LITURGY IN FOCUS

MARY, FIRST OF ALL DISCIPLES

Three Things Mary Teaches Us

(Father Ian VanHeusen)

Why Catholics Call Mary Their Mother 

(Father Mike Schmitz)

Mary, the First Disciple

(Catholic National Shrine 2020)

Mary, the Blessed Virgin

(Catholic Online)

Mary, Mother of God

(A closer look at the Annunciation)

“O Mary Mother of God”

“Hail Mary, Gentle Woman”

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(With Catholic Deacon Keith Fournier)

“Ave Maria”

(Performed by Il Divo)

On May 1, 2020, America and Canada were rededicated to the patronage of Mary. As we have prayed to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Fatima for World Peace, we now pray to Mary, Mother of Our Nations and of the World for an end to the global crisis of this pandemic. Pope Francis and many bishops all over the world have composed prayers to Mary so that we can find the words to open our hearts to understanding, reconciliation, hope and faith.

“Regina Coeli Laetare, Alleluia”

(Tomas Luis de Victoria, performed by Voces 8)

“Regina Coeli Laetare, Alleluia”

(Tomas Luis de Victoria, choir performance)

“Regina Coeli Laetare, Alleluia”

(Juliano Ravanello)

“Regina Coeli: The Church’s Easter Prayer to Mary”

Regina caeli
Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. 
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. 
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia
(translation)
Queen of Heaven
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. 
For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. 
Has risen, as he said, alleluia. 
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. 
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

“Salve Regina”

“Salve Regina”

(Juliano Ravenello)

“Magnificat”

(David Haas)

“Holy Is Your Name”

(David Haas)

“Say the Word”

(Rory Cooney)

Blessing for mothers and grandmothers who are living

Lord,
Bless my mother/grandmother with your love.
Confirm the work of her hands in her heart and in her spirit
that she may tenderly care for those children you have given her.
Validate her worth daily so she has no reason to doubt
that she is loved, valued and cherished in your eyes.
Create in her a deep sense of your protection and trust,
so that her worry and fear will disappear.
Let her know that every prayer she has prayed
and every encouraging word she has spoken
on behalf of her children/grandchildren
has been transformed into offerings to you.
Whisper deep within her spirit the sweet words
she longs to hear from You —
that nothing can ever separate her from Your love.
Help her to nestle daily into the promises of Your Word,
standing strong in faith and vision.
Let her rest in the knowledge that she has done all she can
and that she and those she loves truly belong to you.
Bless her with a servant spirit
so she can hear you say “Well done!”
Forgive her faults and failings.
Help her see her children and grandchildren
through your eyes, and place them safely in your hands.
Calm her every doubt, and strengthen her confidence.
Teach her that she cannot meet every need.
Give her wisdom and guidance
to train her precious children to walk in your pathways.
Lord, help her to love without limitations,
to pray without ceasing,
and to live without regrets.
Bless her with continual dependency on you
that she will acknowledge her inadequacies
and recognize your pleasure in her as your own beloved child.
When her prayers seem unanswered,
and her dreams unrealized,
open her eyes to see beyond-
to a hope that never disappoints,
and to you, who will never leave or abandon her.
Give her courage to persevere
in the most difficult moments of her life.
Bless her with honesty, integrity, and a playfulness
that shows us her humanity and joy,
May her life overflow with all these blessings today and always. Amen.

Blessing for deceased mothers and grandmothers

God of immeasurable love,
I entrust my mother/grandmother into your care.
I thank you for the memories I have of her
and I pray that she will enjoy the fullness
of your presence through all eternity.
Her life was a gift from you.
She received love as your child
and she poured out that love to me.
As she now encounters you face to face,
bring me the comfort that comes
from her knowing my gratitude.
Though I still often grieve her loss,
thank you for the hope and assurance
that comes from your resurrection.
May the hope of eternity bring comfort to all others
who continue to mourn her loss with me.
Thank you for all the years I enjoyed with her.
I cherish my memories of our times of joy
and our times of sorrow.
Give us both peace in our hearts
that are still filled with a deep love for each other.
Strengthen me that I may continue to love and follow you
in the many ways she taught me,
that my life may proclaim her tender legacy
and be filled with the grace and blessing
that you continually offer me.
During my times of sorrow,
may your voice and hers soothe my pain
and strengthen me in my weakness.
May they give me direction and stability
During my times of my confusion.
May they provide clarity in my times of discernment.
I thank you, O God, for the gift of her life.
I pray that she live in perfect peace with you forever,
resting tenderly in your presence
as I continue to cherish and celebrate her life. Amen.

