Fourth Petition – Jesus Psalter


To see all the other notes in this series, click on “Jesus Psalter” or in the labels below. To see the first post click here.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus comfort me. (x10)

Jesus comfort me and give me grace place my chief, my only joy in thee.
Send me heavenly meditations, spiritual sweetness, and fervent desires of thy glory; ravish my soul with the contemplation of heaven where I may dwell everlastingly with Thee.
Grant me, sweet savior Jesus, contempt of all damnable pleasures full of sin and misery.
Bring often to my remembrance Thy kindnesses, Thy great gifts, Thy unspeakable goodness often shown me. When Thou bringest to mind the sad remembrance of my man sins whereby I have so ungratefully offended Thee, comfort me with the assurance of obtaining Thy grace with the spirit of perfect repentance, which may purge away my guilt and prepare me for thy kingdom.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory.

Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.
O blessed Trinity, one true God, have mercy on me.
Our Father (or Pater Noster). Hail Mary (or Ave Maria)
This petition asks that we realize and live as though all joy is in God – and so in pleasing him.  A friend of mind throwing away his past sins told me he chanted, “It’s not a loss because it was never a gain.” If Aquinas is right and all sin is either a lack of love or a misdirection of love, then throw away the former and fix the latter. The first was never really important, and the second is not gone. As Kansas sings in, The Wall, “There is no loss.”  What we give up or sacrifice in our God-ward journey is not us and what really is us (as God created us to be) can never go away.

Third Petition – Jesus Psalter


To see all the other notes in this series, click on “Jesus Psalter” or in the labels below. To see the first post click here.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus strengthen me. (x10)

Jesus strengthen me in soul and body to the performance of all virtue for thy pleasure, whereby I may attain to thy everlasting joy and felicity.
Mercifully grant me firm purpose to amend my life, doing penance for all the years I have misspent to thy displeasure in the practices of impious thoughts, enjoyments, words, deeds, and evil customs; in breaking thy commandments for which I deserve damnation and thine enmity.
Make my heart obedient to thy will and ready, for love of thee, to perform all the works of mercy.
Grant me the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the eight Beatitudes, the four Cardinal virtues; and, by the frequent and pious reception of thy Holy Sacraments, dispose me to thy devotion.
Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory.
Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.
O blessed Trinity, one true God, have mercy on me.
Our Father (or Pater Noster). Hail Mary (or Ave Maria)
These petitions engage in one of the best pious customs of the period: making lists. This one is actually a meta-list, a list of lists! Contra the “impious thoughts, enjoyments, words, deeds, and evil customs; in breaking thy commandments” the writer posits the 14 Works of Mercy (7 corporeal, 7 spiritual),  the seven fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Eight Beatitudes, and the 4 Cardinal Virtues. Then the prayer invokes the Seven Sacraments. This pray asks for a lot! Again there is the realization that what went before Grace was sinful, take away my stoney heart and give me a heart of flesh set on fire for love of you.

The Second Petition – The Jesus Psalter

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help me. (x10)

Jesus help me to overcome all temptation to sin and the malice of my ghostly enemies.
Help me to spend my time in virtue and in labors acceptable to thee, to repress in my flesh the motions of sloth, gluttony, and lust.
Help me to have a heart fully in love with virtue and the holy desire of Thy glorious presence.
Help me through pious and peaceful living with my neighbors to have and to keep a good name, to Thy honor, and to my consolation.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory.
Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.
O blessed Trinity, one true God, have mercy on me.
Our Father (or Pater Noster). Hail Mary (or Ave Maria)

Here (and in the first petition) we see the general themes laid out, of taking things one has – sloth, gluttony, lust – and exchanging them for things one should have: a love of virtue and a desire for God’s presence. In this prayer “a good name” assumes that all one’s neighbors are more-pious, holier Christians than oneself and that to have their good judgement is to have become more like them. This is very orthodox thinking in the Christian East as well as the West: I am the only sinner I know. Yes, we have all sinned and fallen short, but I am the only sinner I know. The state of your soul is not for me to judge, but rather something for which I should intercede and always assume the best.

The prayer to “haue my hart enamored of vertue, & the glorious prefence of thee” as it is printed in the 1599 text, is one of a sort that will be seen often: my heart is drawn away from you, God, but give me a heart, rather, that is drawn to you that I can become more like you.

The First Petition – Jesus Psalter

This whole series can be found under Jesus Psalter Series in the sidebar. The reader is referred there for “how to” and any historical notes. To the latter I will add more as I find them. Each petition will be posted in the same format: the petition itself, which is to be said ten times, followed by a collection of prayers compiled from my available sources, including in bold, the ones that see to be “the original” prayers, to differentiate them. (It will be noted that the first prayer is always the Petition plus an embolism which clarifies the intention. Then the closing prayer, Pater Noster, and Ave. 

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, have mercy on me. (x10)

Jesus, have mercy on me, O God of compassion, and forgive the many and great offenses I have committed in Thy sight. 
Many have been the follies of my life, and great are the miseries I have deserved for my ingratitude.
Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, who am unable to help myself.
Deliver me from setting my heart upon any of Thy creatures, which may divert my eyes from continually looking up to Thee.
Grant me grace henceforth, for the love of Thee, to hate sin: and out of a just esteem of Thee, to despise worldly vanities.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory.
Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one true God, have mercy on me.

Our Father (or Pater Noster). Hail Mary (or Ave Maria)

A comment on the common concluding prayer, of course, “All Sinners” includes the person praying. The subtext of “change their vices into virtues” is that all vices are only misdirected virtues. There is no positive evil: only a deficiency of good in some area. One fails to love God enough and loves other things instead. But it is still love.

Praying the (WR-OF-EF) Mass

In both Western Rite Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism (EF and OF) there are liturgical texts assigned for nearly every day’s Mass.  The “nearly” is because sometimes it’s a repetition of the previous Sunday’s mass. It is beneficial for the layperson who cannot get to church on a given day to pray and meditate on those texts as a way to practice the faith and stay “in communion” with the Church even when not being able to get to Mass.

The method suggested below is based on the “Missa Sicca” or “Dry Mass” which was used in earlier days (up til the mid 16th Century) by priests who could not, for one reason or another, get to say Mass on a given day. It is combined with a few prayers from another source of devotions during Mass. Until about 100 years ago it was popular piety for the laity to participate in mass by saying vernacular prayers appropriate to what was happening at the altar.

Below you will find a private, devotional method for “Praying the Mass” that should be usable by both Western Rite and Roman Catholic readers, be the latter participants in a Latin Mass community or a Novus Ordo community. I have used various Prayers at Mass from a book called The Key of Heaven, printed in the mid 1930s with the Imprimatur of the then-Bishop of Indianapolis. I hope the notes make it clear what to do and say – but please let me know if there is anything unclear or if anything seems “Un(o)thodox” in any way. Below the language and Rubrics are for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, by far the most common. However at the end of the page are links to to PDFs for downloading for the Extraordinary Form and for Western Rite Orthodox.
A form of
Missa Sicca for Lay Use
when unable to attend Mass
(in the Ordinary Form).
Begin with the sign of the Cross, saying:
✠ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If one is appointed for the day, say the Entrance Antiphon from the Missal. Generally, the days of the week use the one for the preceding Sunday. You may skip this.
Then this prayer:
O my God, though I cannot draw near to your altar at this time I do so now spiritually to gain new strength and vigor to my soul’ separate me from those unbelievers who have no trust in you, grant me that grace which comforts me when the remembrance of my sins afflicts me and casts me down; that grace which lets me know there is an everlasting refuge in your goodness and that you are always ready to forgive even our greatest sins. Amen.
Say this prayer from the Penitential Rite:
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, And, striking your breast, say: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Then say the Kyrie.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy upon us.
Make an act of Contrition:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
If it is appointed for the day then say the Gloria here. (Omit during Advent and Lent.)
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Say the Collect or prayer of the day from your Missal. You can also find it online.
Before the Epistle or any Lessons say this prayer:
May you be eternally praised and blessed, O Lord,  for having communicated your Spirit to the holy prophets and apostles, disclosing to them admirable secrets, redounding to you glory and our great good. We firmly believe their word, because it is yours. Give us, we beg, the happiness to understand from the Church, by their instructions, what is profitable, and grace to practice the same all our lives. Amen.
Read the lessons for Mass from your missal.  If you have any lessons assigned before the Epistle, read them as well, and then the Epistle and Gospel of the day.  Include any Responsorial Psalms, Graduals, and Alleluias. If there are any collects or prayers appointed between the readings (as there may be on certain fasting days) say those as well.
After the Alleluia and before the Gospel say this prayer:
May you be ever adored and praised, O Lord, who, not content to instruct and inform us by the prophets and apostles. You have even vouchsafed to speak to us by your only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, commanding us, by a voice from heaven, to hear HIm: grant us, O Merciful God, the grace to profit by His divine and heavenly doctrine. All that is written of you, dread Jesus, in your gospel, is truth itself: nothing but wisdom in your actions; power and goodness in your miracles; light and instruction in your words. With you, sacred redeemer, are the words of eternal life: to whom shall we go, but to you, eternal Fountain of Truth! Give me, O God, grace to practice what you command, and command what you will.
After the Gospel, makes these acts of Faith, Hope, and Love as follows (On Sundays or Feast days say, also, the Nicene Creed using your familiar form):
Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.
Act of Hope
O my God, I hope by your grace for the pardon of all my sins and after life here to gain eternal happiness because you have promised it who are infinitely powerful, faithful, kind, and merciful. In this hope I intend to live and die. Amen.
Act of Love
O my God, I love you above all things and I love my neighbor for your sake because you are the highest, infinite and perfect good, worthy of all my love. I forgive all who have injured me and I beg pardon of all whom I have injured. In this love I intend to live and die. Amen.

Then, having prepared yourself with all the foregoing, make a Spiritual Communion using this or another form.
I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of your altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers you your own adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank you, imploring your mercy, invoking your assistance, and presenting you the homage I owe you as my Creator, the love due you as my Savior.
At your feet, O my Jesus, I prostrate myself and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which is humbled in its nothingness and in your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I desire to receive you into the poor dwelling that my heart offers you. While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I wish to possess you in spirit. As you came once to the house of Zacchaeus, come to me, O my Jesus. I, for my part, am coming to you! May your love embrace my whole being in life and in death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. Amen.
Then end with the following prayers:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
✠ In the Name of the Father &c. Amen.
Here are downloadable PDFs of for use in the Orthodox Western Rite, and the Roman Rite in the Extraordinary Form (the TLM 1962), and the Ordinary Form

The Rosary: The Transfiguration

In the Mystery of the Transfiguration, God is revealed as he really is: a human man, fully divine, enfleshed, and loving us so dearly. In the Transfiguration the Son of God is revealed as God the Son. There are some religions that insist the divine has no body. They are wrong and are denying Christ who is God and Man in spite: those statements coming after God’s Incarnation are a rejection of God.

The Transfiguration also reveals man as he really is: fully participating in the divine dance, as was intended to be our place before the Fall. Through Christ, the human and divine united, we are made one with God’s divine energies but not his essence: Christ alone bears both humanity and divinity in full without loss or commingling. The only thing he doesn’t carry is sin.

The Transfiguration reveals to his disciples, as the hymns show, that this is God and all that he does he does of his own will.

In praying this Mystery, I add “… who was Transfigured on Tabor” after the Holy Name.

The Fourth Luminous Mystery:
The Transfiguration of Christ on the Mountain

Let us contemplate in this mystery how Jesus is Transfigured on Mount Tabor; speaking with Moses and Elijah, Our Lord appears in radiance, and then the other two – symbolizing the Law and the Prophets – fade away. Christ is Lord of the Living and the Dead, of the Law and the Prophets.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

When Thou wast transfigured before Thy Crucifixion, O Lord, the mount resembled heaven, and a cloud spread out like a canopy, and the Father bore witness unto Thee. And there were present with Peter, James and John, since they were to be with Thee at Thy Betrayal; so that seeing Thy wonders they might not be dismayed at Thy sufferings.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

When Thou wast transfigured, O Savior, on a high mountain, in the presence of Thy chief Disciples, Thou didst shine forth in glory, symbolizing that they who are recognized for the sublimity of virtue, shall also be made worthy of divine glory.
Hail, Mary, &c.

The mountain which was thick with smoke of old hath become now honorable and holy; for that Thy feet did rest on it, O Lord, for the mystery hidden before the ages, Thy Transfiguration before Peter, James and John hath made manifest.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Moses and Elijah, when they conversed with Christ, made manifest that He was the Lord of the living and the dead, and that He was the God Who spake of old in the law and the Prophets, the same to Whom the voice of the Father did bear witness from a radiant cloud, saying, Him do ye hear; for He it is Who by the Cross hath taken captive Hades bestowed life eternal to the dead.
Hail, Mary, &c.

When Thou didst prefigure Thy Resurrection, O Christ God, Thou didst take Thy three Disciples, Peter, James and John, and with them didst ascend Mount Tabor. And at Thy Transfiguration, O Savior, Mount Tabor was covered with light.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Peter, James, and John, not being able to bear the radiance of Thy face and the splendor of Thy raiment, did fall down on their faces kneeling, and being overcome with astonishment, wondered at the sight of Moses and Elijah conferring with Thee on things that were to befall Thee, while a voice from the Father bore witness, saying, This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Thy Disciples, they threw themselves on the ground, unable to bear the sight of Thy figure that may not be looked upon, O Word. And the angels did minister in fear and awe, while the heavens were affrighted and the earth trembled when they beheld on earth the Lord of Glory.
Hail, Mary, &c.

The servants of the Word, beholding new and wondrous things, and hearing the fatherly voice on Tabor, cried out rejoicing: This is our Savior, the Element of the ancient covenant.
Hail, Mary, &c.

O Thou Holy One Who hast sanctified the whole universe by Thy light, Thou hast been transfigured on a high mountain, and hast shown Thy Disciples Thy might and that Thou shalt deliver the world from transgression. Wherefore, do we cry out to Thee, O compassionate Lord, save our souls.
Hail, Mary, &c.

When, O Christ our God, Thou wast transfigured on the mountain, Thou didst reveal Thy glory to Thy Disciples in proportion as they could bear it. Let Thine everlasting light also enlighten us sinners, through the intercessions of the Theotokos. O Thou Bestower of light, glory to Thee.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Most Blessed Virgin Mary, as thy Son was Transfigured, revealing his glory and the glory of thy maternity, so by thy prayers, help us to be transformed by his divine Passion. Beg him to burn our sins by an immaterial fire, and make us worthy to be filled with his bliss, so that, rejoicing with thee, we may magnify him eternally.

The Rosary: the Preaching of the Kingdom

The Proclamation of the Kingdom is a special mystery because it involves not only Christ and it is not limited in time or space. Anywhere the preaching of Christ is embodied in the world the Kingdom is taking place.  Of course, the Kingdom here is a Mystery, not fully present outside the presence of a Sacrament: an outward and invisible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.  The Church is most assuredly the Kingdom of God on earth just as the Eucharist is really his Flesh and Blood, but it is only the eyes of Faith that can see it and, sometimes, humans can desecrate it, be it an thief stealing hosts or a gunman “claiming God’s will” in violence; a priest giving communion and not watching to see if the host is consumed, or a bishop bringing his boyfriend to Church: there is sin on earth.

And yet the Kingdom of God is proclaimed not as coming, but as here, now.

Sleeper agents, covert operatives.

When you’re at the Post Office and you interact with Grace, when you stand in humility before some perceived “injustice” knowing that you’re working out your salvation, when you reach out in love to some stranger around you – even when “sharing food” is illegal, you’re proclaiming the Kingdom to those around you, you are living in it and holding open a door to invite others in.

Ancient Romans thought Christians were violent revolutions, trying to destroy the state, refusing to participate in a Nationalist religion and thus subverting the blessings bestowed on Rome by the heavens. For this they killed Christians. At one time, Americans were afraid of Catholics holding political office because they claimed that Catholics owe allegiance first to the Vatican.  I pray for the day when such suspicion is raised about any Christian acting in our society and I pray for the day when it really is true for me. Because we’re no where near that now. We are, in the words of Douglas Adams, “Mostly Harmless”.  We’ve caved in to being nice instead of proclaiming the Kingdom.

The verses I’ve chosen are the most clear proclamation of the Kingdom in the Scriptures: the Beatitudes which are sung nearly every Sunday in the Byzantine Liturgy.

The embolism I use in praying this Mystery is “…proclaiming the Kingdom of God in the world…”

The Third Luminous Mystery:
The Preaching of the Kingdom by Christ and the Apostles

Let us contemplate in this mystery how Jesus proclaimed the coming of God’s Kingdom, and his invitation to repent over our sins, and our need to grow in faith.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

In thy Kingdom remember us, O Lord, when thou comest in thy Kingdom.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called the sons of God.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Most Blessed Mother, by thy intercession grant we heed thy Son’s call to repentance and to follow him. Send the grace of the Proclamation of the Kingdom, into our souls, helping us to obey Christ and to live in His kingdom.

The Rosary: The Wedding At Cana

My most sincere apologies for the lateness of this post – it should have happened on Sunday!

This mystery is about the Wedding at Cana: given all the hoopla currently around marriage, I think is a mystery for us all to pray all the time.

It is true that it is from Christ’s presence at Cana that the Church develops a sacramental idea of marriage.  But it is also true that for the longest time marriage was seen as a secular issue with which devout Christians could work out their salvation.  First it was a state of life, governed by the state, which is blessed by the Church – giving it a sacramental grace.  Later it became a sacrament wholly governed by the Church.  But the State has always held so many of the cards in hand, that this state of life has always had risks: when the Byzantine Emperors and the English Kings wanted divorce, churches complied.

But as St Paul says, the Union of a Husband and Wife is a Mystery of Christ and his Church.  This union of opposites, the merger of the two poles of human nature into one flesh, is how God becomes Man to save Man.  At every wedding, inside every measure, God takes our human water – used for washing dishes – and turns it into Divine Wine.

It is exactly in washing dishes that we find salvation with our spouse.

There is no liturgical commemoration (east or west) of the Wedding at Cana outside of every Wedding Ceremony, so I have take parts of the Byzantine Rite of crowning and marriage.  It’s important to know: in the ER there is no vow. It is the blessing of the priest  – more correctly, God’s response to that blessing – that makes the marriage happen, just as it is his blessing that makes the Eucharist.

Mary’s place here is important for she prays her son to do something.  And he listens to his mother.  From this we draw the idea that she is our Intercessor and Mediatrix before the Divine Throne.

The embolism I use for this:

...blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, who heard thy prayers at the Wedding in Cana, changing water into wine. Holy Mary…

The Second Luminous Mystery:
Christ at the Wedding in Cana

Let us contemplate in this mystery the presence of Mary and Jesus in the Wedding Feast at Cana and how Jesus through the intercession of Mary, performed his first miracle and changed water into wine.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

The Eternal God, brought into unity what had been separated and establish an unbreakable bond of agreement; blessing Isaac and Rebecca, and declared them to be the heirs of thy promise.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Lord our God betrothed himself to the Church from the nations as a pure virgin.
Hail, Mary, &c.

The Lord our God in the beginning created male and female, and it is by you that woman is linked to man as a helper and for the continuation of the human race.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Our God most pure transformed the rib of our forefather Adam into a woman and blessed them saying, “Increase and multiply and have dominion over the earth”.
Hail, Mary, &c.

God declared them both to be one through wedlock, “for because of this a man will abandon his father and mother and be attached to his own wife, and the two shall become one flesh” and “those whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
Hail, Mary, &c.

The Lord blessed Abraham and opened Sara’s womb, making him the father of many nations. God gave Isaac to Rebecca and blessed her offspring. He joined Jacob with Rachel and from him revealed the Twelve Patriarchs.
Hail, Mary, &c.

The Lord accepted Zachary and Elisabeth and declared their offspring to be the Forerunner and God made the Ever-Virgin spring from the root of Jesse according to the flesh, and from her he became incarnate and was born for the salvation of the race of man.
Hail, Mary, &c.

By his ineffable gift and great goodness God was present in Cana of Galilee and blessed the marriage there, to show that lawful wedlock and the begetting of children that comes from it is his divine will.
Hail, Mary, &c.

The Lord our God is the sacred Celebrant of the mystical and most pure marriage, Lawgiver of bodily marriage, Guardian of incorruption, loving Steward of our livelihood.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and were crowned, intercede with the Lord to have mercy on our souls. Glory to thee, Christ God, boast of Apostles, joy of Martyrs whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Most holy Virgin Mother of God and our mother, as thou wert present with thy divine Son at the wedding of Cana where he heard thy prayers for the young couple, so pray for all thy children united in the sacrament of matrimony that they may be preserved in peace and concord who have been joined to each another. Pray that their marriage be honourable; keep their marriage bed undefiled; and that their life together to be without spot; ask your Son that they may reach a ripe old age, carrying out his commandments with a pure heart.

The Rosary: The Baptism of Christ

In the East this event is commemorated on 6 January, which feast is called the Theophany, or manifestation of God.  In the West the Baptism of Our Lord is commemorated on 13 January: the Octave Day of Epiphany, which feast commemorates the coming of the Magi and the manifestation of the Messiah to the Gentiles. The Byzantine texts celebrate this feast not just as the manifestation of the Messiah but as a full manifestation of the Trinity: with the voice of the Father and the descent of the Holy Ghost in the form of the dove.  This feast then – not just to the Gentiles – but to everyone – is the first full revelation of the One God as a Trinity of Love, the passing of the old covenant, the beginning of the new.

In praying this Mystery, I use the embolism, “Who was baptized in the Jordan by John.

