The Collect for the Day
O GOD, you have taken to yourself the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son. May we who have been redeemed by his blood share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
Historically, in the Church calendar, today is Mary’s day. It is known by various titles but today marks the day of her death. Anglicans traditionally call it ‘The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary’ or ‘St. Mary the Virgin’. The Eastern churches and Canadian Anglicans name it ‘The Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Blessed Virgin Mary’, and the Lutherans – ‘Mary, the Mother of Our Lord’.
We currently see Mary at the Annunciation and Nativity but his feast of Mary enables us to celebrate the entirety of her life in relation to Christ. Her primary theological importance for us is that she was Theotokos, which is most often translated as Mother of God. Perhaps a slightly better more literal translation to English would be “she who gave birth to Him who was God”
We can celebrate that she was blessed amongst women, blessed for all generations, a woman who rejoiced in the knowledge that she needed a savior and that in her God she had a savior. We can remember that she followed her Son her entire life, saw her own flesh and blood suffer and die a painful death upon the cross. . . and still find her in the Upper Room, rejoicing once again in the knowledge of her own salvation through Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, her Son and our Lord. So, in Mary’s life we see the grace of God, reliance upon that grace, obedience to the will of God, and persistence in her faith through times of doubt, inability to comprehend, and probably fear. We see ultimate persistence. Let us pray that we too will be filled with grace, conformed to the will of God, and persist to the end in the Christian life that is laid before us.
Thanks to Derrick Hassert for excerpts from a larger article he wrote on the history of the day found here.
Blessings as we celebrate the life of our sister, this remarkable woman, Mary, on the day of her falling asleep in the Lord.