What Is the Common of Virgins?

The Common of Virgins is a set of readings in the lectionary which are read at Mass for the feast days of unmarried women saints.

Some saints have special readings for their feast days (propers), but most do not. So the presider may choose the readings from the appropriate commons.

As you can see from the quotes below, many of these readings focus on God as spouse, love, virginity, and devotion to Jesus Christ.

Masses Readings for the Common of Virgins

Choices for the First Reading:

  • When it is not the Easter season:
    • Song of Songs 8:6-7: “Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked.”
    • Hosea 2:16b, 17b, 21-22: “I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the LORD.”
  • During the Easter season:
    • Revelation 19:1, 5-9a: “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”
    • Revelation 21:1-5a: “I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Choices for the Responsorial Psalm:

  • Psalm 45: “The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord”
  • Psalm 148: “. Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.”

Choices for the Second Reading:

  • 1 Corinthians 7:25-35: “An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.”
  • 2 Corinthians 10:17—11:2: “For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

Choices for the Gospel:

  • Matthew 19:3-12: “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”
  • Matthew 25:1-13: “The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.”
  • Luke 10:38-42: “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

More About the Lectionary

The Common of Virgins is part of the lectionary. Learn more about how Catholics read from the Bible at Mass. What is the difference between the Bible and a lectionary? How is the lectionary arranged? What translation is used?






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