August 15th marks the feast of the Assumption of Mary, body and Soul, into Heaven. This feast celebrates the the idea that when Mary was finished her earthly life, she was taken up to Heaven – not just her soul, but her body as well.
While the idea became an “official church teaching” in 1950 by Pope Pius XII, talk of this event dates back to the second and third centuries. Many early church Fathers have discussed it in their writings.
While there isn’t specific references to the Assumption in scripture, we know that Mary’s purpose aligned perfectly with Jesus’. In addition to scripture, our faith is also handed down through Sacred Tradition. While we read about how Jesus came to the world through Mary, making her the “New Ark of the Covenant” (referenced in the the Old Testament), Tradition holds that Mary was preserved from original sin, making it possible for Jesus to be born through her. As such, we can assume that, like her Son, her body would be kept safe from “corruption” – or decomposition.
What are some great ways to join in the celebration of the Assumption?
Some ideas are:
- Go to Mass ( it is a Holy Day of Obligation) and offer a prayer of thanks to God for His gift of Mary and her example
- Ask for her intercession and to pray for us before her Son
- See if there is a procession in your parish
- Start a Mary Garden. Need some ideas? I came across this article in my research.
- Decorate your Prayer Table for this feast. Open your Bible up to Revelation 12:1, accent your table with prayer cards, rosary beads and books centered on this theme.
- Parents and children can plan and prepare a special meal together in honor of this special day.