The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
IN this festival the Church commemorates the happy departure from life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her translation into the kingdom of her Son, in which she received from Him a crown of immortal glory, and a throne above all the other Saints and heavenly spirits. After Christ, as the triumphant Conqueror of death and hell, ascended into heaven, His blessed Mother remained at Jerusalem, persevering in prayer with the disciples, till, with them, she had received the Holy Ghost. She lived to a very advanced age, but finally paid the common debt of nature, none among the children of Adam being exempt from that rigorous law. But the death of the Saints is rather to be called a sweet sleep than death; much more that of the Queen of Saints, who had been exempt from all sin. It is a traditionary pious belief, that the body of the Blessed Virgin was raised by God soon after her death, and taken up to glory, by a singular privilege, before the general resurrection of the dead. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the greatest of all the festivals which the Church celebrates in her honor. It is the consummation of all the other great mysteries by which her life was rendered most wonderful; it is the birthday of her true greatness and glory, and the crowning of all the virtues of her whole life, which we admire single in her other festivals.
Reflection. —Whilst we contemplate, in profound sentiments of veneration, astonishment, and praise, the glory to which Mary is raised by her triumph on this day, we ought, for our own advantage, to consider by what means she arrived at this sublime degree of honor and happiness, that we may walk in her steps. No other way is open to us. The same path which conducted her to glory will also lead us thither; we shall be partners in her reward if we copy her virtues.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Apoc. 12, 1
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelves stars. Ps. 97, 1. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He hath done wonderful things. Glory be …
Almighty, everlasting God, who hath taken up the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of Thy Son, with body and soul into heavenly glory: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may always, intent on higher things, deserve to be partakers of her glory. Through the same.
Epistle • Judith 13, 22-25; 15, 10
Lesson from the Book of Judith.
The Lord hath blessed thee by his power, because by thee he hath brought our enemies to nought. And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her: Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies. Because he hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever, for that thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people, but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God. And when she was come out to him, they all blessed her with one voice, saying: Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honor of our people.
Gradual • Ps. 44, 11, 12, 14
Hearken O daughter, and see, incline thy ear: and the King shall greatly desire thy beauty. The daughter of the King comes in, all beautiful: her robes are golden cloth.Alleluia, alleluia. Mary has been taken up into heaven, the choirs of angles rejoice. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 1, 41-50
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[The conception of John the Baptist, and of Christ. The visitation and canticle of the Blessed Virgin. The birth of the Baptist and the canticle of Zachary.]
At that time, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried 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 behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
Offertory • Gen III, 15
I will put enmities between thee and the Women, and between thy seed and her Seed.
May the offering of our devotion ascend to Thee, O Lord: and through the intercession of the most blessed Virgin Mary, who was taken up into heaven, may our hearts be inflamed with the fire of love, and continually long for Thee. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 1, 48-49
All generation shall call me blessed, because He that is mighty hath done great things to me.
Now that we have received, O Lord, the Sacrament of salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the merits and the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, who was taken up into heaven, we may be brought to the glory of the resurrection. Through our Lord.