Act I: The Joyful Mysteries

Introductory Sequence

The Joyful Mysteries begin with God’s angelic chorus of praise. The angels’ voices call on all creatures to join them in blessing the Father of Creation. The voice of God penetrates the angelic chorus stating His omnipotence. The voices of Jesus and the Holy Spirit follow in sequence, thereby introducing the second and third Divine Persons of the Trinity— Three Persons in undivided unity.

Part 1. The Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary

The Holy Spirit reflects that at that time in Israel there was no King, but everyone did what seemed right to himself. The men and women of Jerusalem admit that the people have erred in the ways of truth, justice, and understanding: instead they have followed the hard ways of destruction, not knowing The Lord. God has pity on the people of earth and says that He has not forsaken them.

The Holy Spirit asks God to send forth The Lamb of God. God agrees to send forth The Lamb, His Son, in the form of a man, to lead the people out of darkness and into The Lord’s Light. He has chosen the Daughter of Sion to become His spouse and conceive His Son, who is destined to become God of all the earth and rule His people forever.

Archangel Gabriel is then sent to God’s chosen virgin, Mary. He announces God’s plan for her and tells her that she will be remembered forever: her children will be taught of The Lord and have great peace. Mary accepts God’s will and proclaims His glory. New Testament Scripture follows, telling of the visitation of Archangel Gabriel to the virgin, Mary, who is espoused to a man named Joseph: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Lk 1:28).

He further tells her that she will conceive and bring forth a Son who will be named Jesus. Jesus will be great and given the throne of David; He will reign over the House of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will have no end. Mary marvels how this can happen, as she is a virgin. Archangel Gabriel explains that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) will overshadow her and that she will conceive by His power. He also tells her that her barren cousin Elizabeth, who is advanced in age, has been with child for six months: for no word shall be impossible with God (Lk 1:37). Mary accepts God’s will for her life, and the angel departs.

Part 2. The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

A celebratory chorus anticipates the coming of The Lord. Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, whose unborn son, John the Baptist, is overjoyed at encountering Jesus, the unborn Son of Mary. Mary and Elizabeth rejoice together at the good news of the coming of The Saviour of Israel. Mary then reflects on the fearsome grace she has received, while the Trinity reaffirms the Promise of Jesus: The King to come.

The New Testament Scripture portrays Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s joy at greeting the Mother of The Lord: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb (Lk 1:42). Elizabeth’s unborn child, John the Baptist, also is joyful, leaping in her womb when he hears Mary’s greeting. Mary’s beautiful Magnificat follows, as she praises God for the awesome grace and blessing bestowed on her that will resound throughout the generations.

Part 3. The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem

God announces that out of all of the thousands of places in Juda, He has chosen the City of David, Bethlehem, as the birthplace for His Son Jesus, the Ruler of Israel. Jesus reflects on His formation into the humble body of a man and His coming into the world in the form of a baby. An angel tells shepherds of the coming ruler, while Archangel Michael warns that Satan and his rebellious angels are angered at hearing that the Prince of Peace is at hand.

God rebukes Satan and assures the people that peace will prevail through the rule of The Lord. Mary and Joseph rejoice at Jesus’s birth. New Testament Scripture follows, telling of the earthly decree of Caesar to enroll all his subjects. As a result of his order, and in fulfillment of the Old Testament Scripture, Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be enrolled. There, Jesus is born.

An angel appears to shepherds announcing the birth of The Saviour in the City of David, and the shepherds travel to Bethlehem, where they find Jesus laying in a manger—just as the angel had told them.

Part 4.The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The characteristics of Jesus continue to be revealed. Through the person of Jesus, the God-Man, God will visit His vineyard on earth: His Son will pull the mighty from their thrones, protect the poor, save souls from usuries and iniquities, and redeem them; and, all nations of the earth will know, adore, and serve Him. But first, Jesus will visit the Temple in Jerusalem. Satan is greatly disturbed, as he anticipates the coming rule of The Lord Jesus.

Mary and Joseph come to the Temple to present Jesus, as is the custom for a firstborn son, and to offer gifts of sacrifice. Upon seeing Jesus, the prophets Simeon and Anna rejoice that their long wait for the Messiah has ended. Ominously, while Simeon discerns that Jesus will have immense spiritual graces and power, he also prophesies of the terrible sorrow that is ahead for Mary.

New Testament Scripture describes a holy prophet of Jerusalem, Simeon, encountering Mary and Joseph presenting their Child, Jesus, at the Temple. The Holy Ghost (Spirit) has told Simeon that he will not see death until he has seen Christ, The Lord. When Simeon sees Jesus, he says that he can now die in peace. He foretells that the Child is destined to be a Light to the Gentiles and The Glory of Israel: He will cause the rise and fall of many and will be a sign of contradiction. Jesus will also suffer terrible trials and His Mother Mary will experience great sorrows that will pierce her heart. In the same hour, Anna, a prophetess and second witness, sees Jesus and also speaks of Him as The Redeemer of Israel.

Part 5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

In the final Mystery, The Saviour, now a youth, is introduced as the Teacher of the Law of God. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus have traveled to Jerusalem to visit the Temple. When Mary and Joseph begin their journey home, Jesus remains, teaching at the Temple.

Thinking that Jesus is lost, Mary and Joseph anxiously search for Him. As they search, Jesus continues to instruct the temple scribes and pharisees. The temple scribes marvel at the knowledge and wisdom Jesus has at a young age, but the pharisees and Satan and his angels are jealous and retort that they will not serve Him. The young Saviour patiently insists that those who live in harmony with God will enjoy the fruits of justice: His desire is not to lose anyone to the path of death, but to have everyone follow God’s Laws that lead to love, peace, and life.

When Mary and Joseph finally find Jesus, He chides them for being distressed at not seeing Him for three days: for He has been attending to His Father’s business and the best things of The Lord are reserved to serve not only them, but also all of His Father’s House. Mary and Joseph rejoice at the spiritual powers of their Son, as God has graced Him.

In the final New Testament Scripture, Mary and Joseph anxiously search for their twelve-year-old Son, who they think has been lost in the crowd after visiting the Temple on the Solemn Day of the Pasch. Returning to Jerusalem, they search for Him for three days and are startled to discover that He has purposefully remained behind and is in the Temple, teaching the doctors of law. Jesus’s reaction to their desperate search for Him surprises them; Jesus declares that they should have known that His foremost duty is to His Heavenly Father: How is it that you sought me? Did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business? (Lk 2:49) However, in the end, He submits and returns to Nazareth with His earthly parents.

The Sorrowful Mysteries:
The Agony in the Garden

Aria – Mary

O Earth, Earth, Earth,
hear the Word of the Lord.
(Jer 22:29)