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Star of the Sea, Votive Mass

Star of the Sea, Votive Mass

Q: Is there a votive Mass to Our Lady of the Sea?

A: The Marian title "Star of the Sea" is quite popular among seafarers (see YQ: What is the origin of Mary's title "Star of the Sea"). There is also a votive mass granted by the Congregation for Divine Worship to the Aposolatus Maris and priests associated with the Apostolate of the Sea.

Confirmation of the Proper Text for the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea

On August 29, 1995, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops received the decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated August 2, 1995, confirming the proper English text for the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea. This Mass is intended for use by those engaged in the Apostolate of the Sea. The following is an unofficial translation of that decree:

Prot. 93/95/L
United States of America

At the request of His Excellency William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, President of the Conference of Bishops in the United States of America, contained in a letter dated December 28, 1994, and in virtue of the faculty granted to this Congregation by the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, we gladly confirm, ad interim and for a period of tree years, the English text of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, for use by priests associated with the Apostolate of the Sea, as given in the attached example.

When the text is printed, this entire decree, by which the request to the Apostolic See has been confirmed, is to be included. Two copies of the printed text should be sent to this Congregation.

From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, August 2, 1995.

Archbishop Gerardo M. Agnelo
Mario Lessi-Ariosto, S.J.


(The text of this votive Mass is taken from Prayer Book for Catholic Seafarers by Father C.C. Martindale, S.J. For many years the Mass was used on the Second Sunday in May which was designated, in many parts of the world as Stella Maris Sunday. The readings from Sacred Scripture are taken from the New American Bible translation. Since the published text did not have a Response following the first Reading this editor has made this Response based on Psalm 107 which had previously been used in the Tract of the Mass composed before the Second Vatican Council. The editor recommends that permission of the local Ordinary be obtained before using this text.)


O Lord, Our Lord, how admirable is your name in all the earth.

Or: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel.


O God, you have willed that Mary should shine forth as the Star of the Sea and protectress for us who are tossed about on the stormy waves.

Grant that through her help and direction, we may be safe from dangers of soul and body, reaching the port of eternal happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

FIRST READING: Wisdom 14:3-7

But your providence, O Father guides it, for you have furbished even in the sea a road, and through the waves a steady path. Showing that you can save from any danger, so that even one without skill may embark. But you will that the products of your Wisdom be not idle; therefore men trust their lives even to frailest wood, and have been safe crossing the surge on a raft. For of old, when the proud giants were being destroyed, the hope of the universe, who took refuge on a raft, left to the world a future for his race, under the guidance of Your hand. For blest is the wood through which Justice comes about.

RESPONSE: Psalm 107:23-30

Response: They who sailed the sea in ships saw the works of the Lord.

They who sailed the sea in ships, trading on the deep water, these saw the works of the Lord and his wonders in the abyss.


His command raised up a storm wind which tossed its waves on high.
They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths; their hearts melted away in their plight.


They reeled and staggered like drunken men, and all their skill was swallowed up. They cried to the Lord in their distress, from their straits he rescued them.


He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze, and the billows of the sea were stilled; they rejoiced that they were calmed, and he brought them to their desired haven.



Alleluia. Alleluia

She is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. Alleluia.

GOSPEL: Luke 1:26-28

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, "Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."


Look kindly upon this sacrifice, O Lord, so that we who are weighed down by our sins, may obtain pardon and grace through the intercession of blessed Mary, through Christ our Lord.


We ask, O Lord, that the powerful intercession of your glorious Mother, help us so that, freed from every danger by your continuous blessings, we may under her motherly watchfulness be united in fraternal charity. You, who lives and reigns with God, the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.

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