The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be observed in a celebration of High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street in New Haven, on Sunday, 15 August, at 2:00 p.m. Father Robert Turner, Pastor of St. Ambrose Parish, North Branford, will be the celebrant and homilist, and the Schola Cantorum of the Saint Gregory Society will sing the Gregorian chant and polyphony for the service.
Belief in the Assumption of our Lady goes back to early Christian tradition, having found expression in the writings of the Church Fathers as well as in various liturgies in the East as well as the West. In the 18th century Pope Benedict XIV declared the Assumption to be a truth that no one is permitted to doubt, but it was not then defined as a dogma. Finally, on 1 November 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed solemnly ex cathedra that “the Immaculate Mother of God, at the close of her earthly career, was taken up into heaven, body and soul.”
The texts for the Mass on this feast present the glorified Virgin as the person of the Woman clothed with the sun (Introit, Apoc. 12.1), as the King’s Daughter in golden robes (Gradual, Ps. 44), and as the Woman, who, with her Son, will be the victorious enemy of the serpent (Offertory, Gen. 3.15). The various collects of the Mass exhort us to follow Mary’s example in longing for heaven, obtaining the glorious resurrection, and enjoying everlasting bliss.
Music for the service will include the Missa Marialis Ordinary (Vatican ed. IX/X), the proper Gregorian chants of the feast, motets by Orlando di Lasso and Ludovico Viadana, and organ music Organ music by Girolamo Frescobaldi and Girolamo Cavazzoni.