In this first week of Advent, I would like to share with you one of my favourite Marian prayers.
In my homily last Sunday I spoke of how I consider Advent to be Our Lady’s season, and this ancient (eleventh century) prayer is calling upon her maternal care.
During these four weeks of Advent we enter into the final period of Mary’s waiting. She is the “Mother of Him who thee from nothing made,” who we unite ourselves with during the final month of her pregnancy. We journey with Mary, together waiting to celebrate the joy of the Saviours birth.
Our Lady would have surely experienced a mixture of emotions during those nine months. She never expecting to conceive a child, let alone be chosen to be the Mother of God. It must have been daunting for her to tell St Joseph her spouse what had happened. She must at times have been worried about the wellbeing of her baby and carried all the concerns mothers carry for their children.
But what about her joy? My favourite line of this prayer, the Alma Redemptoris Mater, is when it describes that joy Mary experienced, that joy which Gabriel brought her. Here is a great insight into what the spirit of advent is, it is Marys spirit of joyful anticipation as with her we await the birth of Jesus Christ.
I have included this beautiful prayer below for your prayer. I hope you are all having a blessed Advent.
Mother of Christ! hear thou thy people’s cry,
Star of the deep, and Portal of the sky!
Mother of Him who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive, and call to thee for aid:
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.Alma Redemptoris Mater