This is the introit of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, sung at the beginning of today’s Mass.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He hath covered me, as a bride adorned with her jewels.
I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me.
This doctrine so filled the minds and souls of our ancestors in the faith that a singular and truly marvelous style of speech came into vogue among them. They have frequently addressed the Mother of God as immaculate. (…) God alone excepted, Mary is more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim. To praise her all the tongues of heaven and earth do not suffice.
- Ineffabilis Deus, the dogma proclomation of the Immaculate Conception (1854)
It is the eve of the Immaculate Conception, when Columbians celebrate Día de las Velitas - or Day of the Little Candles.
On this day people place candles and lanterns in and around their houses, as well as in churches, streets and squares. The entire country becomes a sea of light in honour of Mary and her Immaculate Conception.
The Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris Mater is sung in the Catholic Church from the first Sunday of Advent, which is today, until Candlemas.
Loving Mother of our Savior,hear thou thy people’s cry. Star of the deep and Portal of the sky!Mother of Him who thee made from nothing made.Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid:Oh, by what joy which Gabriel brought to thee,Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.