Saturday, June 14, 2014

Liturgizing Devotion

We should liturgize devotion as far as we can, rather than devotionalize the liturgy as happened in the last several centuries when low Mass became the norm, public practice of devotions replaced the Office, and some odd feasts crept into the kalendar (several Marian apparitions, the Miraculous Medal, Precious Blood, the Sacred Heart etc).

I for one like to adapt the way I pray the Rosary to the season in order to "synch" all my prayers with the time of the year. I do not really use the John Paul II mysteries. On Sundays per annum and of Paschaltide I pray the Glorious Mysteries. Sundays from Advent until, but excluding, Septuagesima I pray the Joyful Mysteries. And during Lent on Sundays the Sorrowful Mysteries. I only use the Fatima prayer during per annum time. During Paschal week or "Bright Week" and during Pentecost I replace it with a triple alleluia. For the rest of Paschaltide I say "Christus Resurrexit, alleluia." During Christmas season it is "Christus natus est." During Lent it is "Miserere mei, Deus." When Passion Sunday comes I eliminate the Gloria Patri. Whenever I pray the Office of the Dead on a given day I will omit the Gloria Patri and the seasonal ending in favor of Requiem aeternam dona.... Another thing to do is to utilize the array of mysteries available during octaves. Monday will be the first time in several weeks that I have not prayed the Glorious Mysteries because I used them through Ascension time and the octave of Pentecost. One should, I think, consider using the Sorrowful Mysteries every day of Holy Week, the Joyful during the Nativity and Epiphany octaves and the like. One last thing I like to do, depending on the time of the year, is to swap the Salve Regina for the seasonal Marian antiphon. Today I used the Regina Coeli for the last time until 2015.

If someone does not want to learn the Office or finds private liturgical prayer difficult, this could be a great way of becoming familiar with the mysteries and feasts of the Church without adjusting one's prayers too much. This sort of variation was very common in the Middle Ages. Salisury, the diocese of the Sarum rite, had a public liturgical Rosary that looks very little like what we use today. Variation is acceptable within reason.

Again, let us liturgize our devotion so we do not devotionalize our liturgy.


  1. And yet people will sometimes treat the mysteries to meditate upon as dogma.

    D. Mark Kirby offers on his blog, Vultus Christi, options for praying the rosary in accord with the liturgical year. Many times he will suggest the Sunday Gospels for the mysteries.

  2. Pere Thomas Calmel O.P. produced a small book of Rosary meditations years ago which included several other Feast Day Mysteries (I think he included the Epiphany).He said that the 15 mysteries were a basic set of mysteries, but others could be and had been used and added on. Now he was a great traditionalist hero, so it was strange that many Traditionalist Catholics had almost a hate campaign against John Paul's (optional) Luminous Mysteries.

    1. Alan, do you have any link to it?

    2. A thing that has always liked me about the Rosary is that it reproduces, in a smaller way (just a week), the entire Incarnation cycle. From my point of view, the worst "sin" of Luminous mysteries are not the mysteries per se, but their arrangement within the week. I mean that its insertion in Thursday actually moves the other mysteries, and the Sorrowful mysteries are not prayed in Friday, the day Our Lord suffered His passion and death - and so confusing people about the true meaning of that very day (the day the Church used to sanctify by fast, &c.).

      I do not pray the Luminous mysteries, but mainly due to my preference towards the other ones, and their more traditional and somewhat "liturgical" arrangement.

      By the way, I will try to liturgize my own poor, and always scarse prayers.

      Kyrie eleison

    3. It is s small pamphlet published by the French traditionalist publishing house Dominique Martin Morin, and I think just called Les Mysteres de Rosaire, or something similar. Fr Calmel has several sets of meditations on the mysteries. I am sure that a check with Google could find you a copy.

  3. The Devotion to the Precious is not a mere devotion and is most certainly based on some private revelations or other.