01 July 2008

Visitation Collect

Tomorrow those of us following the one-year series will observe the Feast of the Visitation (which is counted among us as one of the "principle feasts of Christ"). The collect for this day in LSB has its origins in the earliest German Church order, the vernacular Mass of Theobald Schwartz in Strasbourg (1524 - see Reed, p. 562). Is there any collect whose central petition goes so to the heart of what our faith is all about? "Grant that we may receive Your Word in humility and faith, and so be made one with Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord." To be made one with Christ through the reception of God's Word (both audible and visible).

As that day the Blessed Virgin entered the house of Elizabeth, with the Eternal Word's heart beating beneath her own heart in her blessed womb; as Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit cried out "Blessed is she who believed!"; as St. John the Baptist leaps in confession of Him whom he will serve as forerunner; as old Zechariah silently laughs in a corner at the ways of the God of Israel; so do we on the holy day of the Visitation rejoice that our God has visited us indeed. That He has taken on our flesh from the most holy Virgin. That He has come to us who could not reach Him in order that we might become one with Him, and find in Him the life that never ends.

2 comments:

Fr. Timothy D. May, S.S.P. said...

With the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul just past one cannot help but make the connection between Mary's reception of the word with that of Peter. Peter is blessed because He said/confessed what He heard not by flesh and blood but by revelation of the Father. Mary said, "Let it be to me according to your word" and all generations will call her blessed, she whose soul magnifies the Lord.

Brian P Westgate said...

You make me wish I had the second edition of Reed. I have the first, where he says nothing about the Collect. Horn does mention that the collect's source.
From where do the other 2 collects in TLH come? The one ("Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord . . .") resembles the Collect in the pre-Vatican II Roman Missal. Parsch mentions however that the liturgy for today was changed as late as Clement VIII. And the Sarum Mass is almost entirely different, save the Epistle (though longer), Gospel, and Communio.