15 August 2019

The Dormition of the Mother of God

Today at the LCMS International Center we celebrated the festival of St. Mary, the day the Church commemorates her falling asleep in her Son.

Chapel for the Feast of St. Mary, the Mother of God

Matins, p. 219 (Invitatory and Venite omitted) 

Psalm 132 (Two part Psalm Tone I)

Office Hymn: Hymn: 670 Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." 

46 And Mary said, 
  "My soul magnifies the Lord, 
 47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 
 48  for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. 
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 
 49  for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. 
 50  And his mercy is for those who fear him 
from generation to generation. 
 51  He has shown strength with his arm; 
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 
 52  he has brought down the mighty from their thrones 
and exalted those of humble estate; 
 53  he has filled the hungry with good things, 
and the rich he has sent away empty. 
 54  He has helped his servant Israel, 
in remembrance of his mercy, 
 55  as he spoke to our fathers, 
to Abraham and to his offspring forever." 
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

O Lord, have mercy on us. R.

Responsory, p. 221

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

"And she returned to her home." Well, not quite. The return to her home, her true home and to our true home, is what we celebrate on this day. Arise, O Lord, You and the Ark of Your might. If we remember how she heard and treasured all these things in her heart, perhaps her going home was like this:

I remember when the angel came and told me, and my heart burst with joy and terror.
I remember when I came to the door of Zechariah's house and Eliabeth knew my secret and my heart melted and my eyes burned with tears and my mouth prophesied.
I remember when I felt your movement first inside my body, and I realized that I was the living ark of the living God.
I remember when first I saw your face, and touched your hands, and looked into my Joseph's eyes.
I remember when they came creeping in to see you, to worship you, the shepherds of the night, and told me songs of angels and glory in the highest and peace on earth. 
I remember when we brought you to the temple and the old man took you in his arms and blessed God, ready to die, and told me of pain yet to come.
I remember when they came from the East and bowed before you as I held you and gave their gifts - the gold, the incense and the myrrh, while the star's light shone upon us.
I remember when he woke me and we fled into the night ahead of the terror of Herod's sword.
I remember when we came home at last, and people looked and talked, but you were all our joy.
I remember when you stayed behind, when you left us, and we found you in the temple and my heart rose up in fear realizing that you chose to abide in the place of sacrifice and death.
I remember when you spoke to me in roughness and yet made the water into wine.
I remember when we came to make you take your rest and you taught me that all these in need were dear to you as your own family.

I remember when they took you, tortured you, and crucified you; and before my eyes rose up the old man in the temple – his words haunted me still – and a sword ran me through as I watched you dying.
I remember when you looked on me and the beloved one and gave us to each other for all our days. 
I remember when the light died in your eyes and my heart sank beyond tears and words.
I remember after the empty days when they came and told me that you lived again, and joy flooded my heart, and I knew then what I had always known - your every promise was true.
I remember when we prayed together after you had gone into heaven and the Spirit came in wind and flame.
I remember how they went and told the news to all the world. And I welcomed each new believer as my beloved child, a brother of my Son, the King of all.
I remember it all now as I die, as I lay my head down in death. 
My Son, I am not afraid. I go to you, to you who have conquered death, to you who are the Forgiveness of all sins. My soul magnifies You and my spirit rejoices in You my Savior.  Receive me, child. Receive me.  I remember. I remember. I remember.

And so (at last) Mary DID return to her home. Her home and yours. Prepared by Her Son to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory and honor, now and forever. Amen.

Te Deum Laudamus, Kyrie, Our Father, Salutation

Collect of the Day:

Almighty God, You chose the virgin Mary to be the mother of Your only Son. Grant that we, who are redeemed by His blood, may share with her in the glory of Your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ, our Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

O Savior Child of Mary, who felt our human woe, remember in mercy your sisters and brothers who cry out to you for relief and healing, especially: Al, Zoey, Kent, Joel, Bonnie, Herb, Gene, Paula, Roger, Allen, Jan, and all we name in our hearts before You… granting to each what You know to be best; in Your holy, dear Jesus, we pray. Amen.

O Virgin's Son, remember in Your infinite compassion all who have gone forth in Your name to speak Your word and promises, particularly the short term mission team from Faith Lutheran in Monmouth, OR serving in Grand Cayman and Rev Daniel and Joan Jastram missionaries to Japan. May all those who are appointed to eternal life be given faith and preserved in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, You have safely brought us to the beginning of this new day. Defend us in the same with Your mighty power and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, but that all our doings, being ordered by Your governance, may be righteous in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Benedicamus & Benediction


Larry Luder said...

Am learning a lot more and appreciating the examples and lessons regarding the significance of her virgin birth as well as the beautiful word "dormintion" and what it means for us. Have a wonderful feast.

Mark Reed said...

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. How did you manage to preach it without weeping? Thank you for this. To God be the Glory.

Weekend Fisher said...

Beautiful and moving. Thank you!
Take care & God bless
Anne / WF