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Catholic Activity: Nameday Ideas for the Birth of Mary


  • Birthday Cake (see suggestions)

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The Birth of Mary, also known as the Nativity of Mary is celebrated on September 8. Mrs. McLoughlin has some wonderful ideas for a nameday celebration.


Nameday of Maria Lily and Lillian.

Father: From a homily of St. Augustine:

Dearly beloved: the much-desired feast of Blessed Mary ever Virgin has come; so let the earth made bright by her birth rejoice with exceeding great joy. For she is the wild rose on the lowland plain from whom bloomed the precious Lily of the valley. Now let Mary play upon musical instruments and let timbrels reverberate under the fleet fingers of this young Mother. Let joyous choirs sing together harmoniously and let sweet songs be blended together now with one melody and now with another. Hear how our timbrel player has sung. For she has said: "My soul magnifies the Lord because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid. For behold, all generations shall call me blessed, because He who is mighty has done great things to me."

All: This is the birthday of the glorious Virgin Mary, sprung from the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Juda, of the renowned family of David.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, grant to Your servants the gift of Your heavenly grace, that as the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, so the joyful feast of her birthday may bring us an increase of peace. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: Any Marian hymn.

Dessert and decorations. The first fancy nameday cake in our house was decorated by our youngsters. A cake decorating set had been given to us, but it seemed too complicated to use. Somehow the children had caught the mystery of holiness in so great a feast which the Church celebrates with praise and thanksgiving, for the birthday of Blessed Mary announces joy and the near approach of salvation to a sin-lost world.

The rose petal cake (see Rose Petal Coconut Cake) is appropriate today. It ought to be a pure white cake, and the reason for its whiteness should be explained to children so that they will relate it to Mary's sanctity. Another choice might be the dessert with musical notation (see Musical Cake) to symbolize the homily read in today's prayers.

Activity Source: My Nameday — Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1962