Want to do something out of the ordinary and utterly wonderful tonight? Join us in celebrating the Feast of the Assumption with a Marion Procession through the streets of Georgetown and then for a Feast Day celebration following (*see below for details).
For those of you who are not Catholic—or for those of you who are but may have missed this day in religion class-- here is a little explanation of why and what we celebrate on this glorious day.
Catholics (as well as the Eastern Orthodox Church) believe that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, at the completion of her earthly life, "fell asleep" (known as the "Dormition") and then was "assumed" body and soul into heaven.
Now before you who are not familiar with this Feast Day get all, "Hugh? Where does it say that in the Bible?!", remember that Mary is not the first person that God brought bodily up into heaven, both Enoch, Noah's great grandfather (Genesis 5:22–24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), while still living, were swooped up into the heavenlies by God the Father. And there is a long held tradition, based on the first hand witness of the apostles, that this is what happened to Mary as well.
And, of course, Jesus Christ "Ascended" body and soul into heaven forty days after rising from the grave (Acts 1:9-12). The difference in the "Ascension" of Christ and an "Assumption" is that in the Ascension, Christ rose by His own power into heaven and in an Assumption the power of God the Father is needed to enable someone to rise into the heavenly realm.
And we as Christians believe that a massive assumption will indeed happen at the Rapture as stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. Those who believe will be bodily assumed into heaven at Christ's second coming. So to believe that Mary is like one of those who we know has already been assumed into heaven and like one of those who we believe will be assumed into heaven in the future, is not as far off as some may have initially thought. And she is the Mother of CHRIST after all! And the Church, for sound reasons, declared this as dogma (Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus 44 by Pope Pius XII).
And so today we come together on this blessed Feast Day and we venerate (not worship—there is a difference! "Venerate"=regard with great respect, versus "Worship"=the expression of reverence and adoration for a deity, which is reserved for the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity alone) and we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Christ and our mother. We ask for her intersession (just as we would ask for someone here on earth to pray for us, only she is physically in heaven, speaking face to face with Christ and God the Father, crowned in glory and in a place of great honor, Revelation 12). And we celebrate all the good things that God has done and will do because of one beautiful YES that changed the world forever.
Won't you join us?
6:45 Meet in front of Epiphany Catholic Church -2712 Dumbarton St, NW Washington DC
7:00 Process through Georgetown, down to Wisconsin Ave, over to M street, and back to Epiphany
8:00 Feast Day Celebration at 3264 S Street, NW
Please note: there will be no Mass, you will need to go to Mass before or after you come!
"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." Revelation 12:1
Thank You for sending us the Blessed Mother. May we too be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
We ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.