Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception 2015

The Immaculate Conception, by Peter Paul Rubens, ca 1628
The Virgin is the stainless lily, which begot a rose that fadeth not, even Christ. O Holy Mother of God! Ewe without blemish, who bore Christ the Lamb incarnate of thee! O Virgin most holy, who brought the very armies of the Angels to astonishment! Wondrous is the marvel in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, bearing the Light in her arms; wondrous is the marvel in heaven, the Virgin’s chamber that holdeth the Son of God; wondrous is the marvel in heaven, the Lord of the Angels is become the Virgin’s child. The Angels accused Eve, but now they attend Mary in glory, who raised fallen Eve, and brought Adam, who was banished from Paradise, into heaven. For She is the bridge between heaven and earth, who by Her childbirth brought about their union.
(From the homily of St Epiphanius for the Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception, in the Office promulgated by Blessed Pius IX in 1863. According to Dom Suitbert Bäumer, in his History of the Breviary, this is not a work of the 4th-century Church Father Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis on the island of Cyprus, but a 9th-century successor of his in that see, with the same name.)

Our good friends in the Schola Sainte Cécile recommend this lovely Mass composed in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Missa Ave Virgo Sanctissima by Géry de Ghersem (1573-1630).

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