PRESENTATION OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AT THE TEMPLE
Friday in the twenty-third week after Pentecost
Missa “Salve, sancta parens”
Greater Double / White
(Sedulius) – Salve, sancta parens, enixa puerperal Regem: qui caelum, terramque regit in saecula saeculorum.
Ps. 44: 2
Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum : dico ego opera mea Regi.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Salve, Sancta Parens…
Hail, holy Mother, thou who didst bring forth the King who rules heaven and earth for ever and ever.
Ps. 44: 2
My heart hath uttered a good word : I speak my works to the King.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Hail, Holy Mother…
O God, who on this day didst vouchsafe that blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, the dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost, should be presented in the Temple: grant, we beseech thee; that by her intercession we may be found worthy to be presented unto thee in the temple of thy glory. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
EPISTLE: Ecclesiasticus 24, 14-16
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom:
From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be; and in the holy dwelling-place I have ministered before Him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God His inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of the saints.
Benedícta et venerábilis es, Virgo María; quæ sine tactu pudóris invénta es Mater Salvatóris.
V. Virgo Dei Génitrix, quem totus non capit orbis, in tua se clausit víscera factus homo.
Thou art blessed and venerable, O Virgin Mary, who with purity unstained was found to be the Mother of our Savior.
V. Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world was unable to contain enclosed Himself in thy womb, being made man.
ALLELUIA – Allelúja, allelúja.
V. Post partum Virgo invioláta permansísti: Dei Génitrix, intercéde pro nobis. Allelúja.
V. After childbirth thou didst still remain a virgin; Mother of God, intercede for us. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: Luke 11: 27-28
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke
In illo témpore: Loquénte Jesu ad turbas, extóllens vocem quædam múlier de turba, dixit illi: Beátus venter, qui te portávit, et úbera, quæ suxísti. At ille dixit: Quinímmo beáti, qui áudiunt verbum Dei, et custódiunt illud.
At that time: It came to pass as Jesus spake to the multitudes, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him: Blessed is the womb that bare thee and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said: Yea, rather blessed are they which hear the word of God, and keep it.
OFFERTORY: Luke 1: 28 and 42
Ave, María, grátia plena: Dóminus tecum: benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus fructus ventris tui.
Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Tua, Dómine, propitiatióne, et beátæ Maríæ semper Vírginis intercessióne, ad perpétuam atque præséntem hæc oblátio nobis profíciat prosperitátem et pacem. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti Deus.
We beseech thee, O Lord, that by the bountiful goodness of thy mercy and by the intercession of Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, these our oblations may be acceptable in thy sight: that we, being delivered in this present life from all adversities, may obtain in that which is to come peace everlasting. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary
It is Truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: and in veneration of the blessed Mary, ever a virgin, should praise and bless and proclaim Thee. For she conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost; and losing not the glory of her virginity, gave to the world the everlasting light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions worship it, and the powers are in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts, and the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our own voices also, while we say with lowly praise:
SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria Tua. Hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the Eternal Father.
O Lord, who hast appointed this Holy Sacrament, which we have here received, to be the means of our salvation: mercifully grant that we which have offered thee our gifts unto thy divine majesty in honor of blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, may be her intercession be preserved both in body and in soul. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Liturgical Year – Dom Gueranger
The Presentation is one of the minor solemnities of our Lady, and was inscribed at a comparatively late date on the sacred Cycle; it seems to court the homage of our silent contemplation. The world, unknown to itself, is ruled by the secret prayers of the just; and the Queen of saints, in her hidden mysteries, wrought far more powerfully than the so-called great men whose noisy achievements fill the annals of the human race.
The East had been celebrating for seven centuries at least, the entrance of the Mother of God into the temple of Jerusalem, when in 1372 Gregory XI permitted it to be kept for the first time by the Roman court at Avignon. Mary in return broke the chains of captivity that had bound the Papacy for seventy years; and soon the successor of St. Peter returned to Rome. The feast of the Visitation, as we saw on July 2, was in like manner inserted in the Western calendar to commemorate the re-establishment of the unity after the schism which followed the exile.
In 1373, following the example of the Sovereign Pontiff, Charles V of France introduced the feast of the Presentation into the chapel of his palace. By letters dated November 10, 1374, to the masters and students of the college of Navarre, he expressed his desire that it should be celebrated throughout the kingdom: ‘Charles, by the grace of God king of the Franks, to our dearly beloved: health in Him who ceases not to honor His Mother on earth. Among other objects of our solicitude, of our daily care and diligent meditation, that which rightly occupies our first thoughts is, that the blessed Virgin and most holy Empress be honored by us with very great love, and praised as becomes the veneration due to her. For it is our duty to glorify her; and we, who raise the eyes of our soul to her on high, know what an incomparable protectress she is to all, how powerful a mediatrix with her blessed Son, for those who honor her with a pure heart…. Wherefore, wishing to excite our faithful people to solemnize the said feast, as we ourselves propose to do by God’s assistance every year of our life, we send this Office to your devotion, in order to increase your joy.
Such was the language of princes in those days. Now, just at that very time the wise and pious king, following up the work begun at Bretigny by our Lady of Chartres, rescued France from its fallen and dismembered condition. In the State, then, as well as in the Church, at this moment so critical for both, our lady in her Presentation commanded the storm, and the smile of the infant Mary dispersed the clouds.
The new feast, enriched with Indulgences by Paul II, had gradually become general, when St. Pius V, wishing to diminish the number of Offices on the universal calendar, included this one among his suppressions. But Sixtus V restored it to the Roman breviary in 1585, and shortly afterwards Clement VIII raised to the rank of double major. Soon the clergy and regulars adopted the custom of renewing their holy vows on this day, whereon their Queen had opened before them the way that leads by sacrifice to the special love of our Lord.
‘Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear, and forget thy people and thy father’s house; and the King shall greatly desire thy beauty.’ Thus, wording the wishes of the ‘daughters of Tyre,’ sang the Church of the expectation, on the summit of Mount Moriah; and penetrating the future with her inspired glance, she added: ‘After her shall virgins be brought to the King, her neighbors shall be brought to thee; they shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing; they shall be brought into the temple of the King.’ Hailed beforehand as ‘beautiful above the sons of men,’ this King, the ‘most mighty,’ makes on this day a prelude to His conquests; and even this beginning is wonderful. Through the graceful infant now mounting the temple steps he takes possession of that temple whose priests will hereafter vainly disown Him; for this child whom the temple welcomes to-day is His ‘throne.’ Already His fragrance precedes and announces Him in the Mother in whose bosom He is to be ‘anointed with the oil of gladness’ as the Christ among His brethren; already the angels hail her as the Queen whose fruitful virginity will give birth to all those consecrated souls who keep for the divine Spouse the ‘myrrh’ and the incense of their holocausts, those ‘ daughters of kings’ who are to form her court of honor.
But our Lady’s Presentation also opens new horizons before the Church. On the Cycle of the saints, which is not so precisely limited as that of the Time, the mystery of Mary’s sojourn in the sanctuary of the Old Covenant is our best preparation for the approaching season of Advent. Mary, led to the temple in order to prepare in retirement, humility, and love for her incomparable destiny, had also the mission of perfecting at the foot of the figurative altar the prayer of the human race, of itself ineffectual to draw down the Savior from heaven. She was, as St. Bernardine of Siena says, the happy completion of all the waiting and supplication for the coming of the Son of God; in her, as in their culminating-point, all the desire of the saints who had preceded her found their consummation and their term.
Through her wonderful understanding of the Scriptures, and her conformity, daily and hourly, to the minutest teachings and prescriptions of the Mosaic ritual, Mary everywhere found and adored the Messias hidden under the letter; she united herself to Him, immolated herself with Him in each of the many victims sacrificed before her eyes; and thus she rendered to the God of Sinai the homage, hitherto vainly expected, of the Law understood, practiced, and made to fructify, in all the fullness that beseemed its divine Legislator. Then could Jehovah truly say; ‘ As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and return no more thither, but soak the earth and water it, and make it to spring: . . . so shall My word be . . . it shall not return to Me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please.’
Supplying this for the deficiencies of the Gentiles as well as of the Synagogue, Mary beheld in the bride of the Canticle the Church of the future. In our name she addressed her supplications to Him whom she recognized as the Bridegroom, without, however, knowing that he was to be her own Son. Such yearnings of love, coming from her, were sufficient to obtain from the divine Word pardon for the infidelities of the past and the immorality into which the wandering world was plunging deeper and deeper. How well did this ark of the New Covenant replace that of the Jews, which had perished with the first temple! It was for her, though he knew it not, that Herod the Gentile had continued the construction of the second temple after it had remained desolate since the time of Zorobabel; for the temple, like the tabernacle before it, was but the home of the ark destined to be God’s throne; but greater was the glory of the second temple which sheltered the reality, than of the first which contained but the figure.
The Greeks have chosen for the lessons of the feast the passages of Scripture which describe the carrying of the ark into the tabernacle of the desert, and afterwards into the temple of Jerusalem. the historical lesson relates the traditions concerning the oblation of the blessed Virgin by her holy parents to God in the temple at the age of three years, there to dwell until, after the lapse of twelve years, the mystery of our salvation was to be accomplished in her.
In the sixth century the emperor Justinian built, in honor of the Presentation, a magnificent church on the southern part of the platform on which had formerly stood the temple and its annexes. It is now the mosque El-Aksa.
The Presentation of Our Lady at the Temple
What is the special beauty of this feast? Our Lady was the one chosen before time began, the Queen of Jesse from whom the Messiah would be born. The Temple was the only place in the Old Testament where sacrifices were offered to God. It represented, therefore, the only true religion. Our Lady being received at the Temple was the first step to the fulfillment of the promise that the Messiah would come to the true religion. It was the encounter of hope with reality.
When she was received at the Temple, Our Lady entered the service of God. That is, a soul incomparably holy entered the service of God. At that moment, notwithstanding the decadence of the nation of Israel, and even though the Temple had been transformed into a den of Pharisees, the Temple was filled with an incomparable light that was the sanctity of Our Lady.
Read more: The Presentation of Our Lady at the Temple – Tradition in Action