COMMON OF
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Office of Readings



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If Morning Prayer is the first Office of the day, begin below.

Lord, open my lips.
 - And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Psalm 95 is the traditional Invitatory Psalm. Psalm 24, 67, or 100 may be substituted.

Antiphon: Let us sing to the Lord as we celebrate this feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.





Office of Readings
Psalter, Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

God, come to my assistance.
 - Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 -  as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
Amen. Alleluia.


HYMN

Tune: St. Ambrose

The God whom earth and sea and sky
adore and laud and magnify,
whose might they own, whose praise they swell,
in Mary's womb vouchsafed to dwell.

The Lord whom sun and moon obey,
whom all things serve from day to day,
was by the Holy Ghost conceived
of her who through his grace believed.

How blessed that Mother, in whose shrine
the world's Creator, Lord divine,
whose hand contains the earth and sky,
once deigned, as in his ark, to lie.

Blessed in the message Gabriel brought,
blessed by the work the Spirit wrought;
from whom the great Desire of earth
took human flesh and human birth.

O Lord, the Virgin-born, to thee
eternal praise and glory be,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Words: Venantius Fortunatus; translation: John F. Neale

or


Ye who own the faith of Jesus,
sing the wonders that were done
when the love of God the Father
over sin the victory won,
when he made the Virgin Mary
mother of his only Son.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.

Blessed were the chosen people
out of whom the Lord did come;
blessed was the land of promise
fashioned for his earthly home;
but more blessed far the mother,
she who bare him in her womb.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.

Wherefore let all faithful people
tell the honor of her name;
let the Church, in her foreshadowed,
part in her thanksgiving claim;
what Christ's mother sang in gladness
let Christ's people sing the same.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.

Praise, O Mary, praise the Father,
praise thy Savior and thy Son,
praise the everlasting Spirit,
who hath made thee ark and throne
o'er all creatures high exalted,
lowly praise the Three in One.
Hail, Mary, full of grace.

Melody: Den das Vaters Sinn geboren 87.87.876
Music: J.A. Freilinghausen, 1670-1739
Text: V.S.S. Coles, 1845-1929





PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: Mary received a blessing from the Lord and loving kindness from God her savior.

The Lord's is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him .
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory. Glory...

Antiphon 1: Mary received a blessing from the Lord and loving kindness from God her savior.


Antiphon 2: The most high has made his dwelling place a holy temple.

God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

The waters of a river give joy to God's city,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken;
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken:
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come, consider the works of the Lord,
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth;
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps.
He burns the shields with fire.
"Be still and know that I am God,
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!"

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Glory...

Antiphon 2: The most high has made his dwelling place a holy temple.


Antiphon 3: Glorious things are said of you, O Virgin Mary.

Psalm 87


On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion
to all Jacob's dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things,
O city of God!

Babylon and Egypt I will count
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,
these will be her children
and Zion shall be called Mother
for all shall be her children."

It is he, the Lord Most High,
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
These are her children,
and while they dance they will sing:
In you all find their home. Glory..


Antiphon 3: Glorious things are said of you, O Virgin Mary.


Blessed are those who hear the word of God.
- And cherish it in their hearts.


FIRST READING

From the book of the prophet Isaiah       7:10-14;8:10b;11:1-9

Emmanuel, the King of Peace

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:  Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!  But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"

Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. for "With us is God!"

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
  and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
  a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
  a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
  and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.

Not by appearance shall he judge,
  nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
  and decide aright for the land's afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
  and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
  and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
  and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
  with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
  together their young shall rest;
  the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra's den,
  and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
  for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
  as water covers the sea.


RESPONSORY          Luke 1:41b-43, 44
Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son;
    -    he shall be called Wonderful, the Almighty God.
He shall sit on the throne of David
and reign over his kingdom for ever.
    -    He shall be called Wonderful, the Almighty God.

ALTERNATIVE FIRST READING

From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Galatians       3:22-4:7

Through faith we are the sons and heirs of God

Scripture confined all things under the power of sin, that through faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe.  

Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian  for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God  in Christ Jesus.   

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise.

I mean that as long as the heir is not of age, he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything, but he is under the supervision of guardians and administrators until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were not of age, were enslaved to the elemental powers of the world.   But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children,  God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.


RESPONSORY          See Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 2:4; Rom 8:3
When the fullness of time had come,
God sent to earth his own Son,
born of a woman, subject to the law
 - to deliver those under the law.

Because of his great love for us,
God sent his own Son
in the likeness of our sinful flesh
 - to deliver those under the law.


SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Sophronius, bishop
(Oratio 2, in sanctissimae Deiparae Annuntiatione, 21-22, 26: PG 87, 3, 3242-3250)


Through Mary the Fatherís blessing has shone forth on mankind

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you. What Joy could surpass this, O Virgin Mother? What grace can excel that which God has granted to you alone? What could be imagined more dazzling or more delightful? Before the miracle we witness in you, all else pales; all else is inferior when compared with the grace you have been given. All else, even what is most desirable, must take second place and enjoy a lesser importance.

