When we look to the Hebrew Scriptures we see the account in 2 Samuel 6. It is the account of David dancing around the Ark of the Covenant at his entry to the Holy City.
The Ark of the Covenant was the very presence of God with Israel. The Ark contained the tablets which God wrote the Commandments with His finger. In thanksgiving, David danced in the procession to Jerusalem around the Ark.
In the Tradition of the Church, we believe that Mary never died. Rather, she was assumed to heaven because of her fidelity to God’s perfect will. Tradition has also come to know this event as the Dormition of Mary. Mary is the Ark that has been brought to the heavenly Jerusalem.
Where she has gone, we hope to follow! This not only makes sense, but it is necessary. God took the lowliest and raised her up, so that no one could boast in themselves, but rather in God. Saint John Damascene speaks eloquently on the Assumption of Our Lady: “It was necessary that the bride espoused by the Father should make her home in the bridal chambers of heaven. It was necessary that she, who had gazed on her crucified Son and been pierced in the heart by the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in giving him birth, should contemplate him seated with the father.”
A Church in her honor: Right above Japan town in San Francisco, California, you will find the first modern Church building in the world following the Second Vatican Council. The City by the Bay holds this church building as a beautiful treasure. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption is very unique because its cement ceiling is directed toward the heavens with four lines of stained glass windows intersecting in a cruciform at the top. These four lineal windows speak of the four corners, or better, the four seasons which humanity journeys on this side of eternity.
The Baldacchino hovering over the altar weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of three tons of steel, a demonstration of God’s grace flowing down like dew from the heavens.
This cathedral is in honor of Mary’s Assumption, a dogma accepted by the whole Christian faithful. The architecture moves our eyes upward. Gothic art invited us to do the same once long ago in art history. The building moves us upward, so that we may remember our one goal in life: heaven.
In other news: I don’t want to give the devil too much credit, so I am going to put this link here of the event happening in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City on this very day and the church’s response! We must seek the strength of Saint Michael the Archangel and his legion of angels to defend us against this evil and the violence of the world! God has already trampled over the pride of Satan.
Here’s a video demonstrating the power of prayer a few years ago:
The Assumption of Mary …. this is our goal! This is the manner in which we should live our lives daily. We must pray for God to give us the grace to follow Jesus closely so that when our time comes angels may lead us to the heavenly gates and she, the perfect Ark, may show us to Christ her Son!
Let us ring the Church bells in order to call others to praise the Almighty God for raising the lowly.
In honor of Mary, Assumed into Heaven, here’s a recording of seminarians chanting the Salve Regina. It is sung every night at the close of the last liturgy.