The Aramaic “Hail Mary” & Eckhart’s Call to Birth the Christ

Apropos of the call for new versions of the “Hail Mary” prayer, I received a video teaching* from Aramaic scholar Neil Douglas Klotz. 

The entire “Our Father,” sung in Aramaic, from the album Around The World with the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus, by Neil Douglas-Klotz

I am proud to say that Neil was on our faculty for years at ICCS in Oakland where he led body prayer every morning and taught courses on the Aramaic Jesus and on the Dances for Universal Peace. 

His first book, Prayers of the Cosmos, offers a masterful service by re-translating the “Our Father” prayer and the “Beatitudes” based on Aramaic.  We always employ that translation in our Cosmic Masses and always people respond deeply to it.

Neil wrote me this note accompanying the teaching he has done on the “Hail Mary” prayer from the Aramaic.   

“Shlom Lech Maryam,” the Hail Mary in Aramaic. Sung by Ana Otero.

Hi Matt, 

This might be of interest…not a word about death in this one either, but much to do with us all being “mothers of God,” in Eckhart’s words.

All the best,


Of course, he is referring to passages like this in Meister Eckhart: What help is it to me that Mary is full of grace, if I am not also full of grace?  And what help is it to me that the Father gives birth to his Son unless I too give birth to him?  It is for this reason that God gives birth to the divine Son in a perfect soul and lies in the maternity bed so that Divinity can give birth to him again in all his works. 

And this: Have concern so that a ‘child’ will not only be in the process of being born but that it be already born, just as the Son is constantly born and will constantly be born in God.  May God help us so that this will happen to us!  Amen.

The 12th-century Latin of the Aramaic “Ave Maria,” performed by Daily Meditation team member Rosanna Tufts.

Another responder asked for the original Latin version of the prayer which follows:

Ave Maria, gratia plena
Dominus tecum, virgo serena;
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Qui peperisti pacem hominibus 
Et angelis gloriam.
Et benedictus frutcus ventris tui
Que coheredes ut essemus sui
Nos fecit per gratiam.

* Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties between the U.S. and Scotland, Neil Douglas-Klotz’s teaching video could not be included in this DM, but will be added in tomorrow’s meditation. We regret the inconvenience!

Adapted from Matthew Fox, “We are Children of God and Mothers of God,” in Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 336, 330, 325-337.

And Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, pp. 76-84.

Banner Image: Detail, “Assumption of Our Lady,” Stained glass window from Holy Rosary Priory church in Portland, OR. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP, on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize yourself and humanity as a whole being called to bring forth the Christ (Buddha or Image of God) in all your works as Eckhart invites us to do?

Recommended Reading

Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart

Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.”  — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.  

Meditations with Meister Eckhart: A Centering Book

A centering book by Matthew Fox. This book of simple but rich meditations exemplifies the deep yet playful creation-centered spirituality of Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart was a 13th-century Dominican preacher who was a mystic, prophet, feminist, activist, defender of the poor, and advocate of creation-centered spirituality, who was condemned shortly after he died.
“These quiet presentations of spirituality are remarkable for their immediacy and clarity.” –Publishers Weekly.  

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10 thoughts on “The Aramaic “Hail Mary” & Eckhart’s Call to Birth the Christ”

  1. Avatar

    The word “sin” reminds me that between stimulus and response that I have choice. The word “now” reminds me that God is still creating me this very minute. The word “death “ reminds me that that there is a finitude to transition. All in the via negativa. Thank you for all your Meditations.

  2. Avatar

    How do we avoid ‘sin and death’? Do we abandon and hide from the words and eject them from our vocabulary? What is a new birth if not being in communion and re-birthing from which we just died? Do we not ask the Holy Mother in the Hail Mary to ‘pray for us now’? Please stand forward if you believe you will not die to this world, in this world, whether as an infant or at 100 plus years old. Time in the physical sense is ticking away, while experiential prayer connecting us to the Holy Mother is being distracted by semantics and other discourse. — BB.

