Sancta Dei Genetrix, ora pro nobis!
The great Akathistos hymn to the Theotokos ends with these words:
"O Mother whom all must hymn, O thou who hast brought forth the Word most holy beyond all the holiest, take our present offering, keep all from every hurt, and deliver from all wrath to come those who cry to thee: Alleluia!"
Today as we begin a new year, that is our prayer and our hope and I entrust myself to Blessed Mary's Motherly protection. Like the Babe who lies cradled in her arms, I too run to her and ask to be embraced as her son, to be protected by her love, sheltered by her mantle, guided by her example and led to her Son, our Lord and Saviour.
Inspired then by the Akathistos hymn, I offer this hymn from the Dominican Breviary, Quem terra, pontus, aethera to Our Blessed Mother:
The Ruler of their triple frame -
He unto whom their praises rise,
Within the womb of Mary lies.
Her womb, the seat of every grace,
Is now the Lord's abiding place -
That Lord to whom the sun by day,
The moon by night, their service pay.
O happy Mother that thou art!
Close underneath thy beating heart
Lies thy Creator God, who planned
The world He holds within His hand.
Blest by the herald angel's tongue,
O'er thee God's shadowing Spirit hung,
And filled thy womb whence issued forth
The long-desired of the earth.
O Mary, Mother of all grace,
Mother of mercy to our race,
Protect us now from Satan's power,
And own us at life's closing hour.
All glory be to Thee, O Lord,
A Virgin's Son, by all adored:
And equal praise forever greet
The Father and the Paraclete."