Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Blessed Lady / Blessed Mother

An intriguing cultural difference between Australian Catholics on the one hand, and American Catholics on the other has caught my attention...

I customarily speak of the Blessed Virgin Mary as "Our Lady" or in more formal words as "Our Blessed Lady", just as I refer to Our Lord Jesus Christ as "Our Lord" or, more formally, "Our Blessed Lord"; for I exceedingly dislike, as irreverent and tending to impiety, the modern obsession with dumbing down our forms of address, and daring to speak casually of "Mary" and "Jesus" - at the most, I refer to Him as "Christ" rather than to so freely use the Holy Name, and with St Clement Mary Hofbauer, when I hear mention made of "Mary", I am tempted to ask to which Mary reference is being made.

Apparently Americans refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary far more often as "Our Blessed Mother" or "the Blessed Mother" - which is an expression I wouldn't use at all, not that it isn't a very nice and true one, but simply it sounds odd and foreign, as if I spoke of the "Holy Heart" of Jesus, and not of the "Sacred Heart".  Do Americans use "Our Lady" as well, or does that sound very English and quaint to them?

Is this just my peculiarity, or is this a real difference in Catholic phraseology between Australia (together with other Commonwealth countries, such as Britain) and the USA?

Comments, please!

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