Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Celebrating the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Birth of the Virgin Mary
by Giotto di BondoneScrovegni Chapel, circa 1305.

This coming Sunday marks the Birthday of the Mother of God, or as it is more formally known: 'The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.' In our journey to coming into full communion with the Catholic Church, Marian holy days are taking a more primary spot in our liturgical home life. Birthdays are also a great way for younger children to associate better with an important person. We already celebrate Christmas with some birthday breakfast cake for Jesus, so I figured I'd start and then go from there.

The Nativity of Mary is celebrated nine months after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which is December 8th. I'll share more about that day when it is closer, but for now, know it sneaks up during Advent. The Nativity is a Feast rather than a Solemnity, so is on the same level or plane as the Annunciation or any other Saint's marked day in the calendar.

This Feast day holds importance to us as Christians because although Mary isn't mentioned often in the Bible, without her, we don't have the Nativity of Christ. God created Mary to be a perfect and holy vessel, a new tabernacle to carry His most beloved Son. Mary is not important on her own; she is only important because of how her entire life points to Jesus. From her very birthday, God had ordained her steps and was preparing her to be the Blessed Mother.

Lamentation by Pietro LorenzettiAssisi Basilica, 1310–1329

This is one of my favorite quotes about Mary from St. Maximilian Kolbe:

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

Here's some ideas based on what the O Family will be doing this Sunday:

Food

We'll most definitely be making a cake with white and blue. White symbolizes Purity, and Blue stands for Fidelity. Of course, some blue candles won't hurt!

Blueberries are perfect for this feast day - enjoy the last of the season in a pie, cobbler, or just by themselves!

Zabaglione is an Italian specialty for this day (recipe from Catholic Culture).

The Virgin's first seven steps mosaic from Chora Church, c. 12th century.

Crafts + Activities

Pray the rosary or another Marian prayer (the Angelus, Hail Holy Queen, etc)

Sing a song to the Blessed Mother

Decorate the house with flowers - if you have a family altar or a statue of the Virgin, place them there.

Print out one of these Free Mary Printables from Catholic Icing.

Try this Mary Hand/Footprint Craft, also from Catholic Icing.


To Read

Here are several book ideas that tell the life of Mary:


Mary by Brian Wildsmith



Mary: The Mother of Jesus by Tomie dePaola

Mary, Mother of Jesus by Mary Joslin

And a couple others:
The Story of Mary, the Mother of God by Dorrie Papademetriou

Mary by Demi




And to end, a Collect for the day:

Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Let me know in the comments how your family is planning to celebrate this Feast or how they have in the past! Happy Birthday to Our Lady! 

Sarah

Linking up with: http://www.equippingcatholicfamilies.com/saints-cele-linky.html

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This post Celebrating the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 4 September 2013


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