~`+`~FEAST DAY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY~`+`~
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The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast: August 15 (Universal)
Mary assumed or elevated into Heaven
with surrounding cherubs or saints
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven, informally known as the Assumption, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy,
and parts of Anglicanism, was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary "having completed the course
of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory". This doctrine
was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility. While the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe in the Dormition of the Theotokos, which is the same as the Assumption, the alleged physical death of Mary
has not been dogmatically defined.
In Munificentissimus Deus (item 39) Pope Pius XII pointed to the Book of Genesis (3:15) as scriptural support for the dogma in terms of Mary's victory over sin and death as also reflected in 1 Corinthians 15:54: "then shall come to pass the saying that is written,
Death is swallowed up in victory".
In the churches that observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day, commonly celebrated on August 15. In many countries the feast is also markedas a
`Holy Day of Obligation`.
The Latin Catholic Feast of the Assumption is celebrated on August 15, and the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos (the falling asleep of the Mother of God) on the same date, preceded by a 14-day fast period. Eastern Christians believe that Mary died a natural death, that her soul was received by Christ upon death, and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her death and that she was taken up into heaven bodily in anticipation of the general resurrection. Her tomb was found empty on the third day. "...Orthodox tradition is clear and unwavering in regard to the central point [of the Dormition]: the Holy Virgin underwent, as did her Son, a physical death, but her body – like His – was afterwards raised from the dead and she was taken up into heaven, in her body as well as in her soul. She has passed beyond death and judgement, and lives wholly in the Age to Come. The Resurrection of the Body ... has in her case been anticipated and is already an accomplished fact. That does not mean, however, that she is dissociated from the rest of humanity and placed in a wholly different category: for we all hope to share one day in that same glory of the Resurrection of the Body which she enjoys even now."
Many Catholics also believe that Mary first died before being assumed, but they add that she was miraculously resurrected before being assumed, while others believe she was assumed bodily into Heaven without first passing through death. As mentioned earlier, this aspect of the Assumption is not authoritatively defined in Catholic theology, and either understanding may be legitimately held by Catholics. Eastern Catholics observe the Feast as the Dormition. Many theologians note by way of comparison that in the Catholic Church, the Assumption is dogmatically defined, while in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the Dormition is less dogmatically than liturgically and mystically defined. Such differences spring from a larger pattern in the two traditions, wherein Catholic teachings are often dogmatically and authoritatively defined – in part because of the more centralized structure of the Catholic Church– while in Eastern Orthodoxy, many doctrines are less authoritative
`I am but a star in the heavens above
guiding over you in God's eternal love
I once was a soul like you on earth now
a heavenly star in miracle of rebirth!
~`In Loving Memory`~