This feast was celebrated by the Franciscans from 1263, and it entered the general Roman calendar in 1389. It was moved from July 2 to May 31 in the calendar revision of 1969. Just after we’ve celebrated the Easter Season, this feast helps to keep us grounded in fact: The risen Christ that we have celebrated for nearly fifty days lived as one of us in a particular place at a particular time with particular relatives whose names we know. The very human everyday story of Mary rushing off to be with her pregnant older relative is not only touching, it is a reminder that our faith is best expressed daily, in ordinary acts of love, mercy, and kindness.

Zephaniah 3:14–18a. The prophet promises to a post-Exilic Jerusalem that is still in ruins that better days are ahead and that God has not abandoned the city or its people. In Christian thought, Mary is often pictured as Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God.

Romans 12:9–16. Paul offers the community in Rome a list of practical things they need to do to show that their faith is real.

Canticle of the Day: Isaiah 12:2–3, 4bcd, 5–6
Isaiah sings of his trust in God and invites Jerusalem to join in praising God’s mighty deeds.

Surely God Is My Salvation (Chant)  BFW 136
Ustedes Sacarán Agua (García)  FYC 282
Ustedes Sacarán Agua/You Will Draw Water Joyfully  JS 116
We Shall Draw Water Joyfully (Inwood)  GP 288/JS 117
With Joy You Shall Draw Water (Haugen)  GC 148/GC2 81
You Will Draw Water (Sullivan) WC 351

Luke 1:39–56. For Luke, this homely story of two pregnant women visiting each other is much more than it appears. Both women appear as prophets—Elizabeth helped by the child in her womb and Mary singing a chant that echoes several of the chants attributed to women in the Hebrew Bible, especially the Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-11).

Other Songs for the Liturgy
While it is tempting to schedule a sung version of the Magnificat today, it might be best to use other hymns, since that full text is proclaimed as part of the Gospel. However, some of the suggestions offered here include another part of the Gospel text—Elizabeth’s greeting, incorporated into the “Ave Maria.”

A Litany to Our Lady  CH 311
All Who Claim the Faith of Jesus  CH 321/GC 787
Ave Maria  CH 326/GC 789/GC2 772, 774/GP 429/JS 493, 504/LMGM 95/WC 972/WOR 713
Be Joyful, Mary  CH 328/GC 426/GC2 460/GP 398/JS 432/WC 568/WOR 450
Daily, Daily Sing to Mary  CH 313/JS 492/WC 973
Dios Te Salve, María (Sosa)  FYC 445
Dios Te Salve, María (Tradicional)  FYC 454
Hail Mary, Gentle Woman  GC 974/GC2 779/GP 426/JS 489
Let Us with Joy Our Voices Raise  WOR 715
O Chosen One  GP 435
O Mary of Graces  CH 332
O Mary of Promise  GC2 781/WC 975
Salamu Maria  LMGM 98
Surely It Is God Who Saves Me  WOR 584