Friday, 15 August 2014

Feast of the Assumption (Lk1:41-50)

The Gospel for the feast is St Luke 1:41-50:

41 Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariæ Elisabeth, exsultavit infans in utero ejus: et repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elisabeth: 42 et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit: Benedicta tu inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui. 43 Et unde hoc mihi, ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me? 44 Ecce enim ut facta est vox salutationis tuæ in auribus meis, exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo. 45 Et beata, quæ credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea, quæ dicta sunt tibi a Domino.46 Et ait Maria: Magnificat anima mea Dominum: 47 et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo. 48 Quia respexit humilitatem ancillæ suæ:ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes, 49 quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est:
et sanctum nomen ejus, 50 et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.

And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: [42] And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. [43] And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44] For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. [45] And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.[46] And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. [47] And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. [48] Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. [49] Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. [50] And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.

Matins readings (from St Peter Canisius)

Reading 9: The Church frequently and reverently keepeth feastdays dedicated to the Mother of God, realizing that it is a work pleasing to God and worthy of the faithful if many feasts, with fixed dates and public ceremonies, are celebrated in honour of the most blessed of all the blessed in heaven, the Mother of our Lord and God. Among all these feasts which have been celebrated so devotedly for so many years, even unto the present day, the Feast of the Assumption is considered the greatest and holdeth chief place.

Reading 10: Indeed there was no happier or more joyful day for Mary, if we duly consider the happiness of both body and soul granted to her on that day. Then especially, as never before, her spirit, soul and body rejoiced wondrously in the living God and she could rightfully say: He hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden; for behold, all generations shall call me blessed; for he that is mighty hath magnified me.

Reading 11: O thrice blessed and truly august Mother, it is for this reason that we who love thee and thy Son cannot refrain from congratulating thee with all sincerity upon thine admirable and incomparable happiness, especially since everything that hath been said to thee and about thee by the Lord, is brought to a conclusion by thy beautiful passing away from this life, and in every wise hath been perfectly fulfilled. Blessed art thou who hast not only believed but hast this day attained unto the end of faith and the fruit of all virtue, and now at last hast merited to enjoy the most pleasing sight of him whom thou didst love and desire so greatly. Thyself a guest, thou didst receive Emmanuel who as a guest did enter into thee, as into a mighty fortress in this world; and today, thou in turn art received by him into his royal mansion, and magnificently welcomed with the highest honour, as befitteth one found worthy to be the Mother of such a Solomon.

Reading 12: O blessed day which sent so precious a gift from the desert of this world, and carried it to the holy and eternal city, so that universal and unheard of joy no less than admiration welled up in all the blessed in heaven. O blessed day, that fulfilled the long and ardent yearning of the gentle spouse, so that she might find what she had sought, that she might receive what she asked; that what she awaited she might possess securely, resting safely at last in that perfect vision and inward joy of the eternal and all-great Goodness. O blessed day which raised up and so highly exalted this most humble handmaiden of the Lord that she might become the most glorious Queen of Heaven and the mistress of the world. Indeed she could not have risen to more sublime heights since she had been elevated to the very Throne of the heavenly kingdom, and thus was established in glory next after Christ. O blessed and truly honourable is this day which constituted and confirmed for us a Queen and Mother who is at once powerful and merciful in the kingdom of God, that we might have her, who ever remaineth the Mother of the Judge, as a Mother of mercy protecting us and interceding for us with Christ, unceasingly watching over the work of our salvation.

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