Skip to comments.Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15th.
Posted on 08/14/2005 4:33:56 PM PDT by donbosco74
I checked out the local diocesan website for what our Cardinal teaches this year. It seems to change a lot, so you have to keep checking.
Here is the announcement for August:
---- AUGUST 2005 Saturday August 6, 2005 Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
August 15, 2005 Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Not a Holy Day of Obligation ----
The last line is in bold, "Not a Holy Day of Obligation."
It seems they are hoping to dispel any confusion over this topic. There's nothing like introducing confusion to give rise to the need for taking away the confusion, I guess; sort of like starting a forest fire and then introducing legislation to filter the smoke out of the air.
So, a Feast Day of some 3 hundred years' standing has been reduced to practical nothingness with the sweep of a pen. Locally, people who are Catholic seem to have forgotten what August 15th is. When I remind them, they appear surprised and bewildered.
(Excerpt) Read more at worship.la-archdiocese.org ...
Not saying I agree with it, or that it is a smart thing to do, just that this is what is happening in many regions of the country.
I'm glad to see that Christmas still makes the cut as a holy day of obligation. All "important cultural observances" are listed in green, except for St. Patrick's Day. I guess the Irish aren't considered an important culture anymore. Who knew that February 2 was the feast day of Our Lady of Copacabana? I'm a bit afraid to ask what music they will play at that mass.
in the orthodox church the dormition of the virgin mary ranks as a holiday right below christmas and easter and with the epiphany in importance
"Virgin's Day" - kinda like "President's Day"; but you can't make a long weekend out of it...
"in the orthodox church the dormition of the virgin mary ranks as a holiday right below christmas and easter and with the epiphany in importance"
In the Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary is one of the most important holy days, as well.
Here are the Holy days of Obligation, as observed in the United States:
New Year's Day
Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
All Saints Day
Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
However, in many dioceses, Ascension Thursday is now observed the following Sunday, and if one of these Holy days of Obligation (excluding Christmas and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - if I recall correctly) fall on a Saturday or Sunday, in the United States, they are not obligatory for that year.
Thus, although it is perhaps regrettable that the American bishops have been permitted to go to a sort of "three-day-weekend" rule for the US, nonetheless, the Assumption of Mary is also a very, very important Holy day for Catholics ranking just below Christmas, as well.
Agree with you all the way.
Sometimes the messenger gets attacked though. Hope that doesn't happen to you and the discussion is about the USCCB and this ridiculous ruling.
I would think Easter ranked first.
I would think Easter ranked first.
I thought the Pentecost was one of the big three. IMHO, Assumption should be a Holy Day of Obligation whenever it falls. But not in my Archdiocese (Washington, DC)
Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary: one of my favorite topics of contemplation. We don't often hear about "dormition" in the Western Church. In my experience, it's only when someone is coming from learning in an Eastern rite that they have much awareness of it, and they can teach Roman Catholics a thing or two on this subject. Their tradition is of ancient origins, and it's a good example of the richness that we can all enjoy in sharing our respective, legitimate traditions.
When the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin was defined in 1950 as Catholic dogma, the final edition of the official text, the one that you see today when you look it up, does not touch the topic of "Mary's death." Pope Pius XII prudently remained separated from that issue. His definition makes clear for all time and for all to see, as the "visible Church" that Vatican I defined would be with us until the end of the world, that our Blessed Mother was assumed body and soul into heaven from this earth. He did not have to say anything about her "dying" because we don't have to believe that she "died." The Eastern Church has a most beautiful word, her Dormition, to use in this place, and we in the West would be quite wise to embrace that term wholeheartedly, and use it with frequency and diligence whenever the opportunity arises.
As many times as I have heard Latin rite priests speak on this subject, it seems to me that (I'm only going by immediate memory here) that the most liberal of them appeared to take pleasure in saying that "she died...," etc. On the other hand, the most pious of them have either refrained from being specific (by using some word like "passing" or "left this world") or else have deferred to the Eastern term, "Dormition." There has never been a time for me that I have heard a good priest speak about the Dormition when I was not utterly captivated.
Being free from original sin from the first moment of her conception, she was not entirely a partaker with us in all the consequences of the Fall of Adam. She was born to a natural couple, St. Ann and St. Joachim (the latter's feast day is traditionally tomorrow, Aug 16th), and she suffered the hardships of everyday life, but she was not necessarly subject to the maladies of health that we all are. Did she ever break a bone, get the flu, have headaches, or especially in the Birth of Our Lord, did she have pain? These are not small questions. Therefore, upon leaving this world, would she have been subject to the physical laws that affect us all? It seems that she was not...
from the greek orthodox archdiocese website:
Concerning the Dormition of the Theotokos, this is what the Church has received from ancient times from the tradition of the Fathers. When the time drew nigh that our Savior was well-pleased to take His Mother to Himself, He declared unto her through an Angel that three days hence, He would translate her from this temporal life to eternity and bliss. On hearing this, she went up with haste to the Mount of Olives, where she prayed continuously. Giving thanks to God, she returned to her house and prepared whatever was necessary for her burial. While these things were taking place, clouds caught up the Apostles from the ends of the earth, where each one happened to be preaching, and brought them at once to the house of the Mother of God, who informed them of the cause of their sudden gathering. As a mother, she consoled them in their affliction as was meet, and then raised her hands to Heaven and prayed for the peace of the world. She blessed the Apostles, and, reclining upon her bed with seemliness, gave up her all-holy spirit into the hands of her Son and God.
With reverence and many lights, and chanting burial hymns, the Apostles took up that God-receiving body and brought it to the sepulchre, while the Angels from Heaven chanted with them, and sent forth her who is higher than the Cherubim. But one Jew, moved by malice, audaciously stretched forth his hand upon the bed and immediately received from divine judgment the wages of his audacity. Those daring hands were severed by an invisible blow. But when he repented and asked forgiveness, his hands were restored. When they had reached the place called Gethsemane, they buried there with honor the all-immaculate body of the Theotokos, which was the source of Life. But on the third day after the burial, when they were eating together, and raised up the artos (bread) in Jesus' Name, as was their custom, the Theotokos appeared in the air, saying "Rejoice" to them. From this they learned concerning the bodily translation of the Theotokos into the Heavens.
Very interesting. Thank you.
~~But one Jew, moved by malice, audaciously stretched forth his hand upon the bed and immediately received from divine judgment the wages of his audacity. Those daring hands were severed by an invisible blow. But when he repented and asked forgiveness, his hands were restored.~~
This scene is remeniscent of the Old Testament passage that relates how a man reached out and touched the Arc of the Covenant as it was appearing to him to be unstable. He did not apparently have any malice of intent, but rather feared that the Arc would fall, and he attempted to stabilize it. Immediately he was struck dead by divine intervention. There was no repentance, and no restoration. But this was before the Redemption of the cross. That the Jew who had touched the bed and endured punishment would be immediately healed harkens to the atonement Jesus accomplished for our salvation, and to the vast mystery of Baptism which wipes away original sin.
Also there is the association of the Arc with the Theotokos, which is an enduring theme of Scripture and the Fathers. As the Arc carried inside its "belly," all lined with gold (a figure of the immaculate soul of Our Lady) the three elements of the ancient religion, the rod of Aaron, the manna and the stone tablets of the Law, the Blessed Virgin Mary carried in her womb the Incarnate Word of the triune God. And especially here, where the Theotokos in dormition lies without sign of life, for the Arc was by common sense inanimate and appeared to be comprised of inanimate objects, her body was being carried like the Arc had been carried long ago, by men who reverently and diligently moved her about. However, just as the Arc, an apparently lifeless thing, was known to meet out justice upon transgressors instantly, here the body of the Virgin, as if protected at all times by an unseen army of angels, appears to be the source of instantaneous punishment of a transgressor. I say "appears" to be, for there is no mention of any obvious alternative. The big difference is, that his hands were restored immediately when he asked forgiveness.
What entity delivered the "invisible blow" that had severed his hands? And likewise, what (or who) was the cause of his hands being restored? Was it the Mother of God? Would she be of the character to effect such an injury? I suspect not. There is however a Biblical figure that would be appropriate: set at the entrance to the Garden of Eden was an angel with a flaming sword to guard it. It is not too illogical to suppose that anyone with malice of intent who tries to re-enter the Garden, the place of life without the curse of original sin, would be punished immediately by that angel wielding the sword, the flames of which are remeniscent of the flames of hell. And so too anyone who would attempt to touch Our Lady with any malice of intent, even to touch her seemingly lifeless body, would be faced with instantaneous consequence. This goes a long way to support understanding of her status of perpetual virgin.
From whence came the restoration of his hands? From whence is our salvation? Jesus saves us from hell, but He does so through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. If not for her, Jesus would not have been born, the creator of the universe confined to the frame and substance of a helpless infant. He would not have been formed as a "mass of tissue" in her womb, the kind of entity that satanic abortionists today crave to destroy. We could say that Jesus gave him his hands back, but we would be more consistent with the whole picture if we would cough up the admission that it was the intercession of the Blessed Mother that made the difference. After all, it was HER BODY lying in state. Where was her soul? Was it separated from her body? That is the theological definition of death, after all. Where is the mention of her soul being "separated?" This quotation from the Orthodox book mentions her giving "up her all-holy spirit into the hands of her Son and God." That's quite beautifully stated! But does "givig up" presuppose the subsequent "taking away?" If she had CAUSED her own death, she would be guilty of suicide, and that is a sin, and she did not sin, ergo, "N.G." in engineering terms.
What's the point of all this? The point is, that when you or I face our eventual death, there is one person to whom we ought to not forget to remember: Theotokos. Who was present at the death of St. Joseph? The Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. Who was present at the death of Jesus on the cross? The Blessed Mother and St. John. Which witness is common to both events? When we face our last moments, the demons converge to accomplish their dirty work because if they can't get you then, they will never get you. They know that they have one last chance to tempt you to commit sin, and if they fail, they endure the product of their failure for all eternity. With the powers of hell all converging to attack us in our final agony, what better defense could we hope for than the kind of defense associated with Our Lady, an unseen flaming sword carried by an unseen guardian angel, delivering an "unseen blow" to slice the unseen devils to unseen shreds? If that isn't comforting, I don't know what is!
While such stories might not be necessary for someone to believe in order to be saved, their constancy and beauty are very helpful for nurturing a strong faith. The more of such things we have to think about the less time we have to ponder sinful thoughts, and the less desire we have to entertain impure inclinations. This is the teaching of the Theotokos, to reject sin, to renounce Satan and all his works, and to turn toward an unhesitating love of God for all eternity.
BTTT on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 2006!