Tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and related to that topic there are a few things you need to know and a few extra things you may want to know.
First the important stuff:
- On this day we celebrate the fact that at the end of her life on earth, God took Mary into heaven, body and soul. She did not go into heaven on her own power as Christ did, but was assumed (taken up by God).
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that Mary, “the new Eve, ‘full of grace’ of the Holy Spirit, is preserved from sin and the corruption of death.”
- From the very first days of the Church, Christians have always venerated relics of holy men and women (typically their bones). There are many stories of the importance placed on relics and how they were guarded and prized around the world. (Scroll down to “Relics of St. Mark” for one such story.) Having said that, isn’t it interesting to consider that no place on earth claims to have the bones of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Surely those would be the greatest of all relics, yet they are nowhere to be found. Catholics would argue that this is simply because there were no bones left on earth as she was completely taken up into heaven.
- It’s also interesting to remember that there are Old Testament precedents to this phenomena: both Enoch and Elijah were taken up into heaven in a similar way. (See Genesis 5:24 and 2 Kings 2:1, 11)
- The lessons of this feast are so important that the Church has declared it to be a Holy Day of Obligation and all Catholics are to attend Mass in celebration. Mass times at Church of Saint Paul tomorrow are 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Now for stuff that is way less important (but still fun):
- Friday is typically a day to fast, but tomorrow is a day to celebrate! If you combine that with the fact that people tend to misunderstand the meaning of this celebration and that the vocabulary may be little outside of your kids’ range, you may want to create some memorable experience to tie all these things together.
- Of course, we recommend food and humor – both very memorable experiences for kids. If there’s one thing the internet is good at, it’s quickly pulling together ideas from a wide variety of sources. I’ve done a little search and have a few ideas for you just below.