Catholics have always believed that Mary was assumed to heaven when her life on earth was over. As one legend tells it, all the Apostles who were still alive were gathered at Mary’s bedside as she was dying, except for Thomas. By the time he got there, she had been buried in a tomb. He had the tomb opened, but Mary’s body was gone. Only beautiful lilies and roses remained.
This is an important feast day for Catholics, because Mary’s Assumption gives us the hope that God will take us to heaven, too. It is usually a Holy Day of Obligation, but because it's Saturday, the actual feast will be observed at Sunday Masses this weekend. Traditionally, people bring flowers from their gardens to place at the Mary altar at church, and they would bring baskets of fruit and herbs (especially the kinds used as medicine in the old days) to be blessed.
If it works out for your family, go to the vigil Mass at your parish this evening. You can carry your celebration on through Sunday with a special meal or dessert, like this Fluffy Cloud Dessert found at Catholic Cuisine. (It’s a frozen dessert made with strawberries, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate sandwich cookies and frozen whipped topping, so be sure to prepare it in the morning.)
You may want to bring a bouquet of flowers to set at the Mary altar at your church, or you might want to make a gift basket filled with fruit and flowers to give to your priest or somebody else you know. The blog Shower of Roses has more ideas for celebrating here.
Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us!
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