• chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,041
    This discussion was created from comments split from: Ignatius Pew Missal.
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  • francis
    Posts: 10,342
    a_f_hawkins 4:59AM said
    Taize chant is excellent, for Taize and its constant stream of mostly young pilgrims. It does not work well at Iona because the climate is different. It is not intended for sustaining an adult community week after week. The same could be said of the Rosary, there are circumstances where repeating the same prayer 50 or 150(200) times is appropropriate, but the Mass is not one of them. If a congregation is unused to chant you have to start with simple stuff, but then MOVE ON.

    First, I will defend the devotion of Most Holy Mary, which is often attacked in this common fashion (speaking prayers in repetition) by those who do not understand or comprehend the power and wonder of this most venerable tradition.

    Secondly, I would admonish everyone to please find and read "Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary" by Bl. Mary of Agreda.

    Thirdly, learn to speak the perfect prayers of the rosary with your lips while most importantly meditating on the mysteries. Do not be thinking of the meaning of the words you are speaking; think about the mystery present. There is nothing more efficacious for the soul and for the benefit of all mankind than this solemn devotion next to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Fourthly, there is no comparison of the rosary to Taize chant. Spiritually, the analogy is like trying to compare the finest wine to a simple glass of water.

    Lastly, both can be successfully employed during the liturgy. Prudence should dictate how that is accomplished.

    I am continually perplexed to see church after church substitute a stripped down vernacular plainsong when they could just as easily sing the real thing... our venerable Gregorian Chant.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,835
    Jacques Berthier, who was a credible musician despite Taize, did not consider those chants his finest work, but rather a source of income. He also wrote some decent stuff for organ.

    Speaking of boring, the rosary fits that description. Even Benedict XVI made the comment that he found it difficult to get through. Praying the Divine Office or Divine Praises as we call them, seems a better investment of time.

    I don't know how many have heard of the Universal Living Rosary. It was begun by Pauline-Marie Jaricot who also founded the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. I think she is Venerable Pauline, if memory serves correctly. There are several million members who pray an assigned decade of the rosary each day. That is enough rosary for this Byzantine, so that is all I do. The rosary is a western devotion. I like the Jesus prayer much better.

    Speaking of rosaries, I still don't understand the reasoning behind the additional "mysteries" added by John Paul II, who was saintly, but whose canonization was, I believe, a popularity contest. Some of us used to call them the mundane mysteries since they were not on the level of the other fifteen.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,342
    Speaking of rosaries, I still don't understand the reasoning behind the additional "mysteries" added by John Paul II, who was saintly, but whose canonization was, I believe, a popularity contest. Some of us used to call them the mundane mysteries since they were not on the level of the other fifteen.
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  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    As I recall, it took awhile for the devotion to reach its present state.
    Across the centuries the Rosary has had various mysteries,
    and any Gospel passage could be selected for meditation during a decade.
    I think the writings of Saint Louis de Montfort cover this.


  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,041
    Originally, there were 150 different points of meditation for the 150 Ave Marias in the full rosary, so if there are just 15 or 20, consider yourself as getting off easy!
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,835
    I pray the psalms, instead. I have read that the rosary developed as a lay devotion to imitate the monastics who prayed the psalms.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,041
    The earliest "Marian Psalter" is found in a manuscript by Cistercian nuns in Germany, containing 98 clausulae reflecting events in the life of Jesus, and dating to 1300. In this prayer, the greeting of the angel ("Hail, full of grace") was paired with the clausulae.

    The document also mentions the practice of repeating the Ave Maria 150 times. There had already been a practice of repeating a verse from the Psalms 150 times, or repeating the Our Father. Starting in the 12th century, the Ave Maria was added. As the Scriptural Psalter is sometimes divided into three groups of 50, the same was done with the Marian Psalter.

    In 1242, the Beguines at Ghent called on their members to recite at least 50 Ave Marias each day; the Cistercians recommended that 50 would suffice. A Cistercian legend produced the name "rosary"; according to the story, Our Lady revealed to a monk that, although he was accustomed to decorating her statue with roses, she preferred a crown composed of 50 Aves.

