Assumption of Mary 2018
The Assumption of Mary is celebrated on August 15 of every year. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means that Catholics all over the world are obligated to attend Mass unless the holiday falls on a Saturday or a Monday. The Assumption of Mary 2018 falls on a Wednesday.
When Do We Celebrate the Assumption of Mary?
It is not known why August 15 was chosen as the date of the assumption. Scholars believe that it may have been the date when an early church was dedicated. They also believe that the feast was celebrated starting a few years before 500 A.D. The Roman Emperor Maurice (539 – 602) fixed the feast day on August 15.
The Assumption was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950. The Eastern Orthodox Church also believes in the Assumption, though they call it the Dormition of the Theotokos, or the “falling asleep of the mother of God.” It’s also celebrated on August 15. No one really knows when the Virgin Mary died, and where she died is disputed. Some believe it was in Jerusalem, and others believe it was in Ephesus, which is now in Turkey.
Why Do We Celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary?
The holiday is one of many that celebrate the Virgin Mary, who was the mother of Christ. In this case, it celebrates her joyful release from life when both her soul and her body were taken up into Heaven. Mary was conceived without original sin, which allowed her to be the vessel for the son of God. Because of this, when she physically died her body could not be subject to corruption or the other indignities that attend a human corpse. Therefore, she was swept up bodily into Heaven. She is one of the very few creatures to have received this honor. Religious scholars differ on whether Mary actually physically died before she was assumed, whether she was still alive or whether she died and briefly returned to life before her assumption.
The feast is celebrated in church during a mass led by a priest. Though the feast day is quietly celebrated in the United States, it is sometimes celebrated with vivid processions in Europe. Europeans also harvest fruits that are ready to eat by August, such as squash, herbs, peppers and tomatoes.