8th Day of Christmas: Solemnity of Mary and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
On December 31 we usher in the New Year with late night champagne, half-baked resolutions and epic movies. But in the midst of this activity the Church asks us to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God; a feast day of epic proportions and fulfilled covenants, a dogma that sheds as much light on the nature of Christ as it does on the nature of His mother…
…An insufficient understanding of the Theotokos has caused some people think that if Mary is the mother of God, she must have somehow preceded God and given birth to Divine triplets. This vaguely resembles some pagan beliefs but it certainly is not the Christian understanding of Mary. In fact, this deduction shows a backwards approach the relationship between God and his mother. It is not Mary who entered eternity with the Incarnation; it is God who entered time. We can’t elevate Mary to the level of creator because it was God who lowered Himself to be one of the creatures.
From the EWTN page Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God:
In the encyclical <Marialis Cultus> (1974) Pope Paul VI states: “This celebration, assigned to January 1 in conformity with the ancient liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the ‘holy Mother . . . through whom we were found worthy . . . to receive the Author of life.’ It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewed adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels, and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. For this reason . . . we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an observance that is gaining increasing support and is already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many” (no. 5).
Bloggers are such a wonderfully varied bunch and have many good things to say about this solemnity and the secular celebration of New Years. Deacon Keith Fournier wrote a good post over at Catholic Online about beginning again.
On the first day of the New Year we celebrate the Feast of the Mother of God. This is no liturgical accident. She who beheld the face of the Savior invites us to hear the words of Jesus Christ, “Behold I make all things new!”
One of my favorite Marian songs. I like this rendition but when I sing it I change a single word in the first verse so that the phrase “Mother of Christ” becomes “Mother of God” and then I am happy with the lyrics.
This chant video was done in an Orthodox Church in NY and is titled: Hymn to Theotoke Parthene (O Virgin, Mother of God) by Yiannis Papastefanou
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!