Friday, August 15, 2008

The Proper of the Day: St. Mary the Virgin

Mother and Child, Tallowood, Rose Van Vranken

Today is the Major Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, Mother of our Lord. In the Roman Rite it's the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. The Scriptures for both the Eucharist and the Offices (scroll down a bit) are rather eclectic in their emphasis, but notably the Song of Hannah is appointed for Morning Prayer, which is clearly a precursor to the Magnificat, Mary's great song of praise to God that she sings in response to Elizabeth's greeting to her at the Visitation.

I've commented before on relationships between the Marian Feasts and theology. Today I was simply struck by a headline in the local newspaper: "Many families are hurt by rising fuel prices." It turns out that the number of families with problems paying their electric bills is up this summer, and that analysts see this as proleptic for the winter, as fuel oil (which lots of people use in these parts, although St. T's and the Vicarage are on natural gas) is nearly $1 per gallon higher than it was last year. And my heart goes out to them. No parent want his or her children to be cold; we all want the best for our loved ones. In a very maternal way, I thought it was an interesting commentary on our society that on Mary's ancient feast day, when we honor the Mother of Our Lord, there are mothers and fathers who, through no fault of their own, cannot provide for their children and families.

Today, in honor of St. Mary, can you find it in yourself to give $10 or even more to a charity that helps with utilities? I promise to do so too. Let us know in the comments whom you decided to give to.

Here's the Magnificat from Mozart's Solemn Vespers K339:

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


1 comment:

RFSJ said...

I just sent a donation to New Jersey Shares at Please consider joining me in honor of St. Mary!