The Lord is with you. Who would dare challenge you? You are God’s mother; who would not immediately defer to you and be glad to accord you a greater primacy and honor? for this reason, when I look upon the privilege you have above all creatures, I extol you with the highest praise: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you. On your account joy has not only graced men, but is also granted to the powers of heaven.

Truly, you are blessed among women. For you have changed Eve’s curse into a blessing; and Adam, who hitherto lay under a curse, has been blessed because of you.

Truly, you are blessed among women. Through you the Father’s blessing has shone forth on mankind, setting them free of their ancient curse.

Truly, you are blessed among women, because through you your forbears have found salvation. For you were to give birth to the Savior who was to win them salvation.

Truly, you are blessed among women, for without seed you have borne, as your fruit, him who bestows blessings on the whole world and redeems it from that curse that made it sprout thorns.

Truly, you are blessed among women, because, though a woman by nature, you will become, in reality, God’s mother. If he whom you are to bear is truly God made flesh, then rightly do we call you God’s mother. For you have truly given birth to God.

Enclosed within your womb is God himself. He makes his abode in you and comes forth from you like a bridegroom, winning joy for all and bestowing God’s light on all.

You, O Virgin, are like a clear and shining sky, in which God has set his tent. From you he comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber. Like a giant running his course, he will run the course of his life which will bring salvation for all who will ever live, and extending from the highest heavens to the end of them, it will fill all things with divine warmth and with life-giving brightness.


RESPONSORY
Truly you are the most favored of women;
where Eve brought a curse, you have brought a blessing.
- Through you the Father's Gift has been bestowed on us.

Through you, your ancestors have found salvation.
- Through you the Father's Gift has been bestowed on us.


Or:

From a Sermon by Saint Aelred, abbot
(Sermo 20, in Nativitate beatae Mariae: PL 195, 322-324)


Mary our mother

Let us come to his bride, his mother, his perfect handmaid, for the blessed Mary is all of this. But what are we to do forher? What kind of gifts shall we offer her? Would that we could at least return what we are in duty bound to do, for we owe her honor and service, we owe her love and praise. We owe her honor, for she is the mother of our Lord. He who fails to honor the mother clearly dishonors the son. Also, Scripture says: Honor you father and your mother.

What then, my brothers, shall we say? Is she not our mother? Yes, my brothers, she is indeed our mother, for through her we have been born, not for the world but for God.

Once we all lay in death, as you know and believe, in sin, in darkness, in misery. In death, because we had lost the Lord; in sin, because of our corruption; in darkness, for we were without the light of wisdom, and thus had perished utterly.

But then we were born, far better than through Eve, through Mary the blessed, because Christ was born of her. We have recovered new life in place of sin, immortality instead of mortality, light in place of darkness.

She is our mother Ė the mother of our life, the mother of our incarnation, the mother of our light. As the Apostle says of our Lord, he became for us by Godís power our wisdom and justice, and holiness and redemption.

She then, as mother of Christ, is the mother of our wisdom and justice, of our holiness and redemption. She is more our mother than the mother of our flesh. Our birth from her is better, for from her is born our holiness, our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification, our redemption.

Praise the Lord in his holy ones, say the Scriptures. If our Lord is to be praised in those holy ones through whom he brings to being deeds of power and miracles, how much more is he to be praised in her in whom he fashioned himself, who is wonderful beyond all wonders.


RESPONSORY
Happy are you, holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise;
- from your womb Christ the Sun of Justice has risen.
Through him we have salvation and deliverance.

Let us celebrate with joy this feast in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- From your womb Christ the Sun of Justice has risen.
Through him we have salvation and deliverance.


PRAYER
Lord God,
give to your people the joy
of continual health in mind and body.
With the prayers of the Virgin Mary to help us,
guide us through the sorrows of this life
to eternal happiness in the life to come.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Lord,
take away the sins of your people.
May the prayers of Mary the mother of your Son help us,
for alone and unaided we cannot hope to please you.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

God of mercy,
give us strength.
May we who honor the memory of the Mother of God
rise above our sins and failings with the help of her prayers.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Lord,
may the prayers of the Virgin Mary
bring us protection from danger
and freedom from sin
that we may come to the joy of your peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Lord,
as we honor the glorious memory of the Virgin Mary,
we ask that by the help of her prayers
we too may come to share the fullness of your grace.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Lord Jesus Christ,
you chose the Virgin Mary to be your mother,
a worthy home in which to dwell.
By her prayers keep us from danger
and bring us to the joy of heaven,
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Let us praise the Lord.
- And give him thanks.



 
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