Universalis
Tuesday 31 May 2016    (other days)
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Feast

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 94 (95)
Today we are celebrating the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: come, let us sing to the Lord.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
  let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
  let us acclaim him with songs.
(repeat antiphon*)
For the Lord is a great God,
  a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
  and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
  and his hands formed the dry land.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us worship and bow down,
  bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
  the sheep that follow his hand.
(repeat antiphon*)
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
(repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
  they will never enter my place of rest.”
(repeat antiphon*)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Today we are celebrating the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: come, let us sing to the Lord.*

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


Hymn
Hail, of paradise the portal!
  Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
  And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
  On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
  Who to man our Saviour gavest.
Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
  Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
  Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
  Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
  Mother of our Christ, defend us.
Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
  Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
  Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
  Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
  Every spirit bow before thee.

Psalm 23 (24)
The Lord comes to his temple
The Virgin Mary received blessings from the Lord and reward from the God who saved her.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
  the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
  and set it firm over the waters.
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
  Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
  who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
  and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
  seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
  The Lord, strong in battle.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
 – he is the king of glory.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Virgin Mary received blessings from the Lord and reward from the God who saved her.

Psalm 45 (46)
God, our refuge and our strength
The Most High has made holy the place where he dwells.
The Lord is our refuge and our strength,
  a true help in our troubles.
Therefore we do not fear,
  even when the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
the waves roar and foam
  and rise up to shake the mountains.
The streams of the river give joy to the city of God,
  the holy dwelling-place of the Most High.
God is within it, it will not be shaken;
  God will give help as the day dawns.
The nations are in turmoil and kingdoms totter:
  at the sound of his voice, the earth flows like water.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come and see the works of the Lord,
  who has done wonders on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the world:
  he tramples the bow, shatters weapons, and burns the shields with fire.
Stop and see that I am God:
  I will be exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Most High has made holy the place where he dwells.

Psalm 86 (87)
Jerusalem, mother of all nations
Of you are told glorious things, O Virgin Mary!
Its foundations are set on the sacred mountains –
  the Lord loves the gates of Zion
  more than all the tents of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, city of God!
I shall count Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me.
  The Philistines, Tyrians, Ethiopians –
  all have their birthplace here.
Of Zion it will be said “Here is the birthplace of all people:
  the Most High himself has set it firm.”
The Lord shall write in the book of the nations:
  “Here is their birthplace.”
They will sing as in joyful processions:
  “All my being springs from you.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Of you are told glorious things, O Virgin Mary!

Mary stored up all these words,
and pondered them in her heart.

First Reading
Song of Songs 2:8-14,8:6-7 ©
I hear my Beloved.
See how he comes
leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My Beloved is like a gazelle,
like a young stag.
See where he stands
behind our wall.
He looks in at the window,
he peers through the lattice.
My Beloved lifts up his voice,
he says to me,
‘Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth.
The season of glad songs has come,
the cooing of the turtledove is heard
in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs
and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance.
Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock,
in the coverts of the cliff,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet
and your face is beautiful.’
Set me like a seal on your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as death,
jealousy as relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
a flame of the Lord himself.
Love no floods can quench,
no torrents drown.
Were a man to offer all the wealth of his house to buy love,
contempt is all he would purchase.
Responsory
℟. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out with a loud voice, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.* Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?
℣. I tell you, when your greeting sounded in my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.* Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?

Second Reading
A sermon by St Bede the Venerable
Mary proclaims the greatness of the Lord working in her soul
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour. With these words Mary first acknowledges the special gifts she has been given. Then she recalls God’s universal favours, bestowed unceasingly on the human race.
  When a man devotes all his thoughts to the praise and service of the Lord, he proclaims God’s greatness. His observance of God’s commands, moreover, shows that he has God’s power and greatness always at heart. His spirit rejoices in God his saviour and delights in the mere recollection of his creator who gives him hope for eternal salvation.
  These words are often for all God’s creations, but especially for the Mother of God. She alone was chosen, and she burned with spiritual love for the son she so joyously conceived. Above all other saints, she alone could truly rejoice in Jesus, her saviour, for she knew that he who was the source of eternal salvation would be born in time in her body, in one person both her own son and her Lord.
  For the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Mary attributes nothing to her own merits. She refers all her greatness to the gift of the one whose essence is power and whose nature is greatness, for he fills with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in him.
  She did well to add: and holy is his name, to warn those who heard, and indeed all who would receive his words, that they must believe and call upon his name. For they too could share in everlasting holiness and true salvation according to the words of the prophet: and it will come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is the name she spoke of earlier: and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
  Therefore it is an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church that we should sing Mary’s hymn at the time of evening prayer. By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled, and by remembering the example of God’s Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue. Such virtues are best achieved in the evening. We are weary after the day’s work and worn out by our distractions. The time for rest is near, and our minds are ready for contemplation.
Responsory
℟. ‘Blessed are you who have believed, because what has been promised to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.’ And Mary said,* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
℣. Come and hear: I will tell what God has done for my soul.* My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.

HymnTe Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God,
  you inspired the Blessed Virgin Mary,
  when she was carrying your Son,
  to visit Elizabeth.
Grant that, always docile to the voice of the Spirit,
  we may, together with Our Lady, glorify your Name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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