Wednesday Evening August 14th
Mass @ 5:30
Parish Dinner @ 6:15
- At the mass we will bless the children’s backpacks/ School supplies
- Bring a flower from home to adorn the Icon of the Virgin Mary.
- Kid friendly menu
When we remember the Saints of the Church and celebrate their Feast Days, we normally remember them on the day of their ‘Heavenly Birthday’- the day of their mortal death when they passed into eternal light and life. The feast of Saint Mary illustrates this fact beautifully. Pious Tradition holds that as Mary’s death grew near, the apostles drew near, coming into her home and gathering around her bed in the same room where they had shared the Last Supper and received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. As she lay dying, it is said that Peter read psalms and scripture to her while the others silently prayed by her side. After her death she was laid to rest in a tomb in the garden of Gethsemane. Sometime later, again according to pious tradition, it was discovered (probably when they went to bury another family member) that her tomb was empty. From this discovery, it was said that she, like Enoch (Gen 5.24 & Heb 11.5), Elijah (II Kings 2.11) and Moses (Mat 17.3) was assumed bodily into heaven. This, of course is an entirely different matter than the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Christian church does not claim that Mary was resurrected from the dead, but rather that she was taken directly into heaven.
The life and role of Mary has always been an area of interest and debate. At the council of Ephesus in the year 431, Mary was given the tile ‘Theotokos’ or God bearer and Mother of God and she has been known as such ever since. She has always been seen as an extremely important figure in our faith and much loved as well.
There are many traditions that accompany the Feast of Saint Mary, some places having huge processions and festivals and parties. Others are a bit more reserved, only remembering her in the prayer offices of the day.
We at Saint John’s will have a mass in the evening, beginning at 5:15, and following we will gather for a parish dinner. The evening will be ‘child friendly’ with an abbreviated liturgy and foods that kids like. For many in our parish, this will also be the first day of school. To honor the beginning of the school year, at the evening mass we will bless their backpacks and school supplies. We will also have an icon stand of the Blessed Virgin Mary wherein children and families can bring a flower from home to offer and decorate the Icon of Mary.
It should be a fun evening, a fitting beginning to the school year and a time to pause and give thanks for Saint Mary so please mark your calendars and plan to attend.