Audio: Listen to A Hymn for the Visitation chanted.
Now in holy celebration sing we of that Mother blest,
In whose flesh for men’s salvation God incarnate deigned to rest,
When a kindred salutation named in faith the mystic Guest.
Lo, the advent Word confessing,
Spake for joy the voice yet dumb,
Through his mother’s lips addressing
Her, of motherhood the sum,
Bow’r of beauty, blest and blessing,
Crowned with fruit of life to come.
“Whence,” she cried, at that fair meeting,
“Comes to me this great reward?
For when I first heard the greeting
Of the Mother of my Lord,
In my womb, the joy repeating,
Leapt my babe in sweet accord.”
Lo, at that glad commendation joy found voice, in Mary’s breast
While in holy exultation she her Maker’s power confessed,
At whose word each generation now henceforward names her blest.
Triune Godhead, health supplying, Ruler of eternity,
On the Fount of Grace relying, we uplift our hearts to Thee,
Praying that in realms undying we at one with Life may be.
Laud and honor to the Father, laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit, ever Three and ever One,
Consubstantial, coeternal, while unending ages run. Amen.
Festum Matris gloriosae, 15th century, trans. by L. Housman
*An excerpt from The Brotherhood Prayer Book
*The fresco above is from the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, Germany, the same location of our fresco notecard artwork and several of our Christmas cards.