Rosary during the time of pandemic

Composed by Peter Elacqua
Pope Francis has called on the entire world to consider the rosary prayer to Mary during this time of pandemic. This rosary was created to help us focus on local and global needs.
The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays) 
First Mystery: The Annunciation
The angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. Mary obediently responded “yes” to God’s plan. Dedicate this entire decade to women who are pregnant and fearful during this time- that they may carry in safety and give birth to healthy children.
Glory be … Mary, help all pregnant mothers …
Second Mystery: The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, offering to help the aged woman during the final weeks of her miraculous pregnancy. Dedicate this mystery to the aged and to all who are afraid or alone; especially those in nursing homes and hospitals who are not allowed to be visited by their loved ones.
Glory be … Mary, comfort those who are alone without visitors …
Third Mystery: The Nativity of our Lord
Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem and gave birth to Jesus in stable. Dedicate this mystery to families who experience birth at this time without the help of grandparents, relatives or friends. Pray for the safe delivery of babies all over the world born during this time of pandemic — that they will have the love and nourishment they need to lead healthy lives.
Glory be … Mary, bring safety and care to all the newly born in the world …
Fourth Mystery: The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for purification and to uphold family tradition. Dedicate this mystery to children, parents and families who are learning patience and how to relate to each other in new ways; that holiness and care for others will be upheld in family situations.
Glory be … Mary, show all families grow in love …
Fifth Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
Jesus was found teaching in the temple among the scholars of his day. Pray this final decade for those devoted to research- that discovery will soon help treat and cure this pandemic. Pray that science and faith may harmonize to bring gratitude into our lives and worship again.
 Glory be … Mary, inspire scientists and researchers to discover a cure…
The Luminous Mysteries
(Thursdays)
First Mystery: The Baptism of the Lord
Jesus began his public ministry asking John the Baptist to baptize him and God’s Spirit was poured upon him. Dedicate this mystery to those who wait to come into full communion with the church- those who for wait baptism, confirmation and first Eucharist, those who await to be ordained or to marry. Pray for their steadfast patience; that faith may fill their time of waiting.
Glory be … Mary, nurture the faith of those who wait for all sacraments …
Second Mystery: The Wedding at Cana
At the marriage feast of Cana, Jesus revealed his identity during a time of public celebration. Dedicate this mystery to all who must forego significant celebrations during this time of pandemic- anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, accomplishments, and recognitions of honor — that they may find ways to celebrate and honor the milestones of their lives.
Glory be … Mary, bring joy to those deprived of celebration…
Third Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom
Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God — “to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” Dedicate this mystery to first responders — doctors, nurses, and medical personnel who risk their lives daily for others and who remind us that the Kingdom of God is selfless constancy.
Glory be …. Mary, strengthen those who work so hard to heal us…
Fourth Mystery: The Transfiguration
Peter, James and John saw Jesus in all his glory and found ecstasy during those moments. Dedicate this mystery to all essential workers, police, fire fighters, first responders, pharmacy, food merchants, transportation workers and other essential laborers who portray the compassionate face of Christ daily.
Glory be … Mary, invigorate all our essential workers …
Fifth Mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist            
Jesus gave his body and blood to break, pour out, and share in memory of Him. Dedicate this mystery to all who long to be with their faith community and to share the Eucharist during this time. Pray for bishops, priests, religious, and lay people that they will envision new and safe ways to worship and receive the Eucharist and all sacraments of the church.
 Glory be … Mary, enlighten us to find new and safe ways to celebrate our faith …
The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays of Lent)
First Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for the strength to confront the agony ahead. Dedicate this mystery to those who suffer in fear- the unemployed, those who have lost their business and savings, those struggling to make ends meet, to feed families, those who feel that their lives are falling apart and face depression or despair.
Glory be … Mary, encourage those who feel helpless …
Second Mystery: Scourging at the Pillar
