Father Mervyn at the Statue of our Lady
Let us rejoice and celebrate this feast in honour of the Virgin Mary, at whose assumption the angels rejoice, giving praise to the Son of God.
Today we celebrated the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady Mary, Mother of God and Mother of us all. In his sermon Father Mervyn quoted the Theologian John Macquarrie who in his book “Mary for all Christians, he mentioned how, in 1946 whilst doing National Service, he visited the church in Jerusalem Called the Dormition or the Falling Asleep of Our Lady. He found it very gloomy, "just about the last place that would make one think of a glorious assumption". Having visited this church a few years ago Father Mervyn said it was still gloomy but moving. Never-the-less Macquarrie felt he must kneel and pray, despite mocking comments from his comrades. "Dimly," he says, "I sensed that the Assumption was part of the very fabric of Christian faith." When four years later, in 1950 the doctrine of the Assumption was solemnly defined by Pius XII, Macquarrie liked the way the pope put it: Mary, "on completing the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul" not simply to heaven (as though she were merely transferred to another place), but rather "to heavenly glory", which suggests a transformation of her human condition, from its earthly state to a state in which she enjoys the glory of a new relationship with God. He noted too that the pope had linked the Assumption with the intimate union existing between Mary and Jesus, between Mother and Child: she had conceived him, borne him, nourished him, done what every mother does for her child. Such an association surely could not come to an end when her earthly life was over. Father Mervyn said that John Macquarrie was absolutely right when more than forty years ago he sensed that the Assumption was "part of the very fabric of Christian faith".
Our Lay Reader led the Intercessions this morning. We were joined again today by several people who came for the first time last week. We learnt that the Saturday Shop had taken over £240 the previous Saturday and over £170 yesterday. At the end of the Mass we recited the Angelus.
Farewell, at the end of Mass at St. Augustines but see you at coffee in the Church Hall