With word of Pope Francis authorizing a liturgical observance, a memorial, for Mary, Mother of the Church, some liturgical texts here, as yet untranslated from Latin:
- Reading: Genesis 3:9-15, 20 (enmity between Eve and the snake)
- Psalm: 87:1-2, 3+5, 6-7 (the whole of this Song of Zion, except for verse 4)
- Gospel: John 19:25-34 (entrusting Mary to the Beloved Disciple)
Let’s take a look at the psalm a bit more closely, as the 87th isn’t frequently found in the Church’s sung repertoire:
Glorious things are said of you, O city of God!
His foundation is on holy mountains,
The LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than any dwelling in Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
And of Zion it will be said:
“Each one was born in it.”
The Most High will establish it;
the LORD notes in the register of the peoples:
“This one was born there.”
So singers and dancers:
“All my springs are in you.”
There are only a handful of Songs of Zion in the Psalter. As for that longing for Jerusalem, in this instance, Scripture scholars believe the 87th comes from the time of the Babylonian Exile or shortly after it. Does that speak to the Christian longing for heaven, for pilgrimage end, for a time of youth and perhaps some idealized notion of the Church?
I find it interesting that the fifth option for Votive Masses for the Blessed Virgin includes this Communion antiphon, adapted from the psalm antiphon above and melded onto Luke 1:49:
Glorious things are spoken of you, O Virgin Mary, for he who is mighty has done great things for you.
We’ll see how the English translation fares. First celebration is May 21st this year.