Today is a day to sing of Mary, the Mother of God, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ! We don’t often get to
celebrate a feast day of Mary on the weekend, but this year the feast of
the Assumption falls on a Sunday, and so here we are, singing about
Mary, something I’ll admit we don’t do often enough.
The Assumption: we believe that after her death, Mary's body was raised to heaven and she lives with God forever.
There’s something about Mary and her
assumption that we may not know: it wasn’t until 1950 that this long
held belief was officially declared by Pope Pius XII.
Known as the “Dormitio” or “falling asleep”
of Mary, the feast was celebrated in both the Eastern church and in
Rome as early as the 5th century. So why wait so long to proclaim
Mary’s assumption as our official belief? One source, companion to the
Calendar, by Mary Ellen Hynes, offers this reason: “after the Second
World War, after the death camps, after the first use of nuclear
weapons, we Christians needed to remind ourselves of the holiness of
The texts of the Marian tunes chosen for
this weekend tell us much of our holy Mother. “’Hail Holy Queen’, our
life, our sweetness here below”. “’O Holy Mary’, reflection of the Son,
our source of life and light, exquisite was your sorrow, unequaled was
your loss”. “’Holy Is His Name’, my soul proclaims the greatness of the
Lord”. “’Immaculate Mary’, you reign now in heaven with Jesus our King”.
Our blessed mother always points us to her son and as Catholics we believe that in prayer we can ask her to
intercede with him on our behalf. (August 15, 2004)