Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Feast of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I had always wondered why my Mom waited until after December 8th to put up Christmas decorations, maybe this is why:"Father You prepared the Virgin Mary to be the worthy Mother of Your Son. You let her share beforehand in the salvation Christ would bring by His death, and kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception. Help us by her prayers to live in Your presence without sin. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8, was established in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics freedom to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. The existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church's belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its 19th century definition as a dogma.

In 1854, Pope Pius IX's solemn declaration, Ineffabilis Deus, clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. In proclaiming the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a dogma of the Church, the pope expressed precisely and clearly that Mary was conceived free from the stain of original sin. This privilege of Mary derives from God's having chosen her as Mother of the Savior; thus she received the benefits of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception. This great gift to Mary, an ordinary human being just like us, was fitting because she was destined to be Mother of God. The purity and holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a model for all Christians.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, except where conferences of bishops have decided, with the approval of the Holy See, not to maintain it as such. It is a public holiday in some countries where Roman Catholicism is predominant, and is often seen as one of the markers of the beginning of the Christmas Season.

There is a widespread misunderstanding of the term immaculate conception: many believe it refers to Mary's conception of Jesus, a confusion frequently met in the mass media. In the sense in which the phrase "Immaculate Conception" is used in Roman Catholic doctrine, it is not directly connected to the concept of Mary's "virginal conception" and the Incarnation of Christ. The Church celebrates the Immaculate Conception on 8 December, exactly nine months before celebrating Mary's birthday. The feast of the Incarnation of Christ, also known as The Annunciation, is celebrated on 25 March, nine months before Christmas Day.


Angelus Domini

Ángelus Dómini nuntiávit Maríæ.
Et concépit de Spíritu Sancto.

Ave, María...

Ecce ancílla Dómini.
Fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum.

Ave, María...

Et Verbum caro factum est.
Et habitávit in nobis.

Ave, María...

Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génetrix.
Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.


Grátiam tuam, quæsumus,
Dómine, méntibus nostris infúnde;
ut qui, Ángelo nuntiánte,
Christi Fílii tui incarnatiónem cognóvimus,
per passiónem eius et crucem,
ad resurrectiónis glóriam perducámur.

Per eúndem Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.

Glória Patri...

No comments: