Are there variations on praying the rosary besides the traditional prayer pattern?
October is traditionally known as the month of the rosary, with the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated on October 7. The rosary traces it origin to those who wanted to imitate the monks’ daily psalm prayers but could not memorize the psalms. They began using familiar prayers instead. Soon three sets of five mysteries based on Jesus (replacing the 150 psalms), each having an Our Father, ten Hail Marys and a Glory Be attached to each mystery, set the rosary pattern.
On November 21, 1973, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commented on the rosary in their pastoral letter on Mary, Behold Your Mother: Woman of Faith. They reminded Catholics that the rosary’s importance stemmed not from reciting prayers but from time spent reflecting on the mysteries.
Rosary prayer times can have “an instructive use of readings from Old Testament as well as New…,” along with hymns and “time periods of silent prayer.” Some have developed mysteries for various occasions such as a rosary for the sick. Pope John Paul II, on October 16, 2002, introduced a new set of five mysteries known as the luminous mysteries based on significant events in the public ministry of Jesus.
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