    Around 1400, Adolf of Essen, the Carthusian prior at Trier, repeated 50 Aves a day and meditated on the life of Jesus; he shared this method with others who also found it spiritually fruitful. His follower Dominic of Prussia wrote down the life of Jesus into 150 clausulae to accompany the Aves.

    Thereafter, the Dominicans spread the Rosary, notably Bl. Alain de la Roche (d. 1475), who mistakenly thought that St. Dominic had invented it; St. Dominic did pray the Ave with the help of a prayer-cord, but the process of his canonization (1233) does not say that he invented this prayer, not do the oldest biographies. Perhaps Bl. Alain confused Dominic of Prussia with St. Dominic.
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  • Liam
    Posts: 4,761
    The Theophany (the first revelation of the Most Holy Trinity to the world at the baptism of our Lord), the Transfiguration and the Last Supper are many things, but mundane is not one of them.
    Thanked by 2Jani toddevoss
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,835
    The Theophany (the first revelation of the Most Holy Trinity to the world at the baptism of our Lord), the Transfiguration and the Last Supper are many things, but mundane is not one of them.

    They are important, yes. Probably not as important as the original mysteries. The "mundane" came from a conversation with a friend around the time the new mysteries were added to the rosary. Contributing to each others delinquency, we speculated that next set of mysteries would be the "mundane mysteries."

    1. Mary darns Joseph's green socks
    2. Joseph does the dishes for Mary
    3. St. Elizabeth and Mary go shopping
    4. Jesus cleans his room
    5. Mary and Joseph have lunch.

    Given JPII's penchant for canonizing Vatican cleaning ladies by the dozen, and tinkering with the rosary, anything could be possible. LOL.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,761
    "Probably not as important as the original mysteries."

    I could not disagree more strongly about the three I mentioned.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,835
    Perhaps theologically significant would be a better term than important. In that sense, the resurrection would seem more significant than some of the others.

    The first presentation and revelation of God's son to the world was at Epiphany. I think that is why it is a more significant feast than Christmas in the east - I think the west might also agree on that. Christmas gets all the glory.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,761
    All three of the Luminous mysteries i mentioned are way up there in theological importance; indeed, the first two I mentioned (the Theophany - Baptism of the Lord, and the Transfiguration - are more important than many of the other traditional mysteries, even more so in the Byzantine tradition. And including the Last Supper completes the meditations for the Triduum, if you've including the Anastasis/Harrowing of Hell in the Resurrection already...)
    Thanked by 1Jani
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,835
    As I mentioned earlier, I only say the one mystery assigned to me by the Universal Living Rosary Association. It is the coronation of Mary which I pray once a day. I am not a "rosary" person by any definition and usually have to look the other mysteries up if anyone brings up the subject. The degree of importance or significance of any of that devotion is subject to individual interpretation, but westerners are more knowledgeable about it, I would guess.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    I don't believe I've ever used the "Luminous Mysteries" while praying the Rosary.
    We go by:
    Sunday: Glorious
    Monday: Joyful
    Tuesday: Sorrowful
    Wednesday: Glorious
    Thursday: Joyful
    Friday: Sorrowful
    Saturday: Glorious

    We used to have a beautiful small book about the Rosary with pictures and days, but they probably aren't in print anymore because of the Luminous addition.
  • JonLaird
    Posts: 238
    CCooze -- I used to use this booklet:

    After praying the rosary for a while, including the Mysteries of Light, I began to appreciate them much more. For what it's worth, here's my experience with them; apologies if it is a somewhat haphazard explanation. I am no theologian, so those with real credentials might do well to correct my errors.

    They (the Luminous Mysteries) seemed to fill in a gap that more fully made the whole rosary reflect the spiritual life -- namely, the progression from purgation, to illumination, to unity. Traditionally, in the Sorrowful Mysteries we meditate on our own sin and are driven toward repentance. You can draw a parallel between this and the first "week" of St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises or, for that matter, any authentic "method" of spiritual progress.

