Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Holy Day of Obligation
Reflecting on God’s Word
It is an ancient tradition in the Church to commemorate saints on the anniversary of their death because that was the day on which they were born into eternal life. We celebrate the same reality in our funeral liturgies and on the anniversaries of the death of our own loved ones. In Mary’s case, her “birthday” has been celebrated on August 15 for approximately fifteen hundred years.
Throughout most of that time, theologians commonly thought that both Mary’s body and her soul were taken up into glory. This is the same glory that we believe all Christians await on the last day. Her perfect cooperation with God in her lifetime and her honored place as mother of the Messiah made her the first to enjoy the fullness of the Resurrection. In answer to a century of calls to proclaim this opinion as a doctrine of the Church, Pope Pius XII defined Mary’s assumption as doctrine in 1950.
Living God’s Word
Commemorating the death of someone we love can bring bittersweet emotions, at best. We hope that they are with God. We hope we will be with them again someday. On August 15, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we confirm our belief that a human being, Mary, shares in Christ’s total victory over death. So can our loved ones, and so can we.
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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a holy day of obligation. Join us for Mass this Friday, August 15, at 8:30 A.M. or 7:00 P.M.