Anglican churches are dedicated to the Glory of God, but are traditionally named after; a Patron Saint, Jesus Christ, The Trinity or a significant ministry event in the life of Jesus. The members of that church would traditionally in their life of prayer and worship, seek to follow in the footsteps or learn from the life of their patron saint. The Blessed Virgin Mary, commonly known as St. Mary or Our Lady, has had many prayers and devotions created that use her life and witness in scripture, to center and still the hearts of Christians that we may draw closer to God’s blessings and detach ourselves from the burdens and weights we carry.
You will find below some of the traditional prayers associated with the life of St. Mary. These Marian Devotions are mostly attributed to different religious communities (convents and monastaries) who would recite different prayers at different times of day. Please feel welcome to use these prayers as they speak to you, whenever you may need them.
THE HAIL MARY
The first two lines of this prayer are the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, when he announces that she is with child (Luke 1:28). The second two lines are the words of Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary, when both are with child (Luke 1:42). The last for lines come to us from deep in history, from where and from whom we do not know.
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
This prayer is often said at noon and at six in the evening, and sometimes church bells ring to remind us it is being said. It can be prayed with others or individually. When praying with others, “V” is the verse the leader says and “R” is the response that all make. The “Hail Mary” is included at intervals within this larger prayer. The Angelus reminds us that God became a human being, taking on our flesh and redeeming us, body and soul. It is customary to bow one’s head when you come to the words, “And the Word became flesh.”
V. The angel spoke God’s message to Mary,
R. and she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
V. Hail, Mary …
R. Holy Mary …
V. “I am the lowly servant of the Lord:
R. let it be done to me according to your word.”
V. Hail, Mary …
R. Holy Mary …
V. And the Word became flesh
R. and lived among us.
V. Hail, Mary …
R. Holy Mary…
V. Prayer for us, holy Mother of God,
R. that we may become worthy of the promises of Christ.
V. Let us pray.
fill our hearts with your grace:
once, through the message of an angel
you revealed to us the incarnation of your Son;
now, through his suffering and death
lead us to the glory of his resurrection.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
This prayer is ascribed to Saint Bernard, a holy monk who lived in the 12th century. This name is Latin and means “Remember.”
Remember, most loving Virgin Mary,
never was it heard
That anyone who turned to you for help
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
though burdened by my sins,
I run to your protection
for you are my mother.
Mother of the Word of God,
do not despise my words of pleading
but be merciful and hear my prayer.
HAIL, HOLY QUEEN
From medieval times, the final prayer of the day was to be directed to the Mother of God. Like a mother, God will watch and protect us as we sleep.
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To you we cry, the children of Eve;
to you we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this land of exile.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us:
lead us home at last
and show us the blessed fruit
of your womb, Jesus:
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
The Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Latin Christian Hymn and Prayer to Mary, which portrays her suffering as Jesus Christ’s mother during his crucifixion. The title comes from its first line, “Stabat Mater dolorosa,” which means “the sorrowful mother was standing”. The Stabat Mater has been set to music by many Western composers, most famously by; Palestrina, Vivaldi, Haydn, Rossini, Antonín Dvořák, Verdi and others. Please enjoy this English translation from Edward Caswall, penned in 1848.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?
For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:
She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:
Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:
By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;
Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.
Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;
While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.
– Translation by Edward Caswall, (1849)