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Magisterial Documents: Orientation and Proposals for the Celebration of the Marian Year

Magisterial Documents: Orientation and Proposals for the Celebration of the Marian Year

The Congregation of Divine Worship Paul Augustine Cardinal Mayer
3 April 1987

Brief History

Orientations and Proposals for the Celebration of the Marian Year was published as a practical help in preparing for the Marian Year proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in a homily on January 1, 1987. The Marian Year was to extend from Pentecost 1987 to Assumption 1988. The purpose of the Marian Year was described in Redemptoris Mater: "to promote a new and more careful reading of what the Council said about the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the mystery of Christ and of the Church ... not only of the doctrine of faith but also of the life of faith, and thus of authentic 'Marian spirituality,' seen in the light of Tradition, and especially the spirituality to which the Council exhorts us. (LG 66-67)" (RM 48)

These directives were sent to the Presidents of the National Liturgical Commissions as "simple indications intended to help make the celebration of the Marian Year fruitful and harmonious from the liturgical point of view." They remain valuable instruments for parish life.


I. Celebration of the Liturgical Year and Marian Year

Primary Importance of the Liturgical Year 1-2
Presence of the Blessed Virgin in the Liturgical Year (Advent, Christmas season, Lent, Eastertide, throughout the year)3
Reevaluating Some Feasts (Annunciation of the Lord, Presentation of the Lord, Birthday of Mary, Assumption) 4
Commemoration of Our Lady's Mass on Saturday (use the "Collection of Masses of the BVM") 5

II. The Blessed Virgin Honored in the Liturgy 6

The Exemplary Value of Liturgical Worship 7-8
The Virgin, Model of the Church in the Practice of Worship 9-10
The Image of the Blessed Virgin Emerging from the Liturgy 11

III. Celebration of the Eucharist and Marian Year 12

The Selection of Texts (The Formulary, Bible Readings, Songs) 13-16
Homily 17
The Universal Prayer 18
Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin in the Eucharistic Prayer 19-20
Final Invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary (the antiphons) 21

IV. Celebration of the Sacraments and the Marian Year 22

The Sacrament of Baptism 23-26
The Sacrament of Confirmation 27-28
The Sacrament of the Eucharist 29-31
The Sacrament of Reconciliation 32-34
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick 35-38
The Sacrament of Orders 39-41
The Sacrament of Marriage (Preparation, During the Ceremony, The Days Following) 42-45

V. Celebration of Liturgy of the Hours and the Marian Year 46-47

Liturgy of the Hours and Marian Devotion 48-49
The Singing of Vespers on Sundays and the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin 50
VI. Practices of Devotion and the Marian Year 51-56
Pious Devotions Recommended by the Magisterium (Biblical Inspiration, Angelus and Regina Caeli, Rosary, Litanies, Marian Months, 57-65
Marian Expressions of "Popular Religiosity" (Values, Evangelization, Orientation towards the Liturgy, Popular Dimensions of the Liturgy 66-72

VII. The Shrines and the Marian Year 73

The Cathedral Church 74
Exemplary Functions of the Shrines (The exercise of charity) 75
The Pilgrimage 77-79
Celebration of the Eucharist and Penance 80-82
Blessings 83-85
Consecrations, Membership in Confraternities, the Giving of Scapulars 86-88
Votive Offerings 89-90
Catechesis on the Blessed Virgin 91
Iconography 92


AAS 79 (1987): 361-433;
St Paul Editions, 1987
Vatican Translation

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2005.

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