Morning Prayer | WEDNESDAY

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.


O Mary of all women, 
you are the chosen one,
Who, ancient prophets promised, 
would bear God’s only Son;
All Hebrew generations 
prepared the way to thee,
That in your womb the God-man 
might come to set man free.

O Mary, you embody 
all God taught to our race,
For you are first and foremost 
in fullness of his grace;
We praise this wondrous honor 
that you gave birth to Him
Who from you took his manhood 
and saved us from our sin.

Melody: Au fort de ma detresse 76.76.D
Music: 17th Century Flemish Melody
Text: Michael Gannon


I bow before you, Virgin of virgins,
resting-place of the divine Bridegroom,
temple of eternal Wisdom,
sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
palace of the Blessed Trinity,
Mother full of love and tenderness,
fountain of beauty,
wellspring of wonders,
golden key of God’s kingdom,
you are the admiration of angels,
the joy of the human family.
Who can ever do justice to your glory,
to your Queenship of grace?

Eugenio Cantera (1880-1955)


Ant.1 Mary arose and went in haste into the hill country, to a town of Judah.

or: Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, for you carried the Creator of the world in your womb.

Psalm 108
Praise of God and a plea for help

Since the Son of God has been exalted above the heavens, his glory is proclaimed through all the earth (Arnobius)

My heart is ready, O God;
I will sing, sing your praise.
Awake, my soul;
awake, lyre and harp,
I will awake the dawn.

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples,
among the nations I will praise you,
for your love reaches to the heavens
and your truth to the skies.
O God, arise above the heavens;
may your glory shine on earth!

O come and deliver your friends;
help with your right hand and reply.
From his holy place God has made this promise;
I will triumph and divide the land of Shechem,

But who will lead me to conquer the fortress?
Who will bring me face to face with Edom?
Will you utterly reject us, O God,
and no longer march with our armies?

Give us help against the foe,
for the help of man is vain.
With God we shall do bravely
and he will trample down our foes.

Morning by morning I will silence
all the wicked in the land,
uprooting from the city of the Lord
all who do evil.

Ant. 2 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant in her womb leaped for joy, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Or: Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Canticle                                                      Isaiah 61:10-62:5
The prophet's joy in the vision of a new Jerusalem. 

I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, with the beauty of a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2).

I rejoice heartily in the LORD, 
in my God is the joy of my soul; 
for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, 
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, 
like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, 
like a bride bedecked with her jewels.

As the earth brings forth its plants, 
and a garden makes its growth spring up, 
so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise 
spring up before all the nations.

For Zion's sake I will not be silent, 
for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet, 
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn 
and her victory like a burning torch.

Nations shall behold your vindication, 
and all kings your glory; 
you shall be called by a new name 
pronounced by the mouth of the Lord.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, 
a royal diadem held by your God.

No more shall men call you "Forsaken," 
or your land "Desolate," 
but you shall be called "My delight," 
and your land "Espoused." 
For the Lord delights in you, 
and makes your land his spouse.

As a young man marries a virgin, 
your Builder shall marry you; 
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride 
so shall your God rejoice in you.

Ant. 3: Blessed are you, Mary, because you believed that the Lord's words to you would be fulfilled.

Or: We share the fruit of life through you, O daughter blessed by the Lord.

Psalm 144:1-10
Prayer for victory and peace

I can do all things in him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my arms for battle,
who prepares my hands for war.

He is my love, my fortress;
he is my stronghold, my savior
my shield, my place of refuge.
He brings peoples under my rule.

Lord, what is man that you care for him,
mortal man, that your keep him in mind;
man, who is merely a breath
whose life fades like a passing shadow?

Lower your heavens and come down;
touch the mountains; wreathe them in smoke.
Flash your lightnings; rout the foe,
shoot your arrows and put them to flight.

Reach down from heaven and save me;
draw me out from the mighty waters,
from the hands of alien foes
whose mouths are filled with lies,
whose hands are raised in perjury.

To you, O God, will I sing a new song;
I will play on the ten-stringed harp
to you who give kings their victory,
who set David your servant free.

FIRST READING                                                      Joel 2:27-3:1a

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel; 
  I am the Lord, your God, and there is no other; 
  my people shall nevermore be put to shame.
Then afterward I will pour out 
  my spirit upon all mankind. 
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy.

Or                                                       Song of Songs 2:8-14

Hark! my lover - here he comes
  springing across the mountains,
  leaping across the hills.

My lover is like a gazelle
  or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
  gazing through the windows,
  peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
  "Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
  and come!

"For see, the winter is past,
  the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
  the time of pruning the vines has come,
  and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
  and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
  and come!

"O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
  in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
  let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
  and you are lovely."


From a Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Mater of Pope John Paul II
(Number 36, 25 March 1987)

The whole salvific economy is concentrated in the Mother of Christ.

When Elizabeth greeted her young kinswoman coming from Nazareth, Mary replied with the Magnificat. In her greeting, Elizabeth first called Mary "blessed" because of "the fruit of her womb," and then she called her "blessed" because of her faith. These two blessings referred directly to the Annunciation. Now at the Visitation, when Elizabeth's greeting bears witness to that culminating moment, Mary's faith acquires a new consciousness and a new expression. That which remained hidden in the depths of the "obedience of faith" at the Annunciation can now be said to spring forth like a clear and life-giving flame of the spirit.

The words used by Mary on the threshold of Elizabeth's house are an inspired profession of her faith, in which her response to the revealed word is expressed with the religious and poetical exultation of her whole being towards God. In these sublime words, which are simultaneously very simple and wholly inspired by the sacred texts of the people of Israel, Mary's personal experience, the ecstasy of her heart, shines forth. In them shines a ray of the mystery of God, the glory of his ineffable holiness, the eternal love which, as an irrevocable gift, enters into human history.

Mary is the first to share in this new revelation of God and within the same, in this new "self-giving" of God. Therefore she proclaims" "For he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name." Her words reflect a joy of spirit which is difficult to express: "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior." Indeed, "the deepest truth about God and the salvation of man is made clear to us in Christ, who is at the same time the mediator and the fullness of all revelation."  

In her exultation Mary confesses that she finds herself in the very heart of this fullness of Christ. She is conscious that the promise made to the fathers, first of all "to Abraham and to his posterity for ever," is being fulfilled in herself. She is thus aware that concentrated within herself as the Mother of Christ is the whole salvific economy, in which "from age to age" is manifested he who, as the God of the Covenant, "remembers his mercy."

The Lord has chosen her, his loved one from the beginning.
 - The Lord has chosen her, his loved one from the beginning.
He has taken her to live with him,
 - his loved one from the beginning.
Glory to the Father...
 - The Lord has chosen her, his loved one from the beginning.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
 - Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
 - The Lord is with you.
Glory to the Father...
 - Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH                                                       Luke 1:68-79

Ant. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, she cried out and said: Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

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.


Let us glorify our Savior, who chose the Virgin Mary for his mother. Let us ask him:

May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Son of Justice, the immaculate Virgin was the white dawn announcing your rising.
 – grant that we may always live in the light of your coming.

Lord, help us imitate Mary, your mother, who chose the best part, 
 - may we seek the food that will sustain us for ever.

Savior of the world, by your redeeming might you preserved your mother before-hand from all stain of sin, 
 - keep watch over us, lest we sin.

You are our redeemer, who made the immaculate Virgin Mary your purest home and the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, 
 - make us temples of your Spirit for ever.

Our Father…


Eternal Father, 
you inspired the Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, 
to visit Elizabeth and assist her in her need. 
Keep us open to the working of your Spirit, 
and with Mary may we praise you for ever.

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

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

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