Monday, August 15, 2011

The Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin

The Catacombe Paintings:
Icon Mary by Greg Tricker
 Today (August 15) is one of many feast days associated with the Virgin Mary in the church. In the Anglican communion, the sanctoral (annual cycle of saints' feast days) makes August 15 the principal feast day for Mary; in the Eastern Orthodox churches the day marks the Dormition ("falling asleep," i.e., death) of Mary, and in the Catholic Church it is the celebration of the Assumption of Mary (i.e., the bodily reception of Mary into heaven following her death).

It goes without saying that all Christians do not agree on the status and role of the Virgin Mary. Much recent ecumenical dialogue has addressed these Marian disagreements fruitfully, notably the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission agreed statement Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ (2004). All Christians can agree, however, that Mary is a model for discipleship worthy of emulation by all Christians--a model for discipleship for men as well as for women--and therefore it is good and proper for all Christians to consider and be shaped by her example today and every day. In addition, even if all Christians do not ask Mary to pray for them, all Christians can pray along with Mary in the communion of saints to which all Christians past and present belong. As we pray today, then, let us remember that we do so with Mary.

Related posts:

More on Baptist commemoration of the saints

Towards a Baptist commemoration of the saints

The Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin

A Baptist commemoration of the saints

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