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Feast of the Assumption of Mary, Years A, B & C
Twenty-second digests for the congregation: Arrange with your liturgy committee to have these brief historical introductions read to the assembly before you do each reading.
The presider may speak these before the first and second readings, and before rising for the gospel acclamation. Print this page, cut it at the blue lines, and give the introduction paragraphs to the person who will speak them.
|Feast of the Assumption, August 15, annually|
Before the first reading:
The book of Revelation was written to encourage persecuted Christians to keep the faith. Its language is highly symbolic, partly to disguise its meanings from the persecutors. The "ark of God's covenant" mentioned in the first sentence refers to the ornate box in which ancient Israel had carried the stone tablets of their covenant with the Lord.
Between psalm and second reading:
Some Christians in the rambunctious community of Corinth disputed the gospel teaching about the resurrection. Paul corrected them at length. In this passage, he connects the resurrection of all the dead with God's final judgment of the world.
Before the gospel acclamation:
In Saint Luke's gospel, women are typically models of faith. In this passage from early in the gospel, both Mary and her kinswoman Elizabeth are surprisingly with child. The elder woman affirms the younger's faith.
To pay for use of the words above, please subtract an equal number of optional words from other places in the liturgy (click here for some suggestions).
The "ark of [God's] covenant" in the first sentence means this. While Moses was leading the Hebrew escapees from Egypt to the promised land, God made a covenant with them, inscribing it on stone tablets. These stones were to be carried in an ornate chest, or ark, of acacia wood and gold. See Exodus, chapter 25. That ark became Israel's most sacred object.
The Lectionary passage leaves out a few sentences about a battle, Revelation 12:6b-9 in which God's angels triumph over those of Satan. This leads into the last quoted sentence, the victorious proclamation by the loud voice.
Proclaiming It: Read this dramatically, and make the last paragraph sound victorious.
Proclaiming It: What makes this appropriate for proclamation today is the conclusion. So emphasize the parts about Christ's ultimate victory over death.
|Other commentaries on these passages:|
|Father Roger Karban of Belleville, Illinois, USA, writes a newspaper column about every Sunday's readings. Here are his essays for this feast, when it fell on Sundays in recent years: Read all of Father Karban's recent columns here, at the site of FOSIL, the Faithful of Southern Illinois.||
Bible Study pages of Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Picayune, Mississippi.
Saint Charles' introduction gives an interesting history of the feast.
The Lectionary selections in the frame at the left, if any, are there for your convenience. The publishers of the page in that frame have no connection, except for membership in the one Body of Christ, with the publisher of this page. Likewise the publishers of the pages on the links above.
Last modified: July 6, 2012