Mary
Part 5 Mary and Theology

Chapter m55 Assumption

Preliminary Questions

Bibliography

Doctrinal Content

Magisterium

History of Doctrine

Ecumenical Considerations

Liturgical Celebration - Rank

Liturgy - Date

History of the Feast

Readings at the Eucharist

Readings at the Liturgy of the Hours

Social Significance -- Homily Points

To Think About

Preliminary Questions

What does the Catholic Church teach about Mary?  Have you taken a theology course on Mary? Where can you find current Church teaching on the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

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Bibliography

Munificentissimus Deus, Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII defining the Dogma of the Assumption, November 1, 1950  Complete text available online at: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html

 Pope Paul VI,  Marialis Cultus, Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1974 Feb 02   Text available in English at  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6marial.htm

Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, Encyclical Letter, March 25, 1987

John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Apostolic Letter on the Most Holy Rosary, 2002 Oct 16  can be found at  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20021016_rosarium-virginis-mariae_en.html

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Doctrinal Content

 "...We pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma:  that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."  (Munificentissimus Deus, 44)

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Magisterium

"The Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: 'In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother Of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.'" (CCC #966)

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History of Doctrine

 role of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

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Ecumenical Considerations

Most (non-Catholic) Christians have no distinctive teaching about Mary's death. She simply died and was buried like everyone else.

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Liturgical Celebration - Rank

 Solemnity

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Liturgy - Date

 August 15

In many European countries (e.g. France) August 15 is a national holiday.

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History of the Feast

The Feast of the Assumption was elevated from the rank which it had occupied from the beginning among the other Marian feasts to be classed among the more solemn celebrations of the entire liturgical cycle...

St. Leo IV saw to it that the feast, which was already being celebrated under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother of God, should be observed in even a more solemn way when he ordered a vigil to be held on the day before it and prescribed prayers to be recited after it until the octave day. When this had been done, he decided to take part himself in the celebration, in the midst of a great multitude of the faithful. Moreover, the fact that a holy fast had been ordered from ancient times for the day prior to the feast is made very evident by what our predecessor St. Nicholas I testifies in treating of the principal fasts which "the Holy Roman Church has observed for a long time, and still observes. MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS (Pius XII -- 1950)

First the feast was the Feast of the Conception of Mary -- then after the definition of her being preserved from Original Sin, the feast became the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. 

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Readings at the Eucharist

Mass for the Vigil

Reading One
First Chronicles 1 Chronicles 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2  David brought the arc of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it.  They brought in the Ark of God and set it within the tent which David had pitched for it

Psalm  
132:6-7, 9-10, 13-14(8) 
Go up to your place of rest Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.

Reading Two 

1 Corinthians 15:54b-57. God gave us the victory through Jesus Christ.  Death is swallowed up in victory

Alleluia: Luke 11:28. Blessed are they who hear the word of God and observe it.

Gospel  Luke 1:27-28
Blessed is the womb that carried you.  Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.

Mass on the Solemnity 

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081514-day-mass.cfm

Reading 1 Revelation 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB
God's temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, ...

Responsorial Psalm PS 45:10, 11, 12, 16
R. (10bc) The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold. ...

Reading 2 1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man....

Gospel Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,
(The visitation and the "Magnificat")

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Readings at the Liturgy of the Hours

 role of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

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Social Significance -- Homily Points

We are destined to follow Mary.  We, too, are destined to be assumed into heaven.  

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What is the difference between the Ascension of Jesus and the Assumption of Mary? 

How would you describe Mary's body in heaven?  Does it look like her body as it was on earth?  How? How not?

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter.  All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 04/08/14 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org