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Morning Prayer

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 forever.  Amen.


O sanctissima, o piissima,
dulcis Virgo Maria!
Mater amata, intemerata,
ora, ora pro nobis.

Tu solatium et refugium,
Virgo Mater Maria.
Quidquid optamus, per te speramus;
ora, ora pro nobis.

Ecce debiles, perquam flebiles;
salva nos, o Maria!
Tolle languores, sana dolores;
ora, ora pro nobis.

Virgo, respice, Mater, aspice;
audi nos, o Maria!
Tu medicinam portas divinam;
ora, ora pro nobis

Melody: Au fort detresse 76.76D
Music: 17th century Flemish Melody Text: Michael Gannon



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 forebears 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.

Sophronius (c. 560-638)


Ant.1 The Virgin has given birth to the Savior: a flower has sprung from Jesse's stock and a star has risen from Jacob. O God, we praise you.

or: You are all beautiful, O Mary; in you there is no trace of original sin.

Psalm 118
Song of joy for salvation

This Jesus is the stone which, rejected by you builders, has become the chief stone supporting all the rest. (Acts 4:11)

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love endures forever.

Let the sons of Israel say:
"His love endures for ever."
Let the sons of Aaron say:
"His love endures for ever."
Let those who fear the Lord say:
"His love endures for ever."

I called to the Lord in my distress;
he answered and freed me.
The Lord is at my side; I do not fear.
what can man do against me?
The Lord is at my side as my helper;
I shall look down on my foes.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in men;
it is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

The nations all encompassed me;
in the Lord's name I crushed them.
They compassed me, compassed me about;
in the Lord's name I crushed them.
They compassed me about like bees;
they blazed like a fire among thorns.
In the Lord's name I crushed them.

I was thrust down, thrust down and falling,
but the Lord was my helper.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he is my savior.
There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the just.

The Lord's right hand has triumphed;
his right hand raised me.
The Lord's right hand has triumphed;
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deeds.
I was punished, I was punished by the Lord,
but not doomed to die.

Open to me the gates of holiness:
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord's own gate
where the just may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered
and you are my savior.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

Go forward in procession with branches
even to the altar.
You are my God, I thank you.
My God, I praise you.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures for ever.

Ant. 2 Mary has given birth to our Savior. John the Baptist saw him and cried out: This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.

Or: You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel; you are the fairest honor of our race.


Canticle                                                      Daniel 3:52-57
Let all creatures praise the Lord.

The Creator...is blessed for ever (Romans 1:25)


Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;

And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.

Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.

Ant. 3: Mary has given birth to a King whose name is everlasting; hers the joy of motherhood, hers the virgin's glory. Never was the like seen before, never shall it be seen again.

Or: The robe you wear is white as spotless snow; your face is radiant like the sun.

Psalm 150
Praise the Lord

Let mind and heart be in your song: this is to glorify God with your whole self (Hesychius)


Praise God in his holy place,
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his powerful deeds,
praise his surpassing greatness.

O praise him with sound of trumpet,
praise him with lute and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipes.

O praise him with resounding cymbals,
praise him with clashing of cymbals.
Let everything that lives and that breathes
give praise to the Lord.

FIRST READING                                                      Micah 5:2,3a,4a

The ruler in Israel will give them up, until the time
  when she who is to give birth has borne,
And the rest of his brethren shall return
  to the children of Israel.
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
  by the strength of the Lord,
  in the majestic name of the Lord, his God;
He shall be peace.


Or                                                       Zephaniah 3:14,15b

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
  sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
  O daughter Jerusalem!
The King of Israel, the Lord,
  is in your midst.

Or                                                      Sirach 24:17-21

I bud forth delights like the vine,
  my blossoms become fruit fair and rich.
Come to me, all you that yearn for me,
  and be filled with my fruits;
You will remember me as sweeter than honey,
  better to have than the honeycomb.
He who eats of me will hunger still,
  he who drinks of me will thirst for more;
He who obeys me will not be put to shame,
  he who serves me will never fail.


From a letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop
(Epist. Ad Epictetum,5-9; PG 26,1058,1062-1066)

The Word took our nature from Mary


What was born of Mary was therefore human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam.

The words of St John, the Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in St Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Mary's body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven.

Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is for ever perfect. In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.


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

Mary our mother


She is our mother — 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 God's 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.


From the dogmatic constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council
(Lumen gentium, nn. 63-65)

Mary as type of the Church


Mary, because she has entered intimately into the history of salvation, in a certain sense gathers up in her own person the great truths of the faith and awakens their resonance when she is the object of preaching and veneration; she summons the faithful to her Son, to his sacrifice and to the Father’s love. In seeking to further the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more and more like Mary, its exalted type, as it continues its progress in faith, hope and charity, seeking and fulfilling the divine will in all things.

So also in its apostolic task the Church rightly looks to the one who bore Christ, Christ who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin in order that he might also be born and grow in the hearts of the faithful. In her whole life this virgin mother showed herself as an example of that motherly love that must animate all who share in the apostolic mission of the Church for the regeneration of mankind.


O Virgin Mary, no other daughter of Jerusalem is your equal,
for you are the mother of the King of kings,
you are the Queen of heaven and of angels.
 - Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Hail, full of grace; the Lord is with you.
 - Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.


The Word was made flesh and lived among us.
 - The Word was made flesh and lived among us.
He was in the beginning with God
 - and he lived among us.
Glory to the Father...
 - The Word was made flesh and lived among us.


CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH                                                       Luke 1:68-79

Ant. Marvelous is the mystery proclaimed today, human nature is made new as God becomes man; he remains what he was and becomes what he was not. Yet each nature stays distinct and becomes for ever undivided.


The Messiah and his forerunner


Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
  that he would save us from our enemies,
  from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
 all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
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.


Let us give glory to Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and let us pray to him:
    Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.

Christ born of the Virgin Mary,
you are the Wonder-Counselor and Prince of Peace,
- give your peace to the world.

Our King and our God, you have raised us up by your coming,
- help us to honor you all the days of our lives,
by our faith and our deeds.

You made yourself like us,
- in your mercy, grant that we may become more like you.

You made yourself a citizen of our earthly city,
- grant that we may become citizens of our true homeland,
your Kingdom in Heaven.

Our Father...

God our Father,
may we always profit by the prayers
of the Virgin Mother Mary,
for You bring us life and salvation
through Jesus Christ her Son
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.


Alternative Prayer


source of light in every age,
the virgin conceived and bore your Son
Who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace.
May her prayer, the gift of a mother's love,
be your people's joy through all ages.
May her response, born of a humble heart,
draw your Spirit to rest on your people.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.


May the Lord bless us,
protect us from evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
 -  Amen.

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