Saturday, August 15, 2009
Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This Feast has a history. It first began to be celebrated as a feast day in the Eastern Church after the ecumenical Council of Ephesus(431)proclaimed Mary the Mother of God. The Assumption of Mary celebrates her being taken up to heaven body and soul. By the sixth century, the feast celebrated Mary's "Dormition, her "falling asleep", meaning her death. The Western Church began to celebrate this feast around 650; the doctrine of Mary's Assumption was only proclaimed officially by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
The theology of the feast is always found in the special Preface:
"Today the virgin Mother of God was taken up into heaven to be the beginning and the pattern of the Church in its perfection, and a sign of hope and comfort for your people on their pilgrim way. You would not allow decay to touch her body, for she had given birth to your Son, and the Lord of all life, in the glory of the incarnation."
It is consoling to know that Mary is in heaven, body and soul, watching over us.