All ready for today’s Mass: the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Blessed Lady was cared for by St John for twelve years after our Lord’s Resurrection. Her life was spent in helping the Apostles and in praying for the conversion of the world. On the third day after Our Lady’s death, when the Apostles gathered around her tomb, they found it empty. The sacred body had been carried up to the celestial paradise. Jesus Himself came to conduct her thither; the whole court of heaven came to welcome with songs of triumph the Mother of the Divine Word.

Along with Catholics around the world, on August 15th, the National Catholic Church celebrates

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Benedict XVI, Bishop Emeritus of Rome, wrote:

The Assumption reminds us that Mary’s life, like that of every Christian, is a journey of following, following Jesus, a journey that has a very precise destination, a future already marked out: the definitive victory over sin and death and full communion with God, because as Paul says in his Letter to the Ephesians the Father “raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2.6). This means that with Baptism we have already fundamentally been raised and are seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, but we must physically attain what was previously begun and brought about in Baptism. In us, union with Christ resurrection is incomplete, but for the Virgin Mary it is complete, despite the journey that Our Lady also had to make. She has entered into the fullness of union with God, with her Son, she draws us onwards and accompanies us on our journey.

ASSUMPTION

Introit

A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Apoc. 12.1)

Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He hath done wonderful things. (Ps. 97.1)

Glory be …

A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, who has taken body and soul into heaven the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of your Son: grant, we pray, that by steadfastly keeping heaven as our goal we may be counted worthy to join her in glory. Through the same … Amen.

Lesson

With his own power the Lord has blessed thee, and by thy means has brought our enemies to nothing! Blessing be thine, my daughter, from the Lord God, the most high, such as no other woman on earth can claim! Blessed be the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, for sending thee out to wound the head of our arch-enemy. Such high renown He has given thee this day, that the praise of thee shall never die on men’s lips, so long as they hold the Lord’s power in remembrance. Thy own life thou wouldst not prize, when thy countrymen were in need and great affliction; thou wouldst avert our ruin, with our God to speed thee. Thou art the boast of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the pride of our people. (Judith 13.22–25; 15.10)

Gradual

Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear: and the King shall greatly desire thy beauty. All beautiful is the King’s daughter as she comes in, robed in cloth of gold. (Ps. 44.11, 12, 14)

Alleluia, alleluia. Mary has been assumed into heaven: the angelic host rejoices. Alleluia.

Gospel

At that time, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; so that she cried out with a loud voice: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. How have I deserved to be thus visited by the mother of my Lord? Why, as soon as ever the voice of thy greeting sounded in my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed art thou for thy believing; the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment. And May said: My soul magnifies the Lord; my spirit has found joy in God, Who is my Saviour, because He has looked graciously upon the lowliness of His handmaid. Behold, from this day forward all generations will count me blessed; because He Who is mighty, He Whose name is holy, has wrought for me His wonders. He has mercy upon those who fear Him, from generation to generation. (St Luke 1.41–50)

The Creed is said.

Offertory

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed. (Gen. 3.15)

Secret

May our offering of due service rise unto Thee, O Lord: and through the prayer of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, assumed by Thee into heaven, may our hearts be set on fire with love and ever yearn for Thee. Through our Lord …

Preface

It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: and on the feast of the Assumption, of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, should praise and bless and glorify Thee. Who, by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, conceived Thine only-begotten Son; and the glory of her virginity still remaining, brought forth the eternal light of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. By whom the Angels praise Thy majesty, the Dominations adore it, the Powers tremble before it, the Heavens, the heavenly Virtues, and blessed Seraphim, with common jubilee glorify it. Together with whom we beseech Thee that we may be admitted to join our humble voices, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are filled with Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Communion

All generations will count be blessed, because He Who is mighty, has wrought for me His wonders. (St Luke 1.48–49)

Postcommunion

Through the merits and prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Thee assumed into heaven, may we, O Lord, who have received the sacraments of salvation, come to the glory of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ … Amen.

The Propers of the Mass are an English translation of the those found in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (1962). In the Ordinary Form the Readings are: Apocalypse 11.19, 12.1–6, 10; 1 Corinthians 15.20–26, St Luke 1.39–56. The Preface in the third typical edition of the Roman Missal (2002) is

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

For today the Virgin Mother of God
was assumed into heaven
as the beginning and image
of your Church’s coming to perfection
and a sign of sure hope and comfort to your pilgrim people;
rightly you would not allow her
to see the corruption of the tomb,
since from her own body she marvellously brought forth
your incarnate Son, the Author of all life.

And so, in company with the choirs of Angels,
we praise you, and with joy we proclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of host.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

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