Introduction

This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

Related website: http://www.liturgialatina.org/





Friday, 18 December 2015

18th December, The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin

The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin
(pro aliquibus locis)


"This Feast, which is now kept, not only throughout the whole of Spain, but in almost all the Churches of the Catholic world, owes its origin to the Bishops of the tenth Council of Toledo, in 656. These Prelates having thought that there was an incongruity in the ancient practice of celebrating the feast of the Annunciation on the twenty-fifth of March, inasmuch as this joyful solemnity frequently occurs at the time when the Church is intent upon the Passion of our Lord, and is sometimes obliged to be transferred into Easter Time, with which it is out of harmony for another reason;- they decreed that, henceforth, in the Church of Spain there should be kept, eight days before Christmas, a solemn Feast with an Octave, in honour of the Annunciation, and as a preparation for the great solemnity of our Lord's Nativity. In course of time, however, the Church of Spain saw the necessity of returning to the practice of the Church of Rome, and of those of the whole world, which solemnise the twenty-fifth of March as the day of our Lady's Annunciation and the Incarnation of the Son of God. But such had been, for ages, the devotion of the people for the Feast of the eighteenth of December, that it was considered requisite to maintain some vestige of it. They discontinued, therefore, to celebrate the Annunciation on this day; but the faithful were requested to consider, with devotion, what must have been the sentiments of the Holy Mother of God during the days immediately preceding her giving him birth. A new Feast was instituted, under the name of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin's Delivery.

"This Feast, which sometimes goes under the name of Our Lady of O, or the Feast of O, on account of the Great Antiphons which are sung during these days, and, in a special manner, of that which begins O Virgo Virginum (which is still used in the Vespers of the Expectation, together with the O Adonaï, the Antiphon of the Advent Office,) - is kept with great devotion in Spain. A High Mass is sung, at a very early hour, each morning during the Octave, at which all who are with child, whether rich or poor, consider it a duty to assist, that they may thus honour our Lady's Maternity, and beg her blessing upon themselves. It is not to be wondered at that the Holy See has approved of this pious practice being introduced into almost every other country." (Dom Gueranger)

Roráte, coeli, désuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiátur terra, et gérminet Salvatórem. * Coeli enárrant glóriam Dei: et ópera mánuum ejus annúntiat firmaméntum.
Drop down dew, ye Heavens, from above and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Saviour. * The Heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands.
(Isaias 45:8 and Psalm 18:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui de beátae Maríae Vírginis útero Verbum tuum, Angelo nuntiánte, carnem suscípere voluísti: praesta supplícibus tuis; ut, qui vere eam Genetrícem Dei crédimus, ejus apud te intercessiónibus adjuvémur.
O God, Who didst will that at the message of an angel Thy word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant that we, Thy suppliants, who believe her to be truly the mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee.
(Collect)

O Virgo virginum! quomodo fiet istud! quia nec primam similem visa es, nec habere sequentem. Filiae Jerusalem, quid me admiramini? Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.
O Virgin of virgins! how shall this be! for never was there one like thee, nor will there ever be. Ye daughters of Jerusalem, why look ye wondering at me! What ye behold, is a divine mystery.
(The Great Antiphon to Our Lady)

Catholic Encyclopaedia on The Expectation of Our Lady: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05712a.htm

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