August 14, 2023 | Source & Summit
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

“Assumption,” by Tim Langenderfer. COURTESY OF TIM LANGENDERFER

Source & Summit: The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(The faithful) taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the source and summit of the whole Christian life, offer the Divine Victim to God, and themselves along with it.  The Second Vatican Council fathers in Lumen Gentium, #11

Source & Summit is a new feature of The Western Kentucky Catholic online, celebrating the National Eucharistic Revival: Year of The Parish. Intended to help Catholics of our parishes to probe the riches of our liturgical year and celebrate the liturgy well, the column will always start with the Bible readings for the Mass of the Day to help us reflect on, and help to “unpack” and expand our experiences at liturgy into the domestic church (the home) and the workplace. Sunday reflections will be based on the Lord’s Day, the Liturgy, the Eucharist, and, occasionally, community.


Tuesday, August 15, 2023: 

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Revelation 11:19a; 12:1—6a, 10ab

Psalm 45:10—12, 16

Corinthians 15:20—27

Luke 1:39—56


The Gospel reading today proclaims the story of the Visitation and Mary’s Canticle, the Magnificat contained in Luke.

This feast, celebrated in Jerusalem in the fifth century as the “Day of Mary Mother of God” on August 15th, soon became a celebration of Mary’s “Natale” or “birthday” into heaven.  Though only proclaimed a dogma in 1950 by Pope Pius XII, Mary’s Assumption has long been part of our Catholic DNA. Catholic art on the subject in the United States abounds long before the dogma was proclaimed.  In today’s liturgy, the presider sets the tone for the liturgy, proclaiming the Virgin Mary “Immaculate,” beyond the corruption of sin.  The Gospel proclamation of the Magnificat then takes on a new tonality, that of a song of triumph and glory.

A variety of customs emerged in European countries on Marymass. Pilgrimages to Marian Shrines were common in Scotland (our pilgrimage site is in Bowling Green).  In Germany, fragrant herbs and wildflowers were brought to Mass for blessing with the purpose of seasoning and healing, and even decorating the home.  Perhaps some incense may be in order today while spending some time with the Magnificat.

Click here for a fine rendition sung by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.

-Michael Bogdan

To learn more about the Diocese of Owensboro’s celebration of the National Eucharistic Revival, visit

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Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
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