Sunday, August 30, 2009

September 12th: The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

I remember when I was a little girl being jealous of girls named Mary. It was the highest of honors to share a name with the Queen of Heaven and the fact that Lisa is a derivative of Mary's dear and holy cousin, Elizabeth hadn't hit home for me yet. Dang it all, anyway. I wanted to be named Maria! Alas! It was not to be.

But I was consoled by the fact that my birthday got to be in the perfect spot, right between Our Lady's birthday and the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. And my birthstone is a saphire ~ Ha! Blue is Mary's color! So I had that going for me, too. So, in spite of recent tragic events. September 11th is still a pretty darn good day to have been born.

I love all feasts of Our Lady, but I think today's is a feast especially beautiful in concept and imagery. The Holy Name of Mary. To think of her name, to speak it, is to join in the music of Heaven!
Thoughts on the celebration: Though we aren't going to be able to do it up big today, in past years, we have celebrated this feast day with high tea, including blueberry scones with clotted cream, and other confections in the theme of white and blue. We decorated with white roses, made Our Blessed Mother's statue a special crown for the day and along with the rosary, recited the Litany of Our Lady, honoring Our Heavenly Mother through many of her titles and virtues. One year, we bought an inexpensive plastic white tablecloth for our tea party and wrote on it all of her titles from the litany with a blue sharpie. Today, each of us chose our favorite title of Mary and found a corresponding image on the computer to print out. We backed our pictures with construction paper, found a prayer to go with each, and covered them with contact paper to make our very own holy cards.

The images (at top and bottom) that I posted here today represent two of my most favorite titles for Mary. Do you know what they are?
Teacher's Helps:
The etymology of Our Lady's name: Latin meaning "star of the sea" or Hebrew for "sea of bitterness", partially derived from Egyptian mry meaning "beloved" or mr meaning "love"
Origin & history: The name Mary has roots in the Bible (Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene), although its roots (mry) can be traced back to Egypt.

Popularity: Since biblical times, the name Mary has been very popular. From 1880 to 1960, Mary was either the first or second most popular name, according to the US census. It fell to the bottom of the top ten in popularity by 1970, and continued it's decline to 84 as of the 2006 US census. (H/T: Stephie L)
An interesting exercise: See how many derivatives of the name "Mary" that you can. See who can come up with the longest list. Go here for a bunch if you're stumped.
Here are some coloring pages for the day!
Holy Name of Mary cookies can be found here.

And, last, but not least,east, Our Lady's Litany, which salutes her many titles, is a must for the day!
The Litany of Our Lady
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven: -- Have mercy on us.
(repeat at end of each phrase.)
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world
:God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Holy Mary, -- Pray for us.
(repeat at end of each phrase.)
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of Heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without Original Sin,
Queen assumed into Heaven,
Queen of the most holy rosary,
Queen of Peace.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

v. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
r. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
*They're Our Lady, Maris Stella, or Star of the Sea