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January 1st - The Solemnity of Mary (Holy Day of Obligation)

En Inglés

On New Year's Day, the octave day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God. The divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular salvific event: for Our Lady it was the foretaste and cause of her extraordinary glory; for us it is a source of grace and salvation because "through her we have received the Author of life".The solemnity of January 1st, an eminently Marian feast, presents an excellent opportunity for liturgical piety to encounter popular piety: the first celebrates this event in a manner proper to it; the second, when duly catechised, lends joy and happiness to the various expressions of praise offered to Our Lady on the birth of her divine Son, to deepen our understanding of many prayers, beginning with that which says: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners".

In the West, January 1st is an inaugural day marking the beginning of the civil year. The faithful are also involved in the celebrations for the beginning of the new year and exchange "new year" greetings. However, they should try to lend a Christian understanding to this custom making of these greetings an expression of popular piety. The faithful, naturally, realise that the "new year" is placed under the patronage of the Lord, and in exchanging new year greetings they implicitly and explicitly place the New Year under the Lord's dominion, since to him belongs all time.

A connection between this consciousness and the popular custom of singing the Veni Creator Spiritus can easily be made so that on January 1st, the faithful can pray that the Spirit may direct their thoughts and actions, and those of the community during the course of the year.

New year greetings also include an expression of hope for a peaceful New Year. This has profound biblical, Christological and incarnational origins. The "quality of peace" has always been invoked throughout history by all men, and especially during violent and destructive times of war.

The Holy See shares the profound aspirations of man for peace. Since 1967, January 1st has been designated "World Day for Peace".

Popular piety has not been oblivious to this initiative of the Holy See. In the light of the new born Prince of Peace, it reserves this day for intense prayer for peace, education towards peace and those value inextricably linked with it, such as liberty, fraternal solidarity, the dignity of the human person, respect for nature, the right to work, the sacredness of human life, and the denunciation of injustices which trouble the conscience of man and threaten peace.

- Excerpted from Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (Chap. 4, 115-117)


Come, Holy Spirit (Veni, Creator Spiritus)

26 § 1. A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a church or in an oratory, are present [take part] in a recitation or solemn chant of:

 1° the hymn Veni, Creator ... on the first day of the year, imploring divine assistance for the whole of the coming year... (Reference: Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, 4th edition, al. concessiones.)

Come, Creator Spirit
O Holy Spirit, by whose breath
Life rises vibrant out of death;
Come to create, renew, inspire;
Come, kindle in our hearts your fire.
You are the seeker's sure resource,
Of burning love the living source,
Protector in the midst of strife,
The giver and the Lord of life.
In you God's energy is shown,
To us your varied gifts made known.
Teach us to speak, teach us to hear;
Yours is the tongue and yours the ear.
Flood our dull senses with your light;
In mutual love our hearts unite.
Your power the whole creation fills;
Confirm our weak, uncertain wills.
From inner strife grant us release;
Turn nations to the ways of peace.
To fuller life your people bring
That as one body we may sing:
Praise to the Father, Christ, his Word,
And to the Spirit: God the Lord,
To whom all honor, glory be
Both now and for eternity. Amen.

The usual conditions for obtaining a plenary indulgence apply, including sacramental confession, the reception of Holy Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father, as well as complete detachment from all sin, even venial sin (for more on indulgences, see the Appendix to Popular Devotional Practices).

Litany of Loreto (Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

V.  Lord, have mercy on us. .
R. Christ have mercy on us.

V.  Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Mother of the Church, pray for us.
Mother of divine grace, pray for us.
Mother most pure, pray for us.
Mother most chaste, pray for us.
Mother inviolate, pray for us.
Mother undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most amiable, pray for us.
Mother most admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Savior, pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most renouned, pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of justice, pray for us.
Seat of wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of our joy, pray for us.
Spiritual vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of honor, pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.
Mystical rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of ivory, pray for us.
House of gold, pray for us.
Ark of the covenant, pray for us.
Gate of heaven, pray for us.
Morning star, pray for us.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary. pray for us.
Queen of families, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.

V.  Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R.  spare us, O Lord.
V.  Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R.  graciously hear us O Lord.
V.  Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R.  have mercy on us.

From Christmas to Candlemass (the Feast of the Presentation), that is through February 1:

V.  Thou gavest birth without loss of thy virginity.
R.  Intercede for us, O holy Mother of God.

Let us pray. O God, Who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary hast offered unto the human race the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that we may know the effects of her intercession, through whom we have deserved to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son.

R. Amen.