CHURCH PREPARES FOR NEW MAJOR MARIAN FEAST

June 29, 2018

FIRST FEAST OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP FALLS ON CANADA DAY

The Church around the world prepares to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help which was decided upon by the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and promulgated by the Head of the Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav at the end of last year. One of the most popular images of the Mother of God throughout the world - venerated by eastern and western Christians alike - the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was entrusted into the care of the missionary congregation of the Redemptorist Fathers. The Redemptorists promoted the icon and associated devotions around the world and last year marked the 150th anniversary since the icon was formally 'crowned' by Pope Pius IX and entrusted to the Redemptorist Fathers to spread throughout the world. Certainly the anniversary last year was a factor in encouraging some bishops to propose the Feast at last year's Synod. The Synod Fathers saw a great value in the devotions related to the miraculous Icon throughout history that eventually spread to almost all Ukrainian Catholic congregations throughout the world. They saw a further value in establishing a major annual celebration of the central place that the Theotokos (the 'God-bearer' i.e. Mother of God) has in the spiritual life of the Church - as wonderfully expressed by an ancient image of Mary as one who never ceases helping her Son's followers who turn to her for help.

From the time when the feast had been declared on 11 December 2017, the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission began work on a full text of 'propers' to be used in all the liturgical services surrounding the feast. This means all the "special" or changeable parts for: Vespers, Matins, the Hours and the Divine Liturgy. These texts were completed and approved for use throughout the Church just a week ago in Kyiv on Thursday, 20 June 2018.

For the full Ukrainian language text of propers for the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, please click [HERE]

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What follows below is an unofficial English language translation of the Sunday Divine Liturgy propers….

Sunday Tropar, then the Festal tropar:

(Tone 7) Mother of God and virgin, we honour your glory, we implore your aid, we venerate your miraculous icon. You are the Mother of Grace, you are the hope of the world; do not spurn our prayer in our hardship, and liberate us from all misfortune.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

(Sunday Kondak)

Now and for ever and ever. Amen

(Festal Kondak):

(Tone 6) Our Mother, our Perpetual Help, grant us faithfulness in times of anxiety, relief for our pain, comfort in our sorrows, help in our struggles. Grant unity to Christians, zeal to those who serve the Church, forgiveness for sinners, perseverance for the righteous, salvation for the dying, and obtain purification and eternal glory for the souls in purgatory.

Prokimen (Sunday and then Feastday): My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Saviour!

Verse: Because He has regarded the humility of His handmaid; for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Epistle (Sunday and then Feastday): Hebrews 9:1-7

Alleluia (Sunday and then Feastday): Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear.

Verse: The rich among the people shall entreat your countenance.

Gospel: (Sunday and then Feastday): Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28

Instead of "It is fitting": My soul magnifies the Mother of God of Perpetual Help!

Irmos (Tone 8): At the foot of the cross we heard the words of counsel, that you are our Mother and we are your children. Therefore, having gathered today, we sincerely ask: take beneath your perpetual protection the Church and our people, for it is with faith and love that we glorify you as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Communion verse (first for Sunday and then the Feastday): I will take the chalice of salvation; and call upon the name of the Lord! Alleluia (3)


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