Skip to comments.Presentation Of The Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic and Orthodox Caucus]
Posted on 11/21/2009 9:38:10 AM PST by Salvation
Feast, November 21
(Novena, November 12-20)
1. Mary, Mother of God, tradition tells us that when you were three years of age, your parents, Joachim and Anne, took you to the Temple in Jerusalem to fulfill their vow. The holy couple offered you to God by the ministry of the priest in charge, who invoked the blessing of God upon you and your parents. How fervently your mother and father thanked God for having given you to them and begged Him to accept the offering which they were making! They then left a small offering of silver required by the Law of Moses.
What a beautiful example for parents to imitate! Their children also belong to God, for they are His gift. Teach parents to care for their children as God's sacred trust, to guard them from sin and to lead them in the way of virtue. May they consider it to be the greatest privilege bestowed upon them by God to dedicate their sons and daughters to His holy service. Help them to become worthy of this blessing through their own prayers and good example.
Mary, My Mother, your first presentation to God, made by the hands of your parents, was an offering most acceptable in His sight. Let my consecration of myself to God be made under your patronage and assisted by your intercession and in union with your merits.
2. Mary, Mother of God, already in your childhood you dedicated yourself to the love and service of God. Led by divine inspiration to His house, you prepared yourself for your sublime dignity of Divine Motherhood in silence and solitude with God. Though the designs of God were unknown to you, you, nevertheless, detached your heart from the world in order to give all your love to God.
I can picture you alone with your God, following with devotion the life led in common by the virgins of God's house. You were trained there with other girls, under the care of holy women, and with deepest reverence you assisted at the sacred functions. But the true sanctuary in which you dwelt with God was not the palace of worship at Jerusalem but the immaculate temple of your heart.
You may have remained in the Temple till the age of twelve. When you later returned to your home, you were under the loving care of your mother, Saint Anne. With her you loved to sing the psalms and canticles of the inspired authors of your nation. From Anne you heard the touching story of the chosen people. You learned to read the sacred books by yourself and tried to penetrate their hidden meaning. You often discussed the coming of the Messias, since you knew He would be of your race and family.
I cannot even imagine the heavenly beauty that adorned your innocent soul as you were being prepared by the Eternal Father to be the Mother of His Divine Son and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The wisdom and power of God was constructing a living temple for the Savior of the world.
Mary, My Mother, you were laying the foundation of that hidden life in which by the practice of the highest virtues, you were to reach that sublime degree of holiness to which you were predestined as Mother of the Son of God and Mother of all the souls for whom He was to die. Attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, you diligently gathered up all His lessons, preserving them in your soul with zealous care.
3. Mary, Mother of God, may the perfect gift of yourself to God through love in your presentation in the temple be an inspiration to me. You loved God with your whole heart and mind and strength. Obtain for me the grace to love God with my whole heartso that all the love my heart is capable of may be consecrated to Him, and all other affection subordinated to the love I owe God.
Help me to love God with my whole soulso that all the faculties of my soul may be consecrated to Him, and that I may make use of them only to make Him known, loved and served.
Help me to love God with my whole mindso that my mind may be habitually occupied with God and that I may value His good pleasure above everything elseabove my convenience, above all earthly treasures, above all knowledge and friendship, above health and life.
Help me to love God with my whole strengthso that I may consecrate undividedly, unreservedly and continually to His service, my life, my health and all I am and have.
Mary, My Mother, pray that the love of God above all things and detachment from the world and its false pleasures, may also make my soul the temple of the living God. After your example, I desire to be known to God and unknown to men, to possess God and to be forgotten by creatures. May God dwell in me and may I live to Him alone through frequent Holy Communion and still more frequent prayer so that God may direct my whole lifemy thoughts, words and actionsto His greater honor and glory.
Provincial, Girard, Pa.
