Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2003Friday, August 15
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also known as the Assumption) is a catholic holiday announced on 1 November 1950 by Pope Pius XII. It celebrates the day when the Holy Virgin Mary ended her earthly life and was taken to heaven together with her soul and body. However, already in earlier centuries, it was believed that Jesus glorified the body of his mother and took it to heaven making it similar to his and stressing the role of Mary in the history of salvation.
Is the Assumption a Holy Day of Obligation?
In many countries the Assumption is marked as a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church and as a festival in the Anglican Communion. Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos (the falling asleep of the Mother of God) on the same date.
In the United States Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation unless it falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, in which cases the precept to attend Mass is abrogated. This was decided by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of America on December 13, 1991 (Canon 1246) and is effective as of January 1, 1993. Nevertheless, all the faithful are encouraged to attend mass on this day but are not obliged.