How to Celebrate the New Year with the Mother of God

Mary, Mother of God

Your New Year’s Resolutions can be fortified to last the whole year through by asking for the intercession of the Mother of God on New Year’s Day.

As January dawns with new beginnings – that new calendar, those new goals for personal fitness, the new hopes and dreams for our jobs and families – placing those aspirations before the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, brings new graces into our lives.

Celebrate the New Year with the Mother of God

For Catholics, January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.  There is an ancient tradition of reciting the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus to help us with all of our new endeavors and plans for the year 2023.

It also comes with a plenary indulgence by reciting or singing the hymn on the first day of the year. The help us in this effort please download your New Years Mother of God Jan 1 Prayer Card.

The familiar first lines of the hymn show us the intercession of the Holy Spirit in any undertaking: 

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,

and in our souls take up Thy rest;

come with Thy grace and heavenly aid

to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

This hymn is traditionally sung or recited for all new beginnings and endeavors, such as  a new project, new job, school year, mission, retreat, or any similar undertaking. 

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it anytime of the year. However, a plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost.

What is an indulgence? 

An indulgence is an abundance of God’s mercy that gives aid for conversion and eternal happiness. While sins are forgiven through the sacrament of penance there is a kind of punishment still due the sinner, called temporal punishment. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1471)

“God’s fatherly love “does not exclude chastisement, even though this always should be understood in the context of a merciful justice which reestablishes the order violated,” said the late St. John Paul II in a general audience in 1999. 

The “temporal” punishment that remains after forgiveness is a grace aimed at wiping away the “residues of sin,” offering the reformed sinner the chance of complete healing through “a journey of purification” that can take place in this life or in purgatory. (CCC #1473)

How to get an indulgence on the Feast Day of the Mother of God

Practicing this tradition on New Year’s Day gives our temporal affairs a spiritual and firm foundation. The Gospel speaks about making good choices: “every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24.)

To gain the indulgence: 

Recite or sing the Veni Creator Spiritus on New Year’s Day with the following conditions:

— A spirit detached from sin.

— Receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist  (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)

— Pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.


Image credit: Chapel at Gordevio Villa (Creative commons license wiki mediacommons)