Saturday, 9 January 2010

Mary and the Epiphany of the Lord; Mary, Mother of the Saviour

One of the Masses in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, allocated to celebration during the Christmas season, is that of "Mary and the Epiphany of the Lord".  The preface of this Mass is as follows:
Through the ministry of the Blessed Virgin
you draw the families of all peoples
to faith in the Gospel.

The shepherds, bathed in your glory
and enlightened by choirs of angels,
acknowledged Christ as the Saviour
and became the first fruits of the Church
form the people of Israel.

The wise men, inspired by grace
and led by a shining star,
entered a lowly house,
found the child with his mother,
and, as the first fruits of the Church from the Gentiles,
worshiped his as God,
proclaimed his as King,
and acknowledged him as Redeemer.
It is interesting, in the light of the discussion about the coming of Christ as Saviour and as Redeemer, that the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary contains, in the section for the Christmas season, a Mass of "Mary, Mother of the Saviour". Whilst the texts of this Mass do seem to reflect the distinction between the manner of Saviour and the manner of Redeemer referred to in my earlier post, one might say that the text of the preface, for example, contains an implicit reference to the manner of Redeemer in its expression of the manner of Saviour:
When Mary brought forth her child
from the secret shrine of her virginal womb
you revealed as a light for all nations
the sign and source of our salvation,
your Son, Jesus Christ.

Like the rising sun,
the Bridegroom of the Church
has dawned upon us
to rescue us from darkness and the shadow of death
and to make us a kingdom of unfailing light.
Given the shortness of the Christmas season, I feel that some of the Masses allocated to the Christmas season could be reasonably celebrated during the period of Ordinary Time between Christmas and the beginning of Lent without thereby losing their meaning for the time of the Liturgical Year. The Mass of "Mary and the Presentation of the Lord" could clearly be celebrated on the Saturday nearest the Feast of the Presentation, for example, if other celebrations permit. The Mass of "Our Lady of Cana", because of its reference forward to the Lord's "hour", could I feel be justifiably used just before the beginning of Lent, or perhaps even on the first Saturday of Lent.

No comments: