Advent: A Marian Time

An old Slovakian carol invites us to “See how the Virgin waits for Him.” During Advent it can be very refreshing to focus on the person of the Blessed Mother, with perhaps a Marian prelude or Communion meditation each week.

The hymn “Mary the Dawn” might be particularly appropriate.

Or here is something that may be new to many–but can be found in the St. Gregory Hymnal.

10 Replies to “Advent: A Marian Time”

  1. A lot of Marian music in Advent is a consideration. 4th Sunday, and the two big feasts certainly.

    I'm less convinced about the first three Sundays: there's a consistent pattern in the Lectionary and in the Antiphonary (which is harmonized for the first time in six months) focusing on the end times, and then the ministry of John the Baptist through third Sunday. If my musicians were looking to Marian music, I would steer them to the Sundays and feasts of Christmas rather than Advent.

    And unless your parish prays Compline regularly, I certainly would think about employing Alma Redemptoris Mater … some setting … any setting of it.


  2. Both a Marian solemnity (for the patroness of the US) and a Marian feast (for the patroness of the Americas) during the second week of Advent. Is this a mere coincidence, since the reasons for those dates are not because they fall in Advent–at least not directly? Or is it liturgically meaningful? I'll keep thinking the latter. Should the great feasts of the calendar and of our patrons inform the Sunday Mass? Yes.

    The Alma Mater is of course appropriate, but the Ave Maria, based as it is on two Gospel passages each read during Advent every year, belongs to the season as well.

    The whole dealio with the end times–that's another kettle of fish altogether.

  3. Many years ago I saw a reasonable critique of "Mary the Dawn," and I don't remember if it was a criticism of the words or the music. Anyone else have a problem with it?

  4. First, thank you for bringing this to my attention. The St. Greg's version of the Archedelt Ave Maria is 200B (The Franck is 200C) and a step lower (Eb) than most online versions I've seen. I will use both at some point during Advent (Franck as solo, Archedelt as choral). However, I think I'll not roll out my Ave Maria-parade as I'd been thinking. Just a dash here and there.

  5. JohnO, I've become a huge fan of whomever arranged the Arcadelt found in Noel Jones Choirbook Anthology v.1. I believe it's also via CPDL.
    If I had the horses, my favorite arrangement of AMStella is the Norwegian Trond Kverno's, with Grieg's a close second.

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