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, forever and ever.
1 Samuel 2:1-10; Psalm 113; Romans 12:9-16b; Luke 1:39-57
This holiday commemorates the events described in the Gospel reading: Mary visits Elizabeth and they rejoice together and prophecy concerning one another’s miraculously-conceived babies (Mary’s because she was a virgin, and Elizabeth’s because she was old and barren). The Psalm and Old Testament reading contain expressions of praise that apply directly to Elizabeth and Mary. With their example in place, the Epistle reading then drives home the teaching that when we love one another it must be sincere, particularly in the inclusion of the poor and lowly. The Collect, taking a similar line of thought, celebrates the great grace that was bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary while pointing us to live in a similar manner of humility before God’s will.