturgical character of a given day takes precedence over the usual assignment of a mystery of the Rosary to a given day; the Rosary is such that, on particular days, it can appropriately substitute meditation on a mystery so as to harmonize this pious practice with the liturgical season”(242). **Hence, the faithful act correctly when, for example, they contemplate the arrival of the three Kings on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, rather than the finding of Jesus in the Temple. Clearly, such substitutions can only take place after much careful thought, adherence to Sacred Scripture and liturgical propriety.

From 2002, noting the insertion of the Luminous Mysteries and the newer assignment of Mysteries to days, which assigns the Glorious Mysteries to Wednesdays and Sundays:

This indication is not intended to limit a rightful freedom in personal and community prayer, where account needs to be taken of spiritual and pastoral needs **and of the occurrence of particular liturgical celebrations which might call for suitable adaptations. **What is really important is that the Rosary should always be seen and experienced as a path of contemplation. In the Rosary, in a way similar to what takes place in the Liturgy, the Christian week, centred on Sunday, the day of Resurrection, becomes a journey through the mysteries of the life of Christ, and he is revealed in the lives of his disciples as the Lord of time and of history.

What I plan to do this Advent is keep to the traditional schedule (including the Glorious Mysteries on Sundays). This schedule makes sense to me because it has an even split between the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries (twice per week each). But if time allows I’ll insert an additional five decades on Sundays with the Joyful Mysteries, in keeping with their relevance to the season.

Your current practice during Advent is the usual practice. During Lent, the Sorrowful Mysteries are usually said every single day.

I am one of the leaders of the Rosary before the Masses at my Parish. This is how we do it: Joyful on Sundays during Advent, Sorrowful everyday during Lent until Easter. However, as pointed out by some posters, the Rosary is a private devotion. You can do whatever you feel is best.

Usually said by whom? :confused:

I’ve never changed the mysteries I pray because of liturgical season. And when I’ve prayed with friends or after daily mass, we’ve always stuck with what we’ve always done, regardless of season.

Different communities have their own traditions. Some may change the mysteries according to the season, but many of us have never done this.

The rosary is a private devotion. Pray in the way that draws you closer to the Heart of God.

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I truly appreciate the feedback and suggestions. Your comments have been most helpful. Tonight I was thinking that I might change it up a little and do a classic version of the Joyful Mysteries on Saturdays, a scriptural version of the Joyful Mysteries on Sundays and a modified version of the Joyful Mysteries on Mondays. The modified version adds a word after “Jesus” in the Hail Mary. So it would be something like “Jesus, our Redeemer” or “Jesus, our Savior” – something along those lines. The rest of the days I will leave as is. After Advent, I can go back to the regular custom. What I did not know is that there is tradition for doing the Sorrowful Mysteries every single day during Lent. Although such a practice makes sense to me. I wonder why the mirror image (i.e., do the Joyful Mysteries every day during Advent) isn’t done. I suppose I could do that if I wished; yes, I guess the rosary is a private devotion and because it is often done as a group before or after mass, I tend to forget that point. I have come to see it as both an individual and as a group prayer. Thanks all.

The pattern I mentioned of saying the Sorrowful Mysteries every day of Lent is what is suggested in my Pray the Rosary booklet by Rev. J.M. Lelen, Ph.D., and in my New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal, published by Catholic Book Publishing Company, and it is mentioned as an option in my Catholicism for Dummies by Rev. John Trigilio, Jr., PhD, ThD, and Rev. Kenneth Brighenti, PhD.