OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION PARISH

Port Coquitlam, B.C.



SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

August 15

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the end of this Celebration let us turn to the Virgin Mary in the prayer of the Angelus. Mary's journey to heaven began with the "yes" spoken in Nazareth in response to the Heavenly Messenger's announcement of God's will to her. And in reality it is just like this: every "yes" to God is a step toward Heaven, toward eternal life. Because this is what the Lord wants: that all his children may have life in abundance! God wants us all with him, in his house!

POPE FRANCIS


HOLY DAYS & SPECIAL FEASTS

The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life."Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost Holy day of obligation in the universal Church." Church law directs Catholics to their obligation to worship God on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation by attending Mass. This follows from the fact that in the Mass it is Christ Himself who worships the Father, joining our worship to His. In no other way is it possible to adequately give thanks to God for the blessings of creation, redemption and our sanctification than by uniting our offerings to that of Jesus Christ Himself.

In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as Holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of Canada in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, January 1

The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God commemorates the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ.

On this day, we are reminded of the role that the Blessed Virgin played in the plan of our salvation. Christ's Birth was made possible by Mary's fiat: "Be it done unto me according to Thy word."

The Solemnity of Mary, January 1, is a Holy day of obligation.

Nativity of Our Lord Jesus, December 25

Christmas is the season to celebrate the Lord's birth, his manifestation to the world, and His baptism. This season begins Christmas Eve and ends on the Baptism of the Lord. The days from the Feast of the Nativity to the Epiphany are known as "The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The Christmas season starts on December 25th with the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The season includes:

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod's rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2:16-17). Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents" and regards them as martyrs.

Solemnity of Mary

The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God commemorates the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ.

On this day, we are reminded of the role that the Blessed Virgin played in the plan of our salvation. Christ's Birth was made possible by Mary's fiat: "Be it done unto me according to Thy word."

The Solemnity of Mary, January 1, is a Holy day of obligation.

This feast is the octave of Christmas. It is fitting to honor Mary as Mother of Jesus, following the birth of Christ. When Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God we are not only honoring Mary, who was chosen among all women throughout history to bear God incarnate, but we are also honoring our Lord, who is fully God and fully human.

Feast of the Epiphany

This feast celebrates the epiphany (manifestation) of Christ to the Gentiles, symbolized by Christ's manifestation to the Magi (Wise Men). The wise men followed the star to Bethlehem of Judea, and to Jesus' dwelling there. Having arrived, they worshiped the infant Jesus, and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In addition, other manifestations of Christ were often commemorated during Epiphany, including the miracle at Cana.

While the Epiphany is a great and joyous feast, it contains a cautionary message as well. God's salvation is for everyone. That meanas that no one can be excluded from the invitation to follow Christ. And once they choose to do so, they become our brothers and sisters in the Lord. If that is the case, when we deman, cast aside, or ignore others, we open ourselves to the same condemnation with which Isaiah castigated the powerful in Jerusaleum in the sixth century BC. If we add statues of the Magi to our Nativity scene, it also means that we must add the stranger, the foreigner, the person not like us, to our life in Christ.

This feast celebrates the epiphany (manifestation) of Christ to the Gentiles, symbolized by Christ's manifestation to the Magi (Wise Men). The wise men followed the star to Bethlehem of Judea, and to Jesus' dwelling there. Having arrived, they worshipped the infant Jesus, and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In addition, other manifestations of Christ were often commemorated during Epiphany, including the miracle at Cana.

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

After He is circumcised, Jesus is named and becomes a part of the Holy Family. This feast is celebrated on the second Sunday after Epiphany.

Baptism of Our Lord

The Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan.

"On Sundays and other Holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body." (CCC,2185)

Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life." (CCC,2186)

"Sanctifying Sundays and Holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day." (CCC,2187)