The Blessed Virgin Mary: 15 August

In the Roman Catholic Church, 15 August is a holy day of obligation: The Assumption of Mary into Heaven. The “the bodily taking up of Mary, the mother of Jesus, into Heaven at the end of her earthly life” was declared as dogma in the RC Church by Pope Pius XII in 1950. But as this picture was painted by Titian about 1517, this had obviously been part of the belief and culture of many Christians for centuries.

Most Protestants see no biblical basis to justify belief in the Assumption of Mary. In the Church of England, 15 August is a “non-specific feast” of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

The words to Ye who own the faith of Jesus were written by Revd Vincent Stuckey Stratton Coles (1845–1929). He was Principal of Pusey House, Oxford from 1897 to 1909, and Warden of the Sisterhood of the Epiphany in Truro from 1910 to 1920. He also wrote the hymn We pray Thee, Heavenly Father.

Ye who own the faith of Jesus
sing the wonders that were done,
when the love of God the Father
o’er our sin the victory won,
when he made the Virgin Mary
Mother of his only Son.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary full of grace.

Blessèd were the chosen people
out of whom the Lord did come,
blessèd was the land of promise
fashioned for his earthly home;
but more blessèd far the Mother
she who bare him in her womb.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary full of grace.

Wherefore let all faithful people
tell the honour of her name,
let the church in her foreshadowed
part in her thanksgiving claim;
what Christ’s Mother sang in gladness
let Christ’s people sing the same.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary full of grace.

Let us weave our supplications,
she with us and we with her,