The Blessed Virgin Mary
During Advent, we wait with Mary for the birth of her son. We share her anticipation and honor her as Christ’s mother. The traditional western liturgical calendar celebrates December 8 at the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she is – along with John the Baptist – a towering theological figure in the season of Advent. There are many traditions and legends surrounding Mary. One with both Anglican and Roman Catholic roots is the story behind The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, founded in the 11th century in rural England, in which Mary visits a Saxon noblewoman in a vision and requests a replica of Jesus’ home in Nazareth be built in Walsingham. A popular destination for pilgrims, it is believed that water from the Holy Well at the Shrine has healing properties. Whatever the tradition, Mary represents courage, expectation, humbleness, and joy.
“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.” ~ Luke 1:46-48a
O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.