An equivalent viscoelastic medium model is proposed for rock mass with parallel joints. A concept of "virtual wave source (VWS)'' is proposed to take into account the wave reflections between the joints. The equivalent model can be effectively applied to analyze longitudinal wave propagation through discontinuous media with parallel joints. Parameters in the equivalent viscoelastic model are derived analytically based on longitudinal wave propagation across a single rock joint. The proposed model is then verified by applying identical incident waves to the discontinuous and equivalent viscoelastic media at one end to compare the output waves at the other end. When the wavelength of the incident wave is sufficiently long compared to the joint spacing, the effect of the VWS on wave propagation in rock mass is prominent. The results from the equivalent viscoelastic medium model are very similar to those determined from the displacement discontinuity method. Frequency dependence and joint spacing effect on the equivalent viscoelastic model and the VWS method are discussed.