IMMACULATE MARY IN POLISH ADVENT POPULAR RELIGIOSITY ILLUSTRATED ON SELECTED REGIONS OF POLAND (Niepokalanie Poczeta w polskiej religijnosci ludowej adwentu na przykladzie wybranych regionow)
The liturgy of Advent honors the Blessed Virgin as Mother awaiting the birth of Her Child. The day of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady is the first Marian feast and initiates a new liturgical year. In popular religiosity of Advent, Mary epitomizes spiritual rebirth; hence the faithful pray novenas and take part in numerous devotions to Our Lady. One of the most popular devotions is everyday morning Rorate Mass (RorateCoeli), where during the Mass a seventh candle - called 'roratka' is lit. The personal and family life of the Polish faithful, and especially expecting women, along with all farm activities are entrusted to the care of the Blessed Virgin. In country folk tradition, devotion to Our Lady plays a significant role, since Mary as our Mother most fully understands our needs and can intercede for us in Heaven. The paper consists of two parts. In the first part we introduce the figure of the Blessed Virgin, emphasizing her place and function in the Advent liturgy. In the second part, we present popular religiosity, which encompasses numerous customs and folk observances associated with the Advent Marian feasts and devotions.
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