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Nearly every Marian prayer has these two movements

Fra Angelico, The Annunciation

Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 02/25/24

Whenever the Church sings a Marian hymn or prays a Marian prayer, there are almost always two distinct parts to it.

If you have ever paid close attention to the Church’s Marian hymns and prayers, there exists a particular pattern to each of them.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church separates the pattern into two distinct “movements”:

Beginning with Mary’s unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries. In countless hymns and antiphons expressing this prayer, two movements usually alternate with one another.

CCC 2675

Magnifying the Lord

[T]he first “magnifies” the Lord for the “great things” he did for his lowly servant and through her for all human beings.

CCC 2675

The Magnificat as well as the Hail Mary both contain this first movement.

Intercessory prayer

[T]he second entrusts the supplications and praises of the children of God to the Mother of Jesus, because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the Son of God espoused.

CCC 2675

Again, the Hail Mary is a perfect example of this second movement, ending the prayer with, “Pray for us sinners..”

While these two movements are not in every single Marian prayer, this pattern is repeated over and over again in many of the Church’s most popular prayers.

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CCC PrayerPrayerVirgin Mary
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