The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be observed in a celebration of High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, New Haven, this Sunday, December 8, at 2:00 p.m. The Reverend Matthew Mauriello will be the celebrant, and the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society will sing the Gregorian chant and polyphony for the service.
Although the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady was defined as dogma by Pope Pius IX on 8 December 1854, the veneration of Mary’s spotless holiness is far more ancient. The feast was observed in the East from the 8th century, in Ireland from the ninth, and in England from the eleventh.
As we anticipate the birth of Our Lord on Christmas, let us rejoice with the cry of admiration that the Church puts in our lips in the liturgy: “Tota pulchra es, Maria! – Thou art all fair, O Mary, unstained by original sin.” And so, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, coming in the course of Advent, heralds the splendors of the Incarnation of the Redeemer.
Music for the liturgy will include the Gregorian chant ordinary “Missa Marialis (Vatican ed. IX/X, the proper Gregorian chants, polyphonic motets by Guillaume Dufay and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and organ music by Jean Titelouze.