A. H. Wiersbinski, LL.D.
John Mark Gannon, D.D.,
Archbishop, Bishop of Erie
I believe some cultures do imitate this presentation ceremony. Spanish speakers at my parish are just one example.
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The Presentation of the Virgin Mary
Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple
1486-90 - Fresco
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Mary, at the age of three, was brought by her parents to the Temple, in fulfillment of a vow, there to be educated. The corresponding feast originated in the Orient, probably in Syria, the home of the apocrypha. The feast is missing in the earlier Menology of Constantinople (eighth century); it is found, however, in the liturgical documents of the eleventh century. It appears in the constitution of Manuel Comnenos (1166) as a fully recognized festival during which the law courts did not sit. In the West it was introduced by a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Chancellor of the King of Cyprus, who spent some time at Avignon during the pontificate of Gregory XI. It was celebrated in the presence of the cardinals (1372) with an office accommodated from the office chanted by the Greeks. In 1373 it was adopted in the royal chapel at Paris, 1418 at Metz, 1420 at Cologne. Pius II granted (1460) the feast with a vigil to the Duke of Saxony. It was taken up by many dioceses, but at the end of the Middle Ages, it was still missing in many calendars. At Toledo it was assigned (1500) by Cardinal Ximenes to September 30. Sixtus IV received it into the Roman Breviary, Pius V struck it from the calendar, but Sixtus V took it up a second time (September 1, 1585). It is now celebrated November 21.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
we honor the holiness and glory of the Virgin Mary.
May her prayers bring us
the fullness of your life and love.
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. Amen.
First Reading: Zechariah 2:14-17 (2:10-13 RSV)
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem."
Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He has roused Himself from His holy dwelling.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12:46-50
While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood outside, asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, "Who is My mother, and who are My brethren?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Here are My mother and My brethren! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother, and sister, and mother."
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Today is the prelude of God's pleasure and the proclamation of man's salvation. The Virgin is clearly made manifest in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. Let us also cry out to her with mighty voice, "Hail, fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation."
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Today, the most pure temple of the Savior, the precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasure of God, enters the house of the Lord, bringing the grace of the Divine Spirit. The Angels of God praise her. She is the heavenly tabernacle.
There are English versions of the chants at the audio links, but the Greek is much prettier and flows better in the Byzantine tones.
The second Sunday of the Season of Announcement commemorates the announcement to Mary that she is to be the Mother of God. The feast actually recalls two aspects of the same salvific mystery: the incarnation of the divine Word and the motherhood of Mary. For this reason, the feast was given different names according to the aspect which was being emphasized. With time, the incarnation of the Son of God was stressed on the feast of the Birth of our Lord and today's feast became a Marian feast.
In addition to this second Sunday of the Season of Announcement, the Maronite Church celebrates the Annunciation on March 25th. The feast of the Annunciation appeared in the West, in Italy, during the fifth century, and was eventually adopted by the Maronite Church.
This great announcement to Mary, the fulfillment of the promises of the prophets, took place in the humble home of Mary in Nazareth. At the time, Mary was probably between fourteen and sixteen. Again it was Gabriel, the messenger of the end times, who brought the wonderful message to the young girl.
In many ways, the announcement to mary can be compared to the announcement to Zechariah. Both apparitions took place during the day and both Zechariah and Mary were to be found at prayer. Mary, the Queen, is speaking with her Lord in her own home. It was necessary for Zechariah to go to the Temple and encounter the Lord in the holy of holies. When the angel appeared to Zechariah, he was described as "standing." During the announcement to Mary, the angel greets her with signs of respect, gives her the good news and departs. She is not described as "standing." The angel himself praises Mary, "You have found favor with God."
In the name of all of humanity, Mary consented to be the instrument through which salvation was to be brought into the world. One recalls Eve, who consented to bring darkness and sin into the world. With Mary, the New Eve, salvation history is at a turning point. She is to be the "Mother of the Light."
Epistle: Galatians 3:15-22
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
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