    The second "week" of the Spiritual Exercises has two parts -- first, concentrating on the Incarnation, a set of meditations roughly corresponding to the Joyful Mysteries; second, meditating on the ministry of Christ. The meditations on the Incarnation get us oriented toward seeing the world from God's perspective. Everything tends toward and flows from the Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. Particularly poignant for me is the paradox that is the humility and poverty with which the King of kings enters the world.

    Before the meditations on the ministry of Christ there is a key meditation on the Kingdom of Christ. In this meditation we are inspired to dedicate ourselves completely to the Standard of Christ, after we see it set up against the standard of satan. Then we proceed from there through many meditations to see how Christ proclaims the Kingdom, and we see what is asked of us as followers of him. So again it is the Third mystery that is central, in this case the Proclamation of the Kingdom -- the most general of all 20 mysteries, encompassing not one event but the whole message of Jesus' ministry. Each time you pray this decade, pick something new -- some part of the sermon on the mount, or a parable, or the Bread of Life discourse -- or just a single Beatitude. Just as with the Joyful mysteries, the first two prepare for the third and the last two flow from it. We see then in the Transfiguration the prefiguring of the Resurrection -- from the perspective of the three disciples present, it functions as a sort of consolation to prepare them for the desolation to follow. The Last Supper then is both the end of Christ's ministry and the initiation of the final mysteries.

    Now I would return to the Sorrowful Mysteries after the Luminous (just as St. Ignatius' third "week" centers around the Passion), but with a different lens. Before I concentrated on my sin and what Christ suffered for it; now, after seeing his whole ministry, I see the path that I am to follow him through. Again, just for me -- I see some centrality in the third Mystery, the Crowning of Thorns. I meditated previously on my King's entrance into the world, I followed him through his preaching and I committed to follow him through all hardships, and now I see him in utter humiliation, crowned in shame and not glory, not with gold and a scepter but thorns and a reed. Where is this Kingship leading? To the Cross...

    ...and then it is continued in a less obvious way at Pentecost. At Pentecost, Christ, now having conquered sin and death, has sent an infallible Guide to lead the Church, the visible "part" of the Kingdom on earth, until he comes again. It is our entrance into the Kingdom, when we receive the Holy Spirit ourselves in the Sacraments. Then in the last two mysteries we follow Mary, the Gate of Heaven, the only way through which we can enter. She begins it all with her "Fiat"; she tells us -- who are the servants at Cana, the firstsecond [Edit] Luminous Mystery -- what to do to follow Christ; she suffers with him in the Passion;
    she takes the highest place of glory in Heaven.

    Thinking about the spiritual life parallel again, going through the mysteries in this order might be something like this:
    Sorrowful: repentance, mortification, and the dark night of sense, or the "purgative" way
    Joyful-Luminous: the "illuminative" way, or what St. John of the Cross terms the state of "proficients"; we have advanced out of our sinful and inordinate attachments to a real desire to love God (we find out how by following his teachings)
    Sorrowful: the dark night of the spirit -- experiencing in each power of the soul some real share in the depths to which Christ was brought
    Glorious: unity with God

    This is not to imply that sitting down and praying 25 mysteries will bring you into union with God. Just that there is an important gap filled -- in my view -- by adding mysteries that are concerned with the ministry and preaching of Christ. If anyone doesn't like them, he does not need to pray them of course. But there is certainly no harm -- and there may be a great help -- in using the rosary to meditate on these mysteries. I for one am grateful.
  • Over at vultus Christi there is a reflection on praying various mysteries as they are connected to the liturgical year, using the recent example of the Epiphany.

    Another example: it seemed strange to me to pray the sorrowful mysteries on Christmas, should it fall on a Friday like this year. It seems reasonable that the liturgical calendar should guide the private devotions of my family.

    Dom Kirby fleshed out a few possibilities that made sense to me. Vultus Christi has become my favorite blog for rich insights and traditional liturgical information. I'm so grateful for the work of everyone who contributes to that work.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen bonniebede
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    I never felt/feel that I was missing something in my Rosaries, even prior to the addition of the Luminous mysteries.

