A New Feast in the Liturgical Year – Mary, Mother of the Church
Prepare for the 21st May 2018 with liturgical material from the Shrine
On February 11th 2018, it was the 160th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to S. Bernadette in Lourdes (11th February) and to celebrate, Pope Francis instituted a new Marian Feast in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Similar to the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (15th September) following the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14th September), the new Feast Mary, Mother of the Church is to be observed on the Monday following Pentecost each year. If the Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit, marks the birth of the Church and her mission in the name of the Lord; the celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church, honours Mary’s presence among the disciples after the Lord’s Ascension. She prays with the Church as our Mother.
An altar piece from Osnabrück, dating from around 1380, shows one of the most intriguing illustrations of the Pentecost. The twelve disciples and Mary are seated around a circular table. At the top of the image a dove descends into their midst and holds a host in its mouth. The Holy Spirit arrives. Like a star, fine red lines connect the centre of the table with the mouth of each of the disciples. In the centre of the image is a round host, held by their words. This is an image of the Eucharistic bread they share in the Upper Room. The Spirit-filled words of the disciples, their enthusiastic prayer brings to life the Communion in which they share. Christ sends his Spirit and renews the face of the earth. Mary, the Mother of the Church, joins in this Holy Feast.
Priests Associate of the Holy House will hold a copy of the ‘Masses of the Holy House of Our Lady of Walsingham. And other services for use by Priests Associate.’ In it, you will find liturgical material for ‘Shrine Mass VI – Our Lady, Type of the Church’ which basically compiles the necessary texts for the observation of this new feast.
The suggested readings for this feast differ slightly from the ones provided in our Shrine Books.
Click here to read the full text of the DECREE on the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church in the General Roman Calendar.