The Feast of the Visitation

Throughout the world, churches are celebrating Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth. Here are some resources for your own celebration:

Scriptures for the Day:

1 Samuel 2:1-10
Psalm 113
Romans 12:9-16b
Luke 1:39-57

From Common Prayer:

On May 31, the church celebrates Mary’s visit with her cousin Elizabeth, after she had learned from the angel Gabriel that she was carrying the creator of the universe in her womb. Elizabeth was herself pregnant with John the Baptist at the time, and the gospel account tells us that he leapt for joy inside his mother when she embraced Mary. The joy of these two hosts?—??Mary and Elizabeth?—??is a reminder to us of the delight that comes when we practice hospitality, inviting God to come right into our lives.

From Mission St. Clare:

After the angel Gabriel had announced to Mary that she was to become the mother of Our Lord, Mary went from Galilee to Judea to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth, soon to be the mother of John the Baptist. This visit is recorded inLuke 1:39-56. Elizabeth greeted Mary with the words, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Mary burst forth with the song of praise which we call the Magnificat, beginning, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” We are told that even John the Baptist, still unborn, leaped for joy in his mother’s womb. Thus we are shown, side by side, the two women, one seemingly too old to have a child, but destined to bear the last prophet of the Old Covenant, of the age that was passing away; and the other woman, seemingly not ready to have a child, but destined to bear the One Who was Himself the beginning of the New Covenant, the age that would not pass away.


Father in heaven, by your grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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