Pope Francis has decreed the insertion into the calendar of the ORDINARY Form the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, to be celebrated on Pentecost Monday.
The decree is dated 11 Feb 2018, the 160th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Blessed Mother at Lourdes.
How this will work with the Extraordinary Form is a bit of a puzzle, since we celebrated the Octave of Pentecost. It seems to me that adding her orations to the Collect, etc., would be a good approach.
The title goes back at least to St. Ambrose and has been used by many Popes. Paul VI explicitly named her “Mother of the Church” in the Credo of the People of God and created an altar for her under this title in St. Peter’s Basilica which has an ancient icon of Mary that was the model for the mosaic that John Paul II added in 1981 to the external wall of the Apostolic Palace over St. Peter’s Square.
There is a deep theology to this Marian title and celebration.
The great Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship said (HERE), that this elevation of her Votive Mass to a Memorial comes from “maturation of liturgical veneration given to Mary following a better understanding of her presence ‘in the mystery of Christ and of the Church’, as explained in Chapter 7 of Vatican II’s Lumen gentium.” It also underscores, “the importance of the mystery of Mary’s spiritual motherhood, which from the awaiting of the Spirit at Pentecost has never ceased to take motherly care of the pilgrim Church on earth”.
Prot. N. 10/18
DECREE [It’s in Latin.] on the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church in the General Roman Calendar [HERE]
The joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4), the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.
In some ways this was already present in the mind of the Church from the premonitory words of Saint Augustine and Saint Leo the Great. In fact the former says that Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church. These considerations derive from the divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer, which culminated at the hour of the cross.
Indeed, the Mother standing beneath the cross (cf. Jn 19:25), accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal. She thus became the tender Mother of the Church which Christ begot on the cross handing on the Spirit. Christ, in turn, in the beloved disciple, chose all disciples as ministers of his love towards his Mother, entrusting her to them so that they might welcome her with filial affection.
As a caring guide to the emerging Church Mary had already begun her mission in the Upper Room, praying with the Apostles while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14). In this sense, in the course of the centuries, Christian piety has honoured Mary with various titles, in many ways equivalent, such as Mother of Disciples, of the Faithful, of Believers, of all those who are reborn in Christ; and also as “Mother of the Church” as is used in the texts of spiritual authors as well as in the Magisterium of Popes Benedict XIV and Leo XIII.
Thus the foundation is clearly established by which Blessed Paul VI, on 21 November 1964, at the conclusion of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, declared the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church, that is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother” and established that “the Mother of God should be further honoured and invoked by the entire Christian people by this tenderest of titles”.
Therefore the Apostolic See on the occasion of the Holy Year of Reconciliation (1975), proposed a votive Mass in honour of Beata Maria Ecclesiæ Matre, which was subsequently inserted into the Roman Missal. The Holy See also granted the faculty to add the invocation of this title in the Litany of Loreto (1980) and published other formularies in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1986). Some countries, dioceses and religious families who petitioned the Holy See were allowed to add this celebration to their particular calendars.
Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis has decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year.
This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed, the Virgin who makes her offering to God.
The Memorial therefore is to appear in all Calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of Mass and of the Liturgy of the Hours. The relative liturgical texts are attached to this decree [You have to hunt for them. Let’s save you some time. HERE] and their translations, prepared and approved by the Episcopal Conferences, will be published after confirmation by this Dicastery. [“all Calendars”? And in the Extraordinary Form we use the Breviarium Romanum not the Liturgia Horarum. Read on…]
Where the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, is already celebrated on a day with a higher liturgical rank, approved according to the norm of particular law, in the future it may continue to be celebrated in the same way. Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
From the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 11 February 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes.
Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect
Arthur Roche, Archbishop Secretary
Here is the Collect for the Mass (and hours) for Memoria Beatae Mariae Virginis Ecclesiae Matris, which is simply from the Votive Mass Mary, Mother of the Church:
Deus, misericordiarum Pater, cuius Unigenitus, cruci affixus, beatam Mariam Virginem, Genetricem suam, Matrem quoque nostram constituit, concede, quaesumus, ut, eius cooperante caritate, Ecclesia tua, in dies fecundior, prolis sanctitate exsultet et in gremium suum cunctas attrahat familias populorum.
I guess the could have squeezed a few more commas into that oration… sheesh.
God, the Father of mercies, whose Only-Begotten affixed to the Cross established His Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary also as our Mother, grant, we beg, that as her charity is also at work, Your Church, ever more fruitful each day, may exalt in the sanctity of progeny and may draw into her bosom all the families of peoples.
Hmmm… so much for that whole thing about not proselytizing. Right? Didn’t the non-note-taking 90+ year old Communist Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica claim that Pope Francis said that proselytism was “solemn nonsense”?