Prayers for Marymas
(The Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin)
Marymas (August 15th) is certainly a day for a procession and other festivities and prayers. The procession may be part of the liturgy and very grand, or it may be a family or neighborhood affair. A procession can be a parade for people to watch, or it might have a destination, such as a Mary Garden. A procession is a celebration, so it should be happy, not sombre. Still, it is always best for a procession to have litanies and hymns for people to participate in while they are walking. Otherwise, they may forget why they are are processing and wander off to the playground before the procession is over.
A litany is a form of prayer that is easy for large groups to participate in. A leader says the changing parts of the litany and the people respond with the same words, such as "Lord, have mercy" or "Pray for us" after each petition. A litany may be said or sung. The Litany of the Saints is always appropriate for church processions. There are also litanies that are just about Mary, and one of those would be especially appropriate on this day. In this Litany from Saint Augustine's Prayer Book, Mary is addressed by many of her traditional titles. In it, we call upon the the person who is the closest of all people to the heart of God, to pray for us.
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Father of Heaven,
pray for us.
Let us pray.
We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an Angel, so, by his Cross and Passion, we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Blessing of a Mary Garden
Almighty and everlasting God: We beseech thee to bless this garden that has been planted in honor of our most blessed and glorious Lady, the ever-Virgin Mary. Make it a place of tranquility and peace, and a pleasing commemoration of the goodness and virtue of thy dear Mother. May it be fragrant with the abundance of good things and a safe refuge where, through the prayers of the Theotokos, thy faithful people may find rest from their labors, comfort in their sorrow, and healing from their ills; through Jesus Christ, Son of Mary and Son of God, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
V: Our help
is in the name of the Lord;
R: Who hath made heaven and earth.
Psalm 65 may be said or sung
Let us pray.
God, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible: As
thou didst command that the earth bring forth plants and trees for the use of
men and animals, and that these plants should serve not only as food but as
medicine in time of sickness, we beseech thee to bless these various herbs and
plants which we now present unto thee;
Holy Father, who on this day didst raise the root of Jesse, the mother of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to the heights of heaven: We humbly pray thee, that, by her intercession, these herbs may be for us a source of protection and a means of healing from all sickness and tribulation when we use them in Thy name.
Savior and Redeemer of humankind, grant that, wherever these herbs may be placed, they may be a potent means against sickness and pestilence, against the poison of serpents and the sting of poisonous animals, as also against the deceits, snares, and machinations of the devil; and grant that we may be made worthy to be received into heaven together with the most Blessed Virgin Mary and all thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
The rosary might best be described as a method of meditative prayer. It entails reciting certain fixed prayers for a set number of times and using those prayers as a kind of meditative background noise to blot out distractions while the person who is saying the rosary meditates prayerfully on a passage of scripture or other sacred subject. A string of beads is used to count the fixed prayers. The devotion was made popular by St. Dominic in the 12th century. The word rosary means "a garland of roses" and is a reference to Mary, the Mystical Rose, who is at the center of the mysteries which are meditated upon. The traditional rosary has been a popular devotion among Anglicans of a catholic frame of mind for many years. A fuller description of how it works may be found by clicking here. Recently, some Anglicans have developed a variation on the traditional rosary which they call the Anglican rosary. Information about how it works may be found by clicking here.
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