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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15 is celebrated as the Assumption of Mary by the Roman Catholic Church. This is the belief that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven - either instead of, or after, her death (the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches differ in their traditions). This belief is obviously extra-scriptural, as Scripture itself is silent on whether or not the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven - thus we cannot say, “Thus says the Lord” one way or the other. Many early Lutherans retained the Feast of the Assumption in the liturgical calendar, while recognizing it as a speculation rather than a dogma. However, the Pope Pius XII dogmatized this belief in 1950 in his decree Munificentissimus Dei, thus imposing it as doctrine upon Roman Catholics.

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