Call to worship

Today we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, a holy day of obligation for Catholics. This feast reminds us that Mary was lifted to heaven in body and in soul. It points to the promise that we carry deeply within. We will all share in eternal life.

  • To the point: This solemnity celebrates the great things God has done for Mary. God, who has lifted up his lowly servant Mary, lifts up all the lowly not because they are faithful but because God is faithful to the promise of divine mercy. Mary’s assumption of body and soul into heaven celebrates the mercy of God and the promise that we share.
  • Connecting the Gospel to the second reading: The Second Reading rehearses they entire history of God’s promise of mercy: death came through Adam; life came through Christ. Mary’s assumption foreshadows the destiny of “all who belong to Christ.”
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: In our news-dominated culture we tend to view events historically. From this viewpoint the solemnity of the assumption celebrates what happened to Mary in the past. Liturgy does more than recall a past event; it draws us into divine mystery where that event is present now. As Elizabeth sings of Mary’s election as “blessed among women”, Mary sings of God’s blessings not only to her — but to all who fear and praise God in every generation. As the Church, we are the bearers of Christ in our world- such a position of honor invites song from deep within our hearts.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 1: 39-56)

“Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah.”

From a serene, demurring handmaiden, when she met her cousin Elizabeth
came a cry in unrestrained joy, and praising God.
Singing a radical song of promise.

Spirit of God, let us join with Mary
and declare your greatness,
and with whole heart’s delight, pray with her:
that you give hope to the lowly, that they be lifted up:
a wealth of good food for all the hungry,
enlightenment and desire, to repair
all that is broken in the planet
and in the justice systems,
with your mercy for all people in all times.

The First Reading

(Revelation 11: 19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab)

“God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant
could be seen in the temple.”

David danced and sang before the ark.
Jesus danced within the womb of Mary.
The covenant, no longer stone, now flesh within her.

Lord, are my brothers and sisters who give you flesh
made brilliant by your nativity within them?
Though it is often hard to see their light,
we sometimes feel their warmth.
Should we dance when we meet them
and sing when we greet them?

The Second Reading

(I Corinthians 15: 20-27)

“For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall be brought to life.”

God complete your work in us  that you may be all in all.
When we die, bring us to life in you.

Music for reflection