St. Stephen's Episcopal Church Oak Harbor

By God's Grace, All Are Welcome

Hey Bill, Tell Us Something Cool: December 2021

Hey, Bill, Tell Us Something Cool:  December 2021






          Advent is the blue season.  Blue is Mary’s color and Advent is built around Mary and her pregnancy.  Expectation, reflection, apprehension and all the rest derive from Mary’s circumstance. 


          On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we read of Mary’s visit with her elderly cousin Elizabeth, whose child, John, leaps in her womb upon Mary’s arrival.  Elizabeth’s response is to offer Mary benediction, “Blessed are you among women…”  Mary, herself pregnant, responds. Her response, which has come to be called “Magnificat,” is rooted in the song offered generations earlier by Hannah, in anticipation of the birth of her son, Samuel.


          This prayer/poem is in homage to these two women and their stories.

 *  *  *  *

Hannah’s Lineage

Hear us, Mary, holy mother of God,

from our secret heart,

from our shadowed corner,

amid our tears and deepest laughter,

hear us.

And by your intercession,

commend us to the Holy One

whose joy and blessing eternally surprise us.


Hail, Mary, full of grace,

full of hope

full of joy

full of courage.


Hail, Mary, child, so young,

a child,

bearing for us a child



and, by the common standards,



You sing the ancient song of Hannah,

forebear, foremother;

open, acquiescing, powerful,

singing to the promise-keeping God.


You, a child/woman, pregnant,

without station,

without place,

without claim;

on the margin,

singing from the edge, from the outside,

from the boundary, from the precipice,



A child/woman, pregnant,

without station,

without place,

without claim;



singing of the gift of life-bearing,

anticipating its life-pain,

announcing the politics of God.


Your body given for our sake,

for the sake of the Nations,

who would call upon the Name of your child,

and be saved.


Blessed are you among women,

blessed are you among men,

blessed is the fruit of your womb.


Hear us, Mary, holy mother of God,

and by your intercession

commend us and all creation

to the Holy One,

whose joy and blessing raise us up.


Hail, Mary.


[I Samuel 2.1-10 and Luke 1.46-55]







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Ponderings and Proclamations