During his Passion, Jesus suffered mockery, beatings and torture. Dedicate this mystery to those who are afraid because of compromising conditions, to those who suffer through the constant pain of disease, addiction or domestic violence.
Glory be … Mary, provide hope to all who suffer …
Third Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
While earthly rulers have crowns of silver and gold, our Savior’s crown was fashioned with thorns. Dedicate this decade to those who suffer continuously — the poor, hungry, thirsty, war-torn, homeless — any who lack the means to survive and struggle even more during this pandemic.
Glory be … Mary, hold the needy and the suffering of our world …
Fourth Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
Jesus accepted his cross to show us how to bear our own suffering. Dedicate this mystery to all who have the virus and confront death, and especially to those who are challenged physically, mentally or emotionally during this time of so much suffering.
Glory be … Mary, tenderly care for all who suffer so deeply …
Fifth Mystery: The Crucifixion
Jesus died on the cross in order to defeat death itself. Dedicate this decade to all who die these days, from this pandemic or because of other causes. Pray for their friends and families who grieve alone and who are challenged to find ways to celebrate and memorialize those whom they have lost.
Glory be … Mary, bring the deceased to eternal rest, comfort the living …
The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays outside of Lent)
First Mystery: The Resurrection of Jesus
The empty tomb was and is still a sign of hope and new life for all believers. Dedicate this mystery to all who have died, lost hope, or who have been away from faith and community. Pray that all may be strengthened by the power of resurrection, and that we will believe that we can live fuller lives once this pandemic has passed; that faith, hope and love will keep us together.
Glory be … Mary, shape our hope, nurture our faith, strengthen our love …
Second Mystery: The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
Before ascending, Jesus told the apostles to go forth, baptize and lead all nations toward discipleship. Dedicate this decade to world leaders and government workers who confront difficult decisions during this time, that they may be guided by wisdom and discernment, and dedicated to restoring hope and life to our world.
Glory be … Mary, Mother of all Nations, inspire all leaders in our world …
Third Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit descended upon Mary and the fearful apostles in the upper room, gifting them with strength, unity and the power to communicate with all people. Dedicate this decade to the good work that unites our nation and our world, to all who work to end prejudice and to establish harmony and understanding between governments, nations and cultures all over the world.
Glory be … Mary, unite your children all over the world as one family…
Fourth Mystery: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
At the end of Mary’s life, God brought her body and soul into eternal glory. Dedicate this decade to those who have been weakened in their faith and who have lost hope; to those who are judgmental and unable to forgive- that they may know God’s glorious work in their lives,
Glory be … Mary, lead us to know of God’s deep love for all people…
Fifth Mystery: The Crowning of Mary, Queen of Heaven & Earth
We recognize Mary as Mother and Queen of the Universe. Dedicate this decade to furthering the glory and dignity of all humanity and all nature- to artists and architects of every dimension who creatively call us to stronger stewardship for our planet, to scientists who help us uncover the secrets of God’s treasure, to all who reveal ways in which we can live together with greater dignity and care accorded for all.
Glory be … Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, give us vision to find a better way …
How to pray the rosary
During the Our Father prayer of each decade, hold before Mary the names of people you know who fit the intention for the decade.
  • Pray the 10 Hail Mary’s of the decade for people in the entire world who fit that intention.
  • After the “Glory be …” add the one line prayer to Mary for that decade
  • Devote the final prayer “Hail Holy Queen” for every person in our world who has been forgotten, marginalized, pushed aside, judged or condemned — that mercy and love might be shown to all who are in exile.
“Hail Holy Queen”
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us.
And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us O Holy Mother of God,
t
hat we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
Salve Regina, Mater misercodiae, vita dulcedo et spes nostrae salve
ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae
ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericodes oculos ad nos converte
et Iesum benedictum, fructus ventris tui, nobis post hoc exilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o duclis Virgo Maria.
Ora pro nobis Sancta Dei Genitirix,
Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi. Amen.