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The Blessed Virgin Mary,
The Mother of God
Solemnity

January 1st

drawing by Helen Hull Hitchcock

Mary is the Mother of Jesus, who is true God and true man.

Catechism of the Catholic Church --Directory on Popular Piety -- Hymns -- Readings for the Day -- More Marian Prayers

Mary, Mother of God - Catechism of the Catholic Church
495 Called in the Gospels "the Mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God".

(You can find the link to the Catechism on our link page)


From the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

The Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God

115. On New Year's Day, the octave day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God. The divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular salvific event: for Our Lady it was the foretaste and cause of her extraordinary glory; for us it is a source of grace and salvation because "through her we have received the Author of life"(127).

The solemnity of the 1 January, an eminently Marian feast, presents an excellent opportunity for liturgical piety to encounter popular piety: the first celebrates this event in a manner proper to it; the second, when duly catechised, lends joy and happiness to the various expressions of praise offered to Our Lady on the birth of her divine Son, to deepen our understanding of many prayers, beginning with that which says: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners".

116. In the West, 1 January is an inaugural day marking the beginning of the civil year. The faithful are also involved in the celebrations for the beginning of the new year and exchange "new year" greetings. However, they should try to lend a Christian understanding to this custom making of these greetings an expression of popular piety. The faithful, naturally, realize that the "new year" is placed under the patronage of the Lord, and in exchanging new year greetings they implicitly and explicitly place the New Year under the Lord's dominion, since to him belongs all time (cf. Ap 1, 8; 22,13)(128).

A connection between this consciousness and the popular custom of singing the Veni Creator Spiritus can easily be made so that on 1 January the faithful can pray that the Spirit may direct their thoughts and actions, and those of the community during the course of the year(129).

117. New year greetings also include an expression of hope for a peaceful New Year. This has profound biblical, Christological and incarnational origins. The "quality of peace" has always been invoked throughout history by all men, and especially during violent and destructive times of war.

The Holy See shares the profound aspirations of man for peace. Since 1967, 1 January has been designated "world day for peace".

Popular piety has not been oblivious to this initiative of the Holy See. In the light of the new born Prince of Peace, it reserves this day for intense prayer for peace, education towards peace and those value inextricably linked with it, such as liberty, fraternal solidarity, the dignity of the human person, respect for nature, the right to work, the sacredness of human life, and the denunciation of injustices which trouble the conscience of man and threaten peace.


Hymns

Following are a few traditional Marian hymns.

Ave Maria

The text is from Luke 1:28,42. The music is 13th century, plainchant.

Latin version
Ave María grátia pléna Dóminustécum, benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi,
Jésus. Sáncta María, Máter Déi, óra pro nóbis peccatóribus, nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Amen.

English version
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Immaculate Mary

It is not known who originally wrote the words for Immaculate Mary, known as the "Lourdes Hymn". The music is a traditional French tune, with the refrain added. It has long been a favorite of English-speaking Catholics.

1 - Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing,
who reignest in splendor with Jesus our King.

Refrain: Ave, Ave, Ave Maria, Ave, Ave Maria.

2 - In heaven, the blessed thy glory proclaim;
On earth, we thy children invoke thy fair name.

3 - Thy name is our power, thy virtues our light,
Thy love is our comfort, thy pleading our might.

4 - We pray for our mother, the Church upon earth;
And bless, dearest Lady, the land of our birth.

Salve Regina

The text and music is attributed to Hermannus Contractus, 1013-1054.

Salve Regína, Mater Misericórdiae: Vita, dulcédo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamámus, éxsules, fílii Hevae. Ad te suspirámus, geméntes et flentes in hac lacrimárum valle. Eia ergo, Advocáta nostra, illos tuos misericórdes óculos ad nos convérte. Et Jesum, benedíctum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsílium osténde. O clemens; O pia; O dulcis Virgo María.

Hail, holy Queen

The "Hail, Holy Queen" is an English version of the Salve Regina

1 - Hail! holy Queen enthroned above, O Maria!
Hail! Mother of Mercy and of love, O Maria!

Refrain: Triumph, all ye cherubim, Sing with us, ye seraphim.
Heav'n and earth resound the hymn.
Salve, salve, salve Regina!

2 - Our life, our sweetness here below, O Maria!
Our hope in sorrow and in woe, O Maria!

3 - To thee we cry, poor sons of Eve, O Maria!
To thee we sigh, we mourn, we grieve, O Maria!

4 - This earth is but a vale of tears, O Maria!
A place of banishment, of fears, O Maria!

5 - Turn then, most gracious advocate, O Maria!
Toward us thine eyes compassionate, O Maria!

6 - When this our exile is complete, O Maria!
Show us thy, Son, Our Jesus sweet, O Maria!

7 - O clement, gracious, Mother sweet, O Maria!
O Virgin Mary, we entreat, O Maria!




Readings for the Day

Collect:
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray,
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading - Numbers 6:22-27
The Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Second Reading - Galatians 4:4-7
But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying "Abba! Father!" So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

Gospel Reading - Luke 2:16-21
And they[shepherds] went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of the eight days, when He was circumcised He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.


Links below for more Marian Prayers,
Litany
Angelus - English - Spanish
Rosary
Magnificat

Marian Feast Page


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