Although it does not appear in The Book of Common Prayer 1928, the book of Lesser Feasts and Fasts (1963), among other liturgical resources, lists the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 2nd – the traditional date of this feast; Rome moved it to May 31st in 1969.
It was on this day that Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, and “the babe leapt in [Elizabeth’s] womb” at her appearance – that “babe” being him who was to become known as John the Baptist, the Forerunner of Our Lord! One unborn child greeting another, for those who try to argue that biblically, life begins with the first breath…
(See also, inter alia, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” – Jeremiah 1:5; “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” – Psalm 139:13; “From My mother’s womb, you have been My God” – Psalm 22:10; “This is the word of the LORD, your Maker, who formed you from the womb and who will help you” – Isaiah 44:2.)
Here are the Propers for this day, as contained in LFF 1963:
O CHRIST, our God Incarnate, whose virgin Mother was blessed in bearing thee, but still more blessed in keeping thy word: Grant us, who honour the exaltation of her lowliness, to follow the example of her devotion to thy will; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
For the Epistle. Zechariah 2:10-13.
SING and rejoice, 0 daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.
The Gospel. St. Luke 1:39-45.
AND Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for ]oy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Hope and pray everyone has a good and restful night tonight, and a holy and blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow!
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Fr. Tom Harbold