Morning Prayer | THURSDAY

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

God, come to my assistance.
- Lord, make haste to help me

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.


Virgin-born, we bow before you: 
Blessed was the womb that bore you; 
Mary, Mother meek and mild, 
Blessed was she in her Child. 
Blessed was the breast that fed you; 
Blessed was the hand that led you; 
Blessed was the other's eye 
Watching o'er your infancy.

Blessed she by all creation, 
Who brought forth the world's salvation. 
Blessed they who ever blest, 
Love you most and serve you best. 
Virgin-born, we bow before you; 
Blessed was the womb that bore you; 
Mary, Mother meek and mild, 
Blessed was she in her Child.

Melody: Mon Dieu, Prete Moi L'Orielle 88-77D (Genevan Psalm 86)
Music: German Psalter, 1543
Text: R. Heber, 1783-1826, alt.


Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, 
I come before you, unworthy as I am, 
to renew our total dedication to you. 
Be now and for ever our Mother, 
our advocate and our protector; 
rule over us as our sovereign Lady, 
keep us from falling, 
but if we do fall 
help us to rise again without delay. 
Show yourself as Mother of God, 
to whom all sinners have been entrusted: 
be our patroness and theirs 
with your loving Son.

Jean Joseph du Vieux Chatel (1724-1797)


Ant.1 Tell us, shepherds, what have you seen? Who has appeared on earth? We have seen a newborn infant and a choir of angels praising the Lord.

or: O Mother, how pure you are, you are untouched by sin; yours was the privilege to carry God within you.

Psalm 143:1-11
Prayer in distress

A man is not justified by observance of the law but only through faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16)

Lord, listen to my prayer:
turn your ear to my appeal.
You are faithful, you are just; give answer.
Do not call your servant to judgment
for no one is just in your sight.

The enemy pursues my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead, long forgotten.
Therefore my spirit fails;
my heart is numb within me.

I remember the days that are past:
I ponder all your works.
I muse on what your hand has wrought
and to you I stretch out my hands.
Like a parched land my soul thirsts for you.

Lord, make haste and answer;
for my spirit fails within me.
Do not hide your face
lest I become like those in the grave.

In the morning let me know your love
for I put my trust in you.
Make me know the way I should walk:
to you I lift up my soul.

Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies;
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will
for you, O Lord, are my God.
Let your good spirit guide me
in ways that are level and smooth.

For your name's sake, Lord, save my life;
in your justice save my soul from distress.

Ant. 2 The angel said to the shepherds: I proclaim to you a great joy: today the Savior of the world is born for you.

Or: You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel; you are the fairest honor of our race.

Canticle                                                      Isaiah 66:10-14a
Joys of heaven

The heavenly Jerusalem is a free woman and our mother (Galatians 4:26)

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, 
all you who love her; 
Exult, exult with her, 
all you who were mourning over her!

Oh, that you may suck fully 
of the milk of her comfort, 
That you may nurse with delight 
at her abundant breasts!

For thus says the LORD: 
Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river, 
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.

As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, 
and fondled in her lap;
As a mother comforts her son, 
so will I comfort you; 
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, 
and your bodies flourish like the grass.

Ant. 3: A little child is born for us today; little and yet called the mighty God.

Or: O Virgin Mary, how great your cause for joy; God found you worthy to bear Christ our Savior.

Psalm 147:1-11
The loving kindness of God who can do all he wills

You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord: we acclaim you.

Praise the Lord for he is good;
sing to our God for he is loving:
to him our praise is due.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem
and brings back Israel's exiles,
he heals the broken-hearted,
he binds up all their wounds.
He fixes the number of the stars;
he calls each one by its name.

Our Lord is great and almighty;
his wisdom can never be measured.
The Lord raises the lowly;
he humbles the wicked to the dust.
O sing to the Lord giving thanks;
sing psalms to our God with the harp.

He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares the rain for the earth,
making mountains sprout with grass
and with plants to serve man's needs.
He provides the beasts with their food
and young ravens that call upon him.

His delight is not in horses
nor his pleasure in warriors' strength.
The Lord delights in those who revere him,
in those who wait for his love.

FIRST READING                                                      Hebrews 1:1-2

In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe,

Or                                                       Titus 2:11-12

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age.

Or                                                       Song of Songs 6:9-10

One alone is my dove, my perfect one,
  her mother's chosen,
  the dear one of her parent.
The daughters saw her and declared her fortunate, 
  the queens and concubines, and they sang her praises;

Who is this that comes forth like the dawn,
  as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun,
  as awe-inspiring as bannered troops?


From a sermon by St. Thomas of Villanova, bishop
(Sermon on the birth of Mary II,7-9)

Mother of her own Creator!

What a marvelous woman, to be the mother of her own Creator! What an amazing distinction for a woman, to have a Son in common with God. The Father loves his Son; the Mother rejoices in her Son. The Father tells his Son: from the womb, before the morning star, I begot you; the Mother says to her same Son: From the womb, I, a virgin, brought you into the world.

She is amazed at her own glory, nor can she herself understand her elevation, for by the very fact of being made mother of the Creator she became with the best right mistress and queen of all creation. Truly, Mary he that is mighty, has done great things for you; truly because he made you his own mother, all generations of the ages will call you blessed.

How blessed are you, Virgin Mary,
for you carried within you the Lord, the Creator of the world.
 - Mother of your Maker, you remain a virgin for ever.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
 - Mother of your Maker, you remain a virgin for ever.


For our sake, the King of heaven chose to be born of his virgin mother, 
to reclaim lost men for the heavenly kingdom
 - All the angels cry aloud with joy, 
for God has come himself to save mankind. 
Glory to God in the highest, 
and peace to his people on earth. 
 - All the angels cry aloud with joy, 
for God has come himself to save mankind.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH                                                       Luke 1:68-79

Ant. Blessed are you, Mary, because you believed that the Lord's words to you would be fulfilled.

The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; 
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, 
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
  that he would save us from our enemies,
  from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
 all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.  Amen.


The Word of God existed before the creation of the universe yet was born among us in time. We praise and worship him as we cry out in joy.  

Let the earth ring out with joy for you have come!

You are the eternal Word of God who flooded the world with joy at your birth,
- fill us with joy by the continuous gift of your life.

You saved us and by your birth revealed to us the covenant faithfulness of the Lord,
- help us to be faithful to the promises of our baptism.

You are the King of heaven and earth who sent messengers to announce peace to all,
- let our lives be filled with your peace.

You are the true vine that brings forth the fruit of life,
- make us branches of the vine bearing much fruit.

Our Father…


we are filled with the new light 
by the coming of your Word among us. 
May the light of faith 
shine in our words and actions.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Alternative Prayer

Almighty God and Father of light,
a child is born for us and a son is given to us. 
Your eternal Word leaped down from heaven
in the silent watches of the night,
and now your church is filled with wonder
at the nearness of her God.
Open our hearts to receive his life 
and increase our vision with the rising of dawn, 
that our lives may be filled with his glory and his peace,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
 -  Amen.

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