Sisters and Brothers,
Today, the Church honors St. Mary. In the Roman Catholic tradition, it is known as the Feast of the Assumption and is a holy day of obligation. In the Orthodox tradition it is known as the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. (Theotokos means "godbearer").
According to Roman Catholic teaching, at the end of Mary's life, she was assumed body and soul into heaven. The Orthodox tradition claims that Mary died (or slept = dormition) and like all faithful saints, her soul was received into heaven. Anglicans tend to not get too bogged down into any theological debate about the assumption but do affirm that Mary, of all the saints, deserves a place of honor. Thus today is an important feast day. We honor Mary for her willingness to bear the incarnated Son of God. It is said that she was the first tabernacle for Christ - holding within her own being the very Son of God.
This Sunday, in honor of St. Mary, we will offer the Angelus at the end of Mass. The Angelus is a short liturgy based in scripture. It is often recited in the morning, at noon and in the evening.
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