Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mary the Virgin

The statue of The Assumption of Mary in the cemetery of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, taken Thursday when I was there with C.

This Sunday, this Eleventh Day After Trinity, blooms bright and true. Today we celebrate the Mother of Christ Jesus, the one whose "Yes" enabled the coming of the Saviour of the World. I pray that my response to God's urgent whisper is ever Yes.

This day Catholic Christians celebrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven while Anglican Christians celebrate the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin.

According to Wikipedia, the Anglican practice differs from the Catholic celebration, "In the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the day is observed as the Holy Day of Saint Mary the Virgin. In the Church of England the day is a Festival of The Blessed Virgin Mary."

Today's Collect (a prayer that is prayed collectively by the Anglican Church for a particular Sunday and for the week following)for the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:

O GOD, who hast taken to thyself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of thine only Son: Grant that we who have been redeemed by his blood may share with her the glory of thine eternal kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle for the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, also from the 1928 BCP: Isaiah 61:7-11:

THEREFORE in their land they shall possess a double portion: everlasting joy shall be unto them. For I the Lord love justice. I hate robbery and wrong; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

And the Gospel reading for the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, from the 1928 BCP: The Gospel According to Saint Luke 1:46-55, from the Magnificat:

MY soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

So today we remember and celebrate Mary's incredible Yes to God, and remember the Angel Gabriel's words to the frightened teenager: "For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Amen and amen.

Praying to be a woman of Yes,


sarah said...

so today must be the anniversary ... 4th I think ... of me stepping foot in church for the first time since childhood. I didn't stay, but I'll always love Mary.:-) Nice to see some Anglicans honouring her. (The sermon on that day I first went back was about what a terrible mother she was!)

Susanne Barrett said...

Ugh--no wonder you didn't stay with a horrid sermon like that! Mary is a wonderful example of Motherhood--we all have that spear piercing our hearts as mothers, and mine is beginning to bleed a bit this week as my daughter packs up for the college dorms....


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