    Also, even my 4yo doesn't find the Rosary to be tiresome or boring/mundane. He absolutely loves getting to lead the prayers.

    We do include the Fatima prayer between each decade, and I've been leading a Public Square Rosary Rally (ANF) for 4 years now. Getting more people each year, including a surprise appearance by all 3 of our priests this past October.
    Thanked by 1bonniebede
  • francis
    Posts: 10,342
    OK... let's start at the beginning of the mysteries.

    btw... this is how much "Mary Did Know".

    Here is the First Mystery Joyful.

    (I am composing the music for this at the present time)

    1. For infinite ages had been appointed the convenient hour and time, in which the great mystery of piety (I Tim. 3, 16), which was approved by the Spirit, prophesied to men, foretold to the angels, and expected in the world, was to be drawn from the hidden recesses of the divine wisdom in order to be appropriately manifested in the flesh. The plenitude of time (Gal. 4, 4) had arrived, that time which until then, although filled with prophecies and promises, was nevertheless void and empty. For it wanted the fullness of the most holy Mary, by whose will and consent all the ages were to receive their complement, namely the eternal Word made flesh, capable of suffering and redeeming man. Before all ages this mystery was prearranged in such a way, that it should be fulfilled through the mediation of this heavenly Maiden. Since now She existed in the world the Redemption of man and the coming of the Onlybegotten of the Father was not longer to be delayed. For now He would not need to come and live as if by sufferance merely in tents (II Kings 7, 6) or in a strange house; but He could enjoy a free welcome as in His temple and as in his own house, one that had been built and enriched at his own preordained expense, more so than the temple of Solomon at the expense of his father David (I Par. 22, 5).
    2. In this predetermined time then the Most High resolved to send his Onlybegotten Son into the world. And comparing, (according to our way of understanding and speaking), the decrees of his eternity with the prophecies and testimonies made to man from the beginning of the world, and all this together with the position of sanctity to which He had raised most holy Mary, He judged that all the circumstances were favorable for the exaltation of his holy name, and that the execution of his eternal will and decree should be made manifest to the angels and be commenced by them. His Majesty spoke to the archangel Gabriel in such words or language as He was accustomed to use in intimating his will to the holy angels. Although God usually illumines the holy spirits by commencing with the higher angels, who in turn purify and illumine the others in their order down to the least among them, thus making known the revelations of the Divinity; yet on this occasion this usage was not maintained, for the holy archangel received his message immediately from the mouth of God.
    3. At the bidding of the divine will the holy Gabriel presented himself at the foot of the throne intent upon the immutable essence of the Most High. His Majesty then expressly charged him with the message, which he was to bring to the most holy Mary and instructed him in the very words with which he was to salute and address Her. Thus the first Author of the message was God himself, who formed the exact words in his divine mind, and revealed them to the holy archangel for transmission to the most pure Mary. At the same time the Lord revealed to the holy prince Gabriel many hidden sacraments concerning the Incarnation. The blessed Trinity commanded him to betake himself to the heavenly Maiden and announce to Her, that the Lord had chosen Her among women to be the Mother of the eternal Word, that She should conceive Him in her virginal womb through operation of the Holy Ghost without injury to her virginity. In this and in all the rest of the message, which he was to declare and manifest to this great Queen and Mistress, the archangel was instructed by the blessed Trinity itself.
    4. Thereupon his Majesty announced to all the other angels that the time of the Redemption had come and that He had commanded it to be brought to the world without delay; for already, in their own presence, the most holy Mary had been prepared and adorned to be his Mother, and had been exalted to the supreme dignity. The heavenly spirits heard the voice of their Creator, and with incomparable joy and thanksgiving for the fulfillment of his eternal and perfect will, they intoned new canticles of praise, repeating therein that hymn of Sion: "Holy, holy, holy art thou, God and Lord Sabaoth (Is. 6, 3). Just and powerful art Thou, Lord our God, who livest in the highest (Ps. 112, 5) and lookest upon the lowly of the earth. Admirable are all thy works, most high and exalted in thy designs."
    5. The supernal prince Gabriel, obeying with singular delight the divine command and accompanied by many thousands of most beautiful angels in visible forms, descended from the highest heaven. The appearance of the great prince and legate was that of a most handsome youth of rarest beauty; his face emitted resplendent rays of light, his bearing was grave and majestic, his advance measured, his motions composed, his words weighty and powerful, his whole presence displayed a pleasing, kindly gravity and more of godlike qualities than all the other angels until then seen in visible form by the heavenly Mistress. He wore a diadem of exquisite splendor and his vestments glowed in various colors full of refulgent beauty. Enchased on his breast, he bore a most beautiful cross, disclosing the mystery of the Incarnation, which He had come to announce. All these circumstances were calculated to rivet the affectionate attention of the most prudent Queen.
    6. The whole of this celestial army with their princely leader holy Gabriel directed their flight to Nazareth, a town of the province of Galilee, to the dwelling place of most holy Mary. This was an humble cottage and her chamber was a narrow room, bare of all those furnishings which are wont to be used by the world in order to hide its own meanness and want of all higher goods. The heavenly Mistress was at this time fourteen years, six months and seventeen days of age; for her birthday anniversary fell on the eighth of September and six months seventeen days had passed since that date, when this greatest of all mysteries ever performed by God in this world, was enacted in Her.
    7. The bodily shape of the heavenly Queen was well proportioned and taller than is usual with other maidens of her age; yet extremely elegant and perfect in all its parts. Her face was rather more oblong than round, gracious and beautiful, without leanness or grossness; its complexion clear, yet of a slightly brownish hue; her forehead spacious yet symmetrical; her eyebrows perfectly arched; her eyes large and serious, of incredible and ineffable beauty and dovelike sweetness, dark in color with a mixture tending toward green; her nose straight and well shaped; her mouth small, with red-colored lips, neither too thin nor too thick. All the gifts of nature in Her were so symmetrical and beautiful, that no other human being ever had the like. To look upon Her caused feelings at the same time of joy and seriousness, love and reverential fear. She attracted the heart and yet restrained it in sweet reverence; her beauty impelled the tongue to sound her praise, and yet her grandeur and her overwhelming perfections and graces hushed it to silence. In all that approached Her, She caused divine effects not easily explained; She filled the heart with heavenly influences and divine operations, tending toward the Divinity.

  • francis
    Posts: 10,342
    8. Her garments were humble and poor, yet clean, of a dark silvery hue, somewhat like the color of ashes. and they were arranged and worn without pretense, but with the greatest modesty and propriety. At the time when, without her noticing it, the embassy of heaven drew nigh unto Her, She was engaged in the highest contemplation concerning the mysteries which the Lord had renewed in Her by so many favors during the nine preceding days. And since, as we have said above, the Lord himself had assured Her that his Onlybegotten would soon descend to assume human form, this great Queen was full of fervent and joyful affection in the expectation of its execution and inflamed with humble love. She spoke in her heart: "Is it possible that the blessed time has arrived, in which the Word of the eternal Father is to be born and to converse with men? (Baruch 10, 38). That the world should possess Him? That men are to see Him in the flesh? (Is. 40. 5). That his inaccessible light is to shine forth to illumine those who sit in darkness? (Is. 9, 2). O, who shall be worthy to see and know Him ! O, who shall be allowed to kiss the earth touched by his feet !"
    117. "Rejoice, ye heavens, and console thyself, O earth (Ps. 95, 11); let all things bless and extol Him, since already his eternal happiness is nigh! O children of Adam, afflicted with sin, and yet creatures of my Beloved, now shall you raise your heads and throw off the yoke of your ancient servitude! (Is. 14,25). O, ye ancient Forefathers and Prophets, and all ye just, that are detained in limbo and are waiting in the bosom of Abraham, now shall you be consoled and your much desired and long promised Redeemer shall tarry no longer! (Agg. 2, 8). Let us all magnify Him and sing to Him hymns of praise! O who shall be the slave of Her, whom Isaias points out as his Mother (Is. 7,4); O Emmanuel, true God and Man! O key of David, who art to unlock heaven! (Is. 22,22). O eternal Wisdom! O Lawgiver of the new Church! Come, come to us, O Lord, and end the captivity of thy people; let all flesh see thy salvation!" (Is. 40, 5).
    118. In these petitions and aspirations, and in many more too deep for my tongue to explain, the most holy Mary was engaged at the hour, when the holy angel Gabriel arrived. She was most pure in soul, most perfect in body, most noble in her sentiments, most exalted in sanctity, full of grace and so deified and pleasing in the sight of God, that She was fit to be his Mother and an instrument adapted for drawing Him from the bosom of the Father to her virginal womb. She was the powerful means of our Redemption and to Her we owe it on many accounts. And therefore it is just, that all generations and nations shall bless and forever extol Her (Luke 1, 48). What happened at the entrance of the heavenly embassy, I will relate in the following chapter.
    119. I wish only to state here a fact worthy of admiration, that for the reception of the message of the archangel and for the execution of the exalted mystery, which was to be wrought in the heavenly Lady by her consent, his Majesty left Her without any other aid than the resources of her common human nature and those furnished Her by the faculties and virtues of her ordinary condition, such as have been described in the first part of this history (Part I, 674-714). The Most High disposed it thus, because this mystery was to be enacted as a sacrament of faith conjointly with hope and charity. And therefore the Lord provided Her with no special aid, leaving Her to her belief and hope in his divine promises. Thus prepared She experienced what I shall try to relate in my inadequate and limited terms. The greatness of these sacraments makes my ability to explain them appear so much the more insufficient.


    My daughter, with special affection I manifest to thee now my will and desire that thou make thyself worthy of the intimate and familiar converse with God, and that for this purpose thou dispose thyself with great zeal and solicitude, weeping over thy sins, and forgetting and rejecting all the visible things, so that thou have no thought henceforth for any other thing outside of God. Therefore thou must begin to practice all that I have taught thee until now, and whatever I will yet teach thee in the balance of this history. I will accompany thee and guide thee on the course with which thou must maintain in this familiar intercourse and in regard to the favors, which thou receivest through his condescension, entertaining Him in thy heart by means of the faith, light and grace given to thee. If thou dost not first conform to this my admonition, and prepare thyself accordingly, thou wilt not reach the fulfillment of thy desires, nor shall I reap the fruit of my instructions, which I give to thee as thy Teacher.
    121. Since thou has found, without any merit of thine, the hidden treasure and the precious pearl of my teachings and instruction (Matth. 13, 44), despise all other things, in order to possess and secure for thyself this prize of inestimable value; for with it thou shalt receive all other goods and thou wilt make thyself worthy of the intimate friendship of the Lord and of his perpetual indwelling in your heart. In exchange for this great blessing, I desire that thou die to all earthly things and that thou offer the thankful love of an entirely purified will. In imitation of me be thou so humble, that as far as thou art concerned, thou be persuaded and convinced of thy entire worthlessness and incapability, not meriting to be considered even as a slave of the servants of Christ.
    122. Remember, I was far from imagining, that the Most High had designed me for the dignity of Mother of God; and this was my state of mind although He had already promised his speedy coming into the world and although He had commanded me to desire after Him with such great affection, that on the day before the execution of this mystery I thought I would die and my heart would burst with loving sighs, if the divine Providence had not comforted me. He dilated my spirit with the firm hope, that the Onlybegotten of the eternal Father would descend from heaven without delay; yet on the other hand, my humility inclined me to fear, lest my presence in the world might perhaps retard his coming. Contemplate then, my beloved, this secret of my breast, and what an example it is for thee and for all the mortals. And since it is difficult for thee to understand and describe such high wisdom, look upon me in the Lord, in order that by his divine light, thou mayest meditate and comprehend the perfection of my actions; follow me by imitating me, and walk in my footsteps.
  • Geremia
    Posts: 243
    @eft94530: St. Louis de Montfort had 5 methods for praying the rosary.