From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.
Prope est jam Dominus; venite, adoremus.
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.
The Church does not read anything from the prophet Isaias to-day; she merely gives, in the Office of Matins, a sentence of that chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, which relates the mystery of our Lady’s Visitation: and to this she subjoins a fragment of St. Ambrose’s homily upon that passage. The considerations and affections with which this important event of our Lady’s life ought to inspire the faithful, will be given further on in the proper of the saints.
The Station for to-day is in the church of the Holy Apostles, which many suppose to have been first built by Constantine. The glorious bodies of the two holy apostles Philip and James the Less, lie buried under the altar, awaiting the second coming of Him who chose them as His co-operators in the work of the first, and who will give them, on the last day, to sit upon thrones near His own, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
That we may better conform to the intentions of our holy mother the Church, who offers to our contemplation the Visitation of the blessed Virgin, let us recite the following hymn, composed in honour of this mystery during the ages of faith.
A Prose in Honour of the Blessed Virgin
(Taken from the ancient Roman-French missals)
Ave, Verbi Dei parens,
Ave, omni nodo carons,
Gaude, quæ sic gravidaris
Nec gravaris Filio:
Gaude quae sic oneraris
Salve, Jesse stirpe orta
Salve, clausa templi porta,
Soli Deo pervia.
Plaude, vellus Gedeonis,
Rore madens Pneumatis.
Plaude, pellis Salomonis,
Pulchrior præ cæteris.
Vale, Jacob micans stella,
Vale consignata cella,
Rubus in vi flammea.
Euge, sole quod amicta
Solem gignis stellula.
Euge, quod sis præelecta,
Scala cœli fulgida.
Pange, aurora consurgens
Luce novi sideris;
Pange, arca trina ferens
Eia! magnificat tua
Jesum Christum anima;
Eia! tecum ut laudemus
Ora, dulcis Maria.
of the divine Word!
Hail, most humble
and most spotless Virgin!
Rejoice, thou Mother
of a Son who supports thee!
Rejoice, thy burden is a burden
most sweet to bear!
Hail, branch of Jesse,
Hail gate of the temple,
closed to all but God!
Be glad, thou fleece of Gedeon,
full of the dew of the holy Spirit!
Be glad, thou tent of Solomon,
of all the first in beauty!
Hail, shining star of Jacob,
lighting up the sea!
Hail, thou sealed-up sanctuary,
thou burning bush!
What bliss is thine, that thou the humble star
shouldst be clad with the Sun, and then bring forth the Sun!
What bliss is thine, that thou shouldst be elected
the bright ladder reaching up to heaven!
Sing to thy God,
thou aurora rising in the light of the new Star!
Sing, thou ark of the covenant,
bearing unto us sinners thy three treasures.
Oh! let thy soul magnify Jesus!
and oh! sweet Mary,
pray that, with thee,
we too may magnify him.
Prayer from the Gallican Sacramentary
(In Adventu Domini, Collect)
Purifica, Domine Deus, Pater omnipotens, pectorum arcana nostrorum, cunctasque propitius maculas ablue peccatorum: ao præsta, Domine, ut benedictione pietatis tuæ a nostris criminibus mundati, metuendum terribilemque adventum Domini nostri Jesu Christi exspectemus interriti.
O Lord God, Father almighty, purify the recesses of our heart, and mercifully wash away all the stains of our sins; and grant, O Lord, that, cleansed from our sins by thy merciful blessing, we may await in confidence the dread and terrible coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 St. Matt. xix. 28.