I fell a tad ill the past week, and thus sleeping cut into writing time. In lieu, therefore, of an original post, I am sharing some hymns and antiphons to our Mother Mary. Lately I’ve been praying (or singing, if I can figure out a melody) one of the hymns each morning to start my morning meditation, and one of the antiphons before going to sleep. I got these from iBreviary.com. I have also included a prayer from the Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy. There are a total of five prayers below, so this would work to pray a Rosary with! (Read through one before each decade and meditate on it during the decade!)
O Gloriosa Domina O glorious Lady, throned in light, Sublime above the stary height, Thine arms thy great Creator pressed, A suckling at thy sacred breast. Through the dear Blossom of thy womb, Thou changest hapless Eva's doom: Through thee to contrite souls is given An opening to their home in heaven Thou art the great King's portal bright, With pearls and stones of living light, Come then, ye ransomed nations, sing The life divine 'twas hers to bring. O Mary, Mother of all grace, Mother of Mercy to our race, Protect us now from Satan's power, And own us at life's closing hour. All glory be Thee, O Lord, The Virgin's son, by all ador'd, And equal praise forever greet, The Father and the Paraclete. Amen.
Vergine Madre, Figlia Maiden, yet a mother, Daughter of thy Son, High beyond all other, Lowlier is non; Thou the consummation Planned by God's decree, When our lost creation Nobler rose in thee! Thus His place prepared, He Who all things made 'Mid His creatures tarried, In thy bosom laid; There His love He nourished, Warmth that gave increase To the root whence flourished Our eternal peace. Noon on Zion's mountain Is thy charity; Hope its living fountain Finds on earth in thee. Lady, such thy power, He who grace would buy Not as of thy dower, Without wings would fly. Nor alone thou hearest When thy name we hail; Often thou art nearest When our voices fail; Mirrored in thy fashion All creation's good: Mercy, might, compassion, Grace, thy womanhood. Lady, lest our vision, Striving heavn'nward, fail, Still let thy petition With thy Son prevail, Unto Whom all merit, Pow'r and majesty With the Holy Spirit And the Father be.
In St. John Chrysostom’s Divine Liturgy (used by groups of the Orthodox Church and of the Eastern Catholic Church*), the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the Gifts or offerings follows the invocation of Christ’s words at the Last Supper (the reversal of the Roman rite Mass); and just after the invocation of the Holy Spirit, there is a thanksgiving to Mary which is sung, since through Her the Holy Spirit brings Christ: into the world at the Incarnation, into a soul at Baptism, and again into out presence at each Mass or Divine Liturgy. This was the thanksgiving for the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ (the Feast of the Theotokos in the Roman rite) at a local Byzantine Catholic church I visited:
In You, O Woman Full of Grace, all creation rejoices: the angels in their ranks and the human race. Sanctified Temple and Rational Paradise, Boast of Virgins from whom our God took flesh and became a child while remaining God before all time. He made your womb a throne, setting it apart, a room more spacious than the heavens. In you, O Woman Full of Grace, all creation rejoices. Glory to you!
O Maria, Virgo Potens (a Salesian antiphon) O Mary, powerful Virgin, you are the mighty and glorious protector of the Church; you are the marvelous Help of Christians; you are terrible as an army in battle array; you alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world. In the midst of our struggles, our anguish, and our distress, defend us from the power of the enemy and at the hour of death, receive our souls into paradise.
Virgo, Quae Caeli Rutilans (a Carmelite antiphon) Virgin resplendent in the court of heaven, Carmel's rare beauty and all mankind's glory, hear us, dear mother, as our voices humbly tell your love's story. Gifts beyond reckoning you pour out in bounty, rich rain of blessing dropped on a hill and meadow where you still shelter your devoted offspring in Carmel's shadow. Grant then your favor, quick to heed and answer; may these our fervent prayers win grace like starlight, keen, constant, tracing out a way to heaven through our profound night. Ever in kindness strengthen and sustain us, lightening our burden with a mother's blessing, that we may share the Father's life and splendor past dispossessing. Praise God who made us, God whose goodness crowned you queen of creation, dear above all other, and gave you to us, Lady of Mount Carmel, and Virgin Mother.
*There are many different rites of the one Catholic Church, and the Roman rite is but one of them. The Byzantine Catholic Church, the Ukranian Catholic Church (both Eastern rites), and several others are all united under the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, but they are distinct rites within the Catholic Church. These are different from the Orthodox, though the Eastern Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are often very similar liturgically.