saturday 15 August 2020
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The commemoration of the death of the Blessed Virgin 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.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Rev 12: 1
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
Almighty ever-living God, who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, body and soul into heavenly glory, grant, we pray, that, always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10
The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail. 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. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days. Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.’
R/ On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.
- The daughters of kings are among your loved ones. On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words: forget your own people and your father’ house.
- So will the king desire your beauty: He is your lord, pay homage to him. They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the king.
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.
Alleluia, alleluia! Mary has been taken up to heaven; all the choirs of angels are rejoicing. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’ And Mary said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my saviour; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name, and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him. He has shown the power of his arm, he has routed the proud of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away. He has come to the help of Israel his servant mindful of his mercy – according to the promise he made to our ancestors – of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’ Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.
Prayer over the Offerings
May this oblation, our tribute of homage, rise up to you, O Lord, and, through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, whom you assumed into heaven, may our hearts, aflame with the fire of love, constantly long for you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Lk 1: 48-49
All generations will call me blessed, for he who is mighty has done great things for me.
Prayer after Communion
Having received the Sacrament of salvation, we ask you to grant, O Lord, that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom you assumed into heaven, we may be brought to the glory of the resurrection. Through Christ our Lord.
We celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in body and soul to Heaven. St. Bernard says of the Virgin Mary: «What a beautiful present the earth is today sending to heaven! With this wonderful gesture of friendship —such as giving and receiving— the human and the divine, the earthly and the heavenly, the humble and the sublime, merged into one…». Mary gives us her joy made music, in the Magnificat: «My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my saviour…» (Lk 1:46-47). What a beautiful gift the heaven sends back to us with Mary’s song, made word of God. In this song of praise, we see how the human and the divine, the earthly and the celestial are knitted together, while being able to react, as She does, to the gift God presents us with, in the person of his Son, through his Saintly Mother. We are also called to share this gift of her maternity, keeping the word in her heart and pondering them, so that this word made flesh (Jesus Christ) may also take possession of our hearts.