The Assumption of the Virgin
c. 1600




Let us beseech the Divine Guest of the Virgin's womb, the Spouse of the sacred nuptial chamber, the Lord of the Tabernacle, the King of the Temple, Who bestowed such innocence upon His Mother that His Deity deigned to take flesh and be born of her. She knew nothing of the world; and with her mind fixed upon prayer, she showed forth in her manners that purity which she had conceived at the Angel's greeting; and by her Assumption she was preserved from the corruption of death, she who had borne the Author of life. Yea, dearly beloved brethren, let us earnestly beseech our Lord, that in His mercy He would save the souls of the dead from Hell and bring them to that place whither the body of the Blessed Virgin was translated. May He deign to hear our prayer Who liveth in perfect Trinity.


It is right and just, O Almighty God, that we duly give Thee great thanks at this glorious season, on this most venerable day, whereon the faithful Israel came forth from Egypt; whereon the Virgin Mother of God passed from this world to Christ. She knew no corruption in life, no dissolution in the tomb; for she was free from all stain of sin, glorious by her Divine Offspring; and being set free by her Assumption, she was made Queen of Paradise for her dower. Ever a spotless Virgin, she was filled with joy by the fruit of her womb. She knew no pain in childbirth, no sorrow in death. Her life and her death were above the laws of nature. She was the loveliest of bridal chambers whence came forth the noblest of bridegrooms, He Who is the light of the nations, the hope of the faithful, the spoiler of the demons, and the shame of the Jews. She was a vessel of light, a tabernacle of glory, a Heavenly temple. Now, the better to proclaim the merits of this Virgin, let us compare her life with that of the first Eve.

Mary brought forth life for the world, and Eve brought upon it the law of death. She by her sin ruined us, Mary by her Divine Child saved us. Eve poisoned our very root by the fruit of the tree; Mary is the the branch whence springs the flower that refreshed us with its fragrance and healed us by its fruit. Under the curse Eve brings forth her children in sorrow, Mary gives us blessing and salvation. Faithless Eve yielded to the serpent, deceived her husband, and ruined her children; Mary by her obedience appeased the Father's wrath, merited to have God for her Son, and saved her posterity. Eve gave us to drink the juice of a bitter fruit, Mary pours upon us unending sweetness from its fountain-head, her Son. Eve's bitter apple set her children's teeth on edge, our Lady has made us the sweetest bread for our food; near her none can perish unless he disdain to feast upon this bread. But let us turn from mourning past evils to our present joy.

To thee, then, we return, O fruitful Virgin, spotless Mother. Maiden not knowing man, ennobled not polluted by thy Son. O happy one! the joy thou didst conceive thou hast transmitted to us. We were glad at thy birth, we exulted at thy pure delivery, and in like manner we glory in thy passing. It were a small thing that Christ sanctified thee at thine entrance into the world, had He not also honoured thee, O worthy Mother, at thy departure hence. Justly then did thy Son joyfully receive thee in thy Assumption, for thou didst lovingly receive Him when thou didst conceive Him by faith. Thou knewest nought of earth's bonds: how could that rocky tomb hold thee prisoner?

O soul redeemed amidst unwonted marvels! The Apostles pay thee the last sacred duties; the Angels sing thy praises; Christ welcomes thee with His embrace; a cloud is thy chariot; thou art assumed into Paradise, there to reign in glory as Queen of the choirs of Virgins.


We extol thee, O Mother of God ; for from thee was born Christ, saving all who glorify thee, O holy Lady, Mother of God, give unto us thy sanctifying graces.


Behold, O Lord God, the glorious Virgin Mary, who from the valley of tears and the desert of this world is known to have been taken up this day, leaning upon her Beloved, thine only begotten Son and her Son, even to an unspeakable height. We show, as it were, her special seal and most precious jewel, when we confess the unity of nature between the Immaculate Mother and the human Body taken of her by the Divinity. Therefore we beseech Thee, O ineffable, Most High God, that thither all our energy may turn, whither on this day precedes us in her mighty love, our worthy advocate, the most Blessed Virgin.

R. Amen.

Through Thy mercy, O our God, Who art blessed,
Who livest and rulest all things for ever and ever .



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