Come, let us adore the King of kings: today his Virgin Mother was taken up to heaven.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: White.
The Feast of the Assumption
The commemoration of the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Dormition, or falling asleep, as it was known in the East) is known as the Assumption because of the tradition that her body did not decay but that she was raised up, body and soul, into heaven. This tradition was already present in the sixth century; by the beginning of the twentieth century it was widespread (for details, see this article
in the Catholic Encyclopaedia); and after consulting the views of bishops all over the world, the Pope formally and infallibly declared the doctrine of the Assumption to be part of the authentic and ancient doctrine of the universal Church.
In other years: St Stephen of Hungary (969 - 1038)
He was the son of a pagan father and a Christian mother. He worked hard for the conversion of his country to Christianity, setting up both episcopal sees and monasteries. He was crowned the first King of Hungary in 1001.
He is the patron saint of Hungary, where his feast day, a public holiday, is celebrated on 20 August.
Other saints: St Rock (- 1378)
He was the son of the governor of Montpellier in France. At the age of 20 he went on a pilgrimage to Rome. When a plague broke out in Italy he took care of the infected and cured many. He himself caught the disease, but not wishing to be a burden to others, he went to the woods to die. There a dog brought him food and licked his sores. Later its owner found Rock and looked after him. He died around the year 1378. He is a model of those who carry out works of mercy, and is invoked in time of pestilence.
Other saints: Bl Maria Sagrario of St Aloysius Gonzaga (1881-1936)
16 Aug (where celebrated)
Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St Anne and St Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Judith 13:17-18 ©|
Overcome with emotion, the people all fell on their knees and worshipped God, exclaiming as one man, ‘Blessings on you, our God, for confounding your people’s enemies today!’ Uzziah then said to Judith: ‘May you be blessed, my daughter, by God Most High, beyond all women on earth.’
|Noon reading (Sext)||Apocalypse 12:1 ©|
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Corinthians 5:1 ©|
We know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.