  3. Avatar
    Altari Sunra Peterson

    To hear the ancient Hail Mary prayer soothed my soul . However, I yearn to discover more about prayers and devotion to St. Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostle and probably Christ’s twin flame.

    Also , on this the Imbolic celebration day, from Cathy Pagano, “At Winter Solstice, Mother Mary embodies the archetype of the Divine Mother who keeps her child nourished and safe and secure from death. At Imbolc, the Goddess form changes to one of Teacher, Healer and Inspirer. We look now to Brigid, whom the Irish call Muire na nGael or Mary of the Irish. She is called the foster Mother of Christ.
    If we acknowledge that the Christ is the part of us that is the Eternal Spirit of the Creator, then Brigid is the Divine Feminine Mother who now takes that spirit and helps shape it into life-giving purpose.”

  4. Avatar

    Some years back, while on an Advent retreat, the Gospel words “Hail full of Grace, the Lord is with you,” felt like they were spoken to me. I was shocked but received the word with wonder and joy. I resonate to Meister Eckhardt’s words. I, too, am a mother of God. May we all continue to give birth to the Son of God.

  5. Avatar

    Eckhart always taught people to embrace the mystical/God-taught Path. He told them that their religion was NOT about intellectual concepts of “God” and “Son,” and NOT only about praising and adoring God (and Jesus and Mary, etc.).
    That would risk idol-izing a human idea (of God), a small, arrogant, limited, human-created concept ABOUT God, in place of the directly encountered, awe-deepening, non-dualistic One/God within the Sacred Mystical Revelation, which, according to the Bible, expresses God directly and purposefully into human awareness and serves as Sacred Loving Union and Teaching Exemplar (Father/God and Son/Word/Logos).

    Instead, we are to try to obey and live up to God’s/Jesus’s (mystical Path) commands and example of internalizing and living/expressing Christ, i.e., Loving-God-with-all-our-being/focus, plus giving-loving-compassion-and equality-to-others, as well as acting-with-compassion for Creation and our bodies (within which we are all embedded/intertwined, whether we care to acknowledge it or not).

  6. Avatar
    Mary Ann Maruska, DMin

    When I was a student at UCS, I rewrote the prayers of the rosary for my use. I’ve never had the opportunity to share them before. Very grateful…

    For the Hail Mary, I tried to keep the same rhythm as the one imbedded in my childhood bones. I renewed the Apostle’s Creed and the Glory Be in the same vein. For the Our Father, I use Neil Douglas-Klotz’s version.

    Hail Gaia, full of grace, Spirit is with you.
    Blest am I to be your creature, and
    blessed are the fruits of your womb, Creation.
    Holy Gaia, giver of life, fill us with love for one another, now and at each moment that we live. Aho!

    Glory be to the Sun, to the Moon, and to
    the Stars. And to all that has been, is,
    and will be – eternal praise. Amen.

    I believe in a triune relationship of:
    a Generative Force, continual birther of the Universe, which flows between and unites all things; Enlightenment, the manifest recognition of humanity’s divinity; and Love, both yearning and alluring, that guides me to the discovery that I am a wave form in the divine ocean of energy.
    I believe in humanity’s role as the heart and mind of the Universe and that we are guided by, and also express, The One’s desire and determination.
    And I believe in Great Mystery, the dark womb of potential out of which all this is but one possibility.
    I believe in walking in beauty, sharing in love, and celebrating each moment of a life everlasting.
    And so it is.

  7. carol

    The Rosary – this is a ritual Protestants left behind. In an age when the Nones and the Evolutionaries and the Disappointed and Betrayed are hungry for affirmations of trust in our Cosmic Self and Deep Time, let’s reinvent the Rosary and Create some new ones too.
    MARY ANN MARUSKA, your offerings are Magnificent.
    Thank you.

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