Members of the Roman Catholic Church celebrate the Vigil of Assumption on August 14 every year. This is in keeping with the Catholic custom of keeping a vigil on feast days. The Assumption Vigil occurs before the Feast of the Assumption, which falls on August 15. This is the day when it is thought that the Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven rather than dying a physical death. During the Assumption Vigil, believers fast in the evenings and attend bible readings and sermons before attending Mass on the feast day.
History of Vigil of Assumption Day
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian church with 1.3 billion baptized members. The Catholic Church began with the teachings of Jesus Christ in the first century A.D. The belief in Jesus and the Virgin Mary was not well-rooted at the time. Literacy was at an all-time low during the Dark Ages and the bible was inaccessible to many. Under Innocent III, the church achieved its pinnacle in the 12th and 13th centuries. Catholics believe that the Disciples of Jesus founded the church and that the selected bishops are the apostles’ successors. The Catholic Church believes in God’s Ten Commandments and the Holy Trinity.
Roman Catholics believe that Mary was selected by God because she was created without sexual intercourse and thus is free of original sin. Her parents, Anne and Saint Joachim were infertile and begged God for a child. They were then gifted with a child through the miracle of the immaculate conception. The Orthodox Church rejects the doctrine of the immaculate conception.
Some Christians believe she remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus, however, others disagree. Mary and Jesus are thought to be the sole sinless humans. As a result, God transported her to heaven to reunite with Jesus. She was carried into paradise, body, and spirit, and emancipated from bodily death. It is thought that after Jesus’ crucifixion, he ascended into heaven, where they will spend eternity together. Catholics are encouraged to pray to Mary to praise her or to request her protection.
Vigil of Assumption Day timeline
Virgin Mary is born after her infertile parents pray for a miracle, presumably through an immaculate conception.
Jesus is born to Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph.
Jesus is crucified and ascends into heaven.
Mary is assumed into heaven, body, and soul.
Vigil of Assumption Day FAQs
How old were Mary and Joseph when Jesus was born?
The bible doesn’t say how old Mary and Joseph were when they met. While it was always considered that Joseph was older, Christian historians today believe that Mary and Joseph were between the ages of 15 and 18 at the time of Jesus’ birth.
What are the four Marian Dogmas?
The four Marian Dogmas are Mother of God, Immaculate Conception, perpetual virginity, and assumption.
Which part of the bible indicates Mary’s assumption into heaven?
Revelation 12 describes Mary entering ‘into heavenly glory.’
What is the difference between ascension and assumption?
An Ascension is an active act while an assumption is passive. Jesus ascended with his own power while Mary was assumed by God.
How to Observe Vigil of Assumption Day
Attend a mass
Catholics celebrate this day by fasting and attending a mass. Your local community could be holding a vigil Mass to show respect for the Virgin Mary, so join in.
Read about the Virgin Mary
There are many parts of the Bible that detail Mary’s story. She is mentioned in the “Book of Acts” (Acts 1:14), in the “Gospel of John” (John 2:1-11), and in “John” (19:25-27).
This religious holiday is followed by the Feast of Assumption in which many parades and processions take place. If your local community isn’t celebrating, hold celebrations of your own.
5 Fascinating Facts About The Catholic Church
The Holy See has diplomacy with everyone
The Holy See has researched diplomatic relations with nearly every country in the world.
It began in the Holy Land
The Catholic Church first began in what is called the ‘Holy Land,’ which is located between Israel, Palestine, parts of Jordan, and Lebanon.
There’s a Christian Disneyland
“The Holy Land Experience” is a theme park located in Orlando, Florida which features live, theater performances of biblical stories and museums that feature biblical artifacts.
It’s the oldest institution
The Catholic Church has been around for nearly 2,000 years.
Its name has a special meaning
The name 'Catholic' derives from the Greek word 'Katholikos,' which means 'towards the whole,' and was coined by Christian writer Ignatius Antioch to signify that the church is the first from Jesus to the people.
Why Vigil of Assumption Day is Important
It honors the Virgin Mary
This holiday is dedicated to honoring the Virgin Mary. It serves as a reminder to pray to her often as it is believed she aided the beginnings of the church through prayer.
It’s a good opportunity to teach your children
The Vigil of Assumption Day and the Feast of Assumption are great opportunities to teach your children about the lives of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Even if you’re not religious, their lives are interesting to read about.
It commemorates the reversal of the Fall
It is believed that Mary’s Assumption is the last step in the reversal of the sins unleashed by the Fall of Man. The Fall of Man is also an interesting concept if you have the inclination to find out more.
Vigil of Assumption Day dates