Feast of the Assumption Mass Schedule
Vigil Mass: August 14, 2017 at 4pm
Holy Day Mass: August 15, 2017 6:45am, 9:00am, and 6pm
Roman Catholics believe the doctrine of the Assumption, which teaches that at the end of her life, Mary, the mother of Christ, was taken body and soul (i.e. both physically and spiritually) into heaven to live with her son (Jesus Christ) for ever.
Human beings have to wait until the end of time for their bodily resurrection, but Mary’s body was able to go straight to heaven because her soul hadn’t been tainted by original sin.
Mary is Assumed, Body & Soul, into Heaven
For the second time in history, papal infallibility was exercised in 1950 when Pope Pius XII declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” (Pope Pius XII: “Munificentissimus Deus – Defining the Dogma of the Assumption”, par. 44. Vatican, November 1, 1950) While declared dogma in 1950, the belief that Mary’s entire being entered into heavenly glory was held by Christians since the early centuries.
“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.” (Lumen Gentium, 59) The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 966)
From the cross, Jesus gave Mary into the apostle John’s care (John 19:26-27). Tradition holds that the John took Mary to Ephesus during the Christian diaspora of the first century, where they remained until their deaths.
Mary’s Assumption “centers on the eschatological victory of God’s grace, freely given in Christ, which consecrates and ultimately saves the whole person, both body and soul. God’s creation of the new heaven and new earth, inaugurated in the Resurrection of Jesus, comes to further fruition in Mary who embodies the final destiny of all the redeemed in Christ. In her very person she participates in the new life promised to the human race through the word of the Cross. In so doing, she signifies to all persons caught in the struggle of history that the loving power of God will prevail.” (McBrien, Richard P., general editor. The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, 1995)
Because of Mary’s total submission to God’s will for her life, it makes sense that God grant her, immediately upon her death, the fullness of the glory of heaven. Her Assumption gives us the hope that one day all believers will join, in the fullness of body and soul, Mary and her Son, Jesus, in heavenly glory.
The Church celebrates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with holy day every year on August 15.