The First Luminous Mystery:
The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan

Let us contemplate in this mystery the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, the descending of the Holy Ghost upon him and the Father’s voice saying, “This is my beloved Son, in him I am well pleased”.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

Make ready, O Zebulon, and prepare, O Nephtali: River Jordan, cease thy flow and receive with joy the Master coming to be baptized. Adam rejoice with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in Paradise. Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

When the Forerunner saw Him Who is our Illumination, Who doth illuminate every man, coming, to be baptized, his soul rejoiced, and his hand trembled.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Behold the Rescuer of Israel, Who delivereth us from corruption. Wherefore, O Christ our God, Who art sinless, glory to Thee.
Hail, Mary, &c.

The hosts of the angels trembled when they beheld our Redeemer being baptized by a servant, and testified to by the presence of the Spirit, while a heavenly voice from the Father cried,saying, Verily, this One on whom the Forerunner placeth his hands, is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.
Hail, Mary, &c.

The courses of the Jordan received Thee, O Fountain; and the Comforter descended in the likeness of a dove.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Yea, He Who bowed the heavens, boweth His own head; and the clay crieth unto the potter, saying, How dost thou command me to do what is more exalted than my station? It is I who need to be baptized by Thee.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Thou didst bow Thy head to the Forerunner, thereby crushing the heads of the dragons. And having stood in the streams, Thou didst illuminate the whole creation. Wherefore, let it glorify Thee, O Savior, Thou Illumination of our souls.
Hail, Mary, &c.

When Thou didst choose to save lost man, Thou didst not disdain to put on the likeness of a servant; for it was meet for Thee, O Lord God, to accept what is ours for our sakes; for when Thou wast baptized in the flesh, O Redeemer, Thou didst make us worthy of forgiveness.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Thou didst appear, O our Savior, to sinners and tax-gatherers out of the multitude of Thy mercy; for where else would Thy light shine but to those who sit in darkness? Wherefore, glory to Thee.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Today the nature of water is sanctified, and the Jordan is cloven, and its waters shall be withheld from flowing; the Master being shown washed therein.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Most Blessed Mother, by thy prayers, beg thy Son to bury us with him in death that we may be raised to walk with him in newness of life; pour upon us the Holy Ghost so that we may be strengthened and guided ever to him and to you, turning away from our sins and running the race set before us.

The Luminous Mysteries: Introduction

To the standard 15 Decades of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II suggested another 5, the Mysteries of Light or the Luminous Mysteries. He did this in his letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae on 16 October 2002.  Whilst these have been accepted by Roman Catholics, they are not in very common use by other Christians who prefer to stick with the “traditional Rosary”.   These five “new” mysteries are:

  1. The Baptism of Christ
  2. The Wedding of Cana
  3. The Preaching of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration
  5. The Mystical Supper

It may surprise some Orthodox – even those Byzantine Rite folks generally supportive of the Western Rite and also Western Rite folks in general – to hear that I advocate the use of John Paul the Second’s “innovation”.  I do so for three reasons:

  1. It does (as the Pope said) expand this devotion to encompass the whole life of Christ.
  2. It expands the meditation to the Holy Sacraments.
  3. It makes (by both 1 & 2 together) the entire meditation more Orthodox.
1. The Whole Life of Christ
The existing 15 Mysteries focus our attention on the Birth and the Death and Resurrection of Christ, but it is the entire presence of God with us that is salvific.  These five new mysteries widen out the scope of the prayer to teach that every action of God from the Annunciation (and before) to the Glorification (and beyond) was part of our salvation.

2. The Holy Sacraments
Each one of the Luminous mysteries seems, to me, to point to one of five Sacraments:

  1. The Baptism of Christ – Our Baptism
  2. The Wedding of Cana – Holy Matrimony
  3. The Preaching of the Kingdom of God – Holy Orders
  4. The Transfiguration – Confirmation/Chrismation
  5. The Mystical Supper – The Holy Eucharist
I recognize that #4 is a stretch, but we’re talking poetic meditation here, not doctrinal teaching. 
3. More Orthodox
If the main objection Orthodox have to the Rosary (as I have heard) is not “it’s Roman Catholic” but rather “too Western” (whatever that means), I think the addition of the Mysteries of Light fixes that.  They remove the focus from all the “sad stuff”, widening it out to “all the stuffs”.  It makes it a more holistic discussion of the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of the God-Man, or, to use a mid-century modern phrase, the Christ Event.   
Those of you who didn’t drop your reading device at the end of the last paragraph are begged to pray for me.  I will wrap up this intro now and on Wednesday begin the last five posts in this series.
Those of you who have asked for one of my hand-made Rosaries will get one when the series is done!