Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Just a few days ago I was surprised to see a Catholic posting a question on an online Catholic forum asking for more information on a Saturday Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which he was invited to attend. He was confused as to the reason that the priest intended to say Holy Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God when it was not a feastday dedicated to her.

To alleviate such confusion and to better educate the faithful on the concept of Saturday Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I offer this post as a reflection on the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For more information on our Lady for other topics, such as apparitions, dogmas, prayers, etc., please see my post dedicated to our Blessed Lady.

Please also pick up a copy of my organization's newest book: To Mary our Morning Star: 10 Lessons in Mariology.

Saturday Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mass of the Assumption of Our Lady 2009 
Tridentine Mass celebrated by Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo, Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy, Sikatuna, Q.C., Philippines; Source: Flickr

The poster "jrny from FR" on Angelqueen explains the rubrics for the Saturday Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary as follows:
The Saturday Mass of the BVM is 4th. Class, not 3rd. Class. It is said on any Saturday of the year which otherwise would have been a 4th. class Ferial Day if it fell on Monday-Friday.This is the normal, "obligatory" Mass (i.e. the Mass of the day per the rubrics) on Saturdays of the 4th. class which means it is not a Votive Mass (a Mass proper said by choice as allowed), strictly speaking.
The Mass "Rorate" in Advent is a Votive Mass of the 3rd. class, but this differs from the above because this Mass can be said by choice (and not by assigned "obligation") on any day not ranked I or II Class during Advent.
The following text is of the propers of the Mass as said on those Saturdays and Votive Masses After Trinity Sunday until Advent (Salve of the Blessed Virgin). The other four versions have slight variations in the proper prayers and are grouped into the following categories: In Advent (Rorate Coeli of the Blessed Virgin), From the Epiphany to the Purification (Vultum Tuum of the Blessed Virgin), From the Purification until Shrove Tuesday (Salve of the Blessed Virgin), and In Eastertide (Salve of the Blessed Virgin)

If you are unfamiliar with the Traditional Latin Mass, consult my post on the Mass structure to best understand where the following prayers (the propers) fit into the unchanging prayers of the Mass.

INTROITSedulius; Ps. 44:2
Salve Sancta Parens, enixa purerpera Regem: qui coelum terramque regit in saecula saeculorum.(Psalm) Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea regi. Gloria Patri. Salve Sancta Parens, enixa purerpera...Hail, holy Parent, that didst bring forth the King Who ruleth heaven and earth for ever and ever.(Psalm) My heart hath uttered a good work: I speak of my works to the King. Glory be to the Father. Hail, holy Parent....

Concede nos famulos tuos, quaesumus, Domine Deus perpetua mentis et corporis sanitate gaudere, et gloriosa beatae Mariae semper Viginis intercessione, a praesenti liberari tristitia, et aeterna perfrui laetitia. Per Dominum nostrum.Grant  to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and through the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin may be delivered from present sorrow and possess eternal joy. Through our Lord.

EPISTLEEcclus. 24:14-16
Ab initio, et ante sawedcula cretat sum, et usque ad futurum saeculum non desinam, et in havitatione sancta coram ipso ministravi. Et sic in Sion firmata sum, et in civitate sanctificata similiter requievi, et in Jerusalem potestas mea. Et radicavi in populo honorificato, et in parte Dei mei haereditas illius, et in plenitudine sanctorum detentio mea.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 mine abode is in the full assembly of saints.

Benedicta et venerabilis es, Virgo Maria: quae sine tactu pudoris inventa es mater Salvatoris. Virgo De Genitrix, quem totus non capit oribis in tua se clausit viscera factus homo.Blessed and venerable art thou, O Virgin Mary: who without loss of purity wert found to be the Mother of our Savior. Virgin Mother of God, He Whom the whole world cannot hold enclosed Himself in thy womb, and became man.

Alleluia, alleluia.  Post partum Virgon inviolata permansisti: Dei Genitrix intercdede pro nobis. Alleluia.Alleluia, alleluia.  After His birth a Virgin entire thou dost remain: O Mother of God, intercede for us.  Alleluia.

GOSPELLk. 11:27-28
In illo tempore: Loquente Jesu ad turbas, extollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit illi: Beatus venter qui te portavit et ubera, quae suxisti. At ille dixit: Quinimo beati, qui audiunt verbum Dei, et custodiunt illud.At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee and the paps that gave Thee suck. But He said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.

OFFERTORYLk. 1:28,42
Ave Maria, gratia plena: Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui.Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Tua Domine, propitiatione et beatae Mariae sumper Virginis intercessione, ad perpetuam atque praesentem haec oblatio nobis proficiat proseperitatem et pacem. Per Dominum nostrum.By Thy gracious mercy, O Lord, and the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may this offering be of avail to us for welfare and peace now and for evermore. Through our Lord.

PREFACEPreface of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Et te in Assumptione beatae Mariae semper Virginis collaudare, benedicere, et praedicare. Quae et Unigenitum tuum Sancti Spiritus obumbratione concepit: et virginitatis gloria permanente, lumen aeternum mundo effudit, Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti jubeas deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes:It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: and that we should praise and bless, and proclaim Thee, in the Festivity of the Blessed Mary, ever-Virgin: Who also conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and the glory of her virginity still abiding, gave forth to the world the everlasting Light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, and the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

Beata viscera Mariae Virginis, quae portaverunt aeterni Patris Filium.Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the Eternal Father.

Sumptis, Domine, salutis nostrae subsidiis: da, quaesumus, beatae Mariae semper Virginis patrociniis nos ubique protegi : in cugus veneratione haec tuae obtulimus majestati. Per Dominum nostrum.O Lord, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who have received these aids unto salvation, may be always and everywhere protected by the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, in whose honor we offered this Sacrifice to Thy Majesty. Through our Lord.

First Saturdays Devotion

On Saturdays, Catholics traditionally have taken part in the "First Saturdays Devotion" which entails going to Mass and receiving Communion for the first Saturday of the month for 5 consecutive months in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This devotion is not to be confused with the First Friday's Devotion, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On July 1, 1905, Pope Pius X approved and granted indulgences for the practice of the First Saturdays of twelve consecutive months in honor of the Immaculate Conception. The First Saturday Devotion did not originate as part of the apparitions of our Blessed Lady in Fatima, but the devotion did quickly spread further following our Lady's series of appearances to the three shepherd children in 1917.

Our Blessed Lady's words to Sr. Lucia at Fatima:
Look, my daughter, at my Heart encircled by these thorns with which men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, strive to console me, and so I announce: I promise to assist at the hour of death with the grace necessary for salvation all those who, with the intention of making reparation to me, will, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the beads, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.
The First Saturday Devotion consists of offering the First Saturday of the month for five consecutive months in reparation for the many and grievous sins committed in our world. A further explanation of our Lady's request is below:
  • You must go to the Sacrament of Confession.  Your reception of the Sacrament may be 8 days before the Saturday as long as you stay in a state of grace.
  • You must receive the Holy Eucharist and as always, it must be in the state of grace or risk the most grievous sin of sacrilege
  • You must pray 5 decades of the Holy Rosary of our Lady, including the Fatima Prayer.  
  • Finally, the last requirement consist of "keeping Mary company" for 15 minutes while meditating on all of the Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to her. This can be done by reading Scripture or other writings relevant to the Mysteries, meditating on pictures of the Mysteries, or simple meditation. Materials for meditation and education on each of the Rosary mysteries is available online.
Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

While the laity is not bound to pray the Divine Office, they are still encouraged to pray the Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours).  To pray the Divine Office, I would highly encourage you to pray the 1962 Breviary or even the 1955 version as opposed to the modern version which I find lacking in the spiritual depth present in the earlier editions.

Since you are not bound under ecclesial law to pray the Office, you can and should start by praying the English version of the Breviary.  You can find various breviaries available for sale that will fulfill this purpose.  For centuries Catholics prayed most commonly not with personal prayers and devotion as such individual prayers originated from protestant individualism.  Instead, Catholics prayed the Liturgical texts of the Church (e.g. the Prayers of the Holy Mass, the Rosary, etc) daily and many were saved.  In our world we see the majority of mankind entrenched in sin and debauchery.  Let us pray for a return to our praying the Liturgical prayers of the Holy Church.  Pray the Daily Rosary as Mary has asked of us!

However, please also consider, in addition or instead of the standard Divine Office, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary for your daily prayers!  The text is available in English and Latin online for free viewing though many prefer an actual physical copy.

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a shorter form of the Divine Office in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has long been the Church’s daily liturgical prayer to Our Lady, and these hours of praise have been used by Priests, religious and the laity throughout the centuries. Lay people used to flock to the great Cathedrals to publicly recite The Little Office during the Middle Ages, and during the great persecution, when the practice of the Catholic Faith was illegal in Great Britain, Bishop Challoner commended The Little Office to his flock.

Through its psalms, antiphons, readings, responsorials, and prayers the Little Office stresses the role Our Lady played in salvation history, and how through her fiat the divine Word took flesh in her womb and achieved salvation for us all; and how Our Lord granted her the first fruits of the general resurrection in her holy and glorious assumption.

All Catholics are called to a consistent prayer life. For those who do not feel called to recite the Divine Office, but still wish to participate in the liturgical prayer of the Church, or for those who have a particular devotion to the holy Mother of God, there is no finer form of prayer than the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Green Scapular

    While certainly not only permitted for use on Saturdays, Saturday is an appropriate time to focus on the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin and on her great promises with the Green Scapular.  Many of you should be familiar with the Brown Scapular as you should have been invested in the Brown Scapular following your First Holy Communion.  I have written before on the merits of the Brown Scapular.  While they are not to be underestimated, I will not focus additional time on the Brown Scapular.  Instead, we focus in this post on the Green Scapular of our Lady.

    The website of Fish Eaters succinctly and accurately describes the Green Scapular of our Lady:
    In 1840, Mary appeared to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu (a Seminary Sister of the Daughters of Charity) in Paris, France and commended the Green Scapular to her. It's known as "the Scapular of Conversion," and its promises are the strengthening of faith, protection against Satan, a happy death for Catholics, and, most of all, for conversion for those outside the Church. It's to be worn or carried by the faithful, or given to an unbeliever for their conversion.
    The following prayer is to be said daily by the wearer:
    Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death
    Latin version:

    Cor immaculatum Mariae, ora pro nobis nunc et in hora mortis nostrae

    If the scapular is given to an unbeliever for their conversion, the person giving the scapular prays the prayer for them if the unbeliever does not want to pray the prayer himself. If the unbeliever does not want the scapular, it may be hidden in their vicinity and the prayers said for him. Enrollment in a Confraternity is not necessary for this scapular, but the scapular should be blessed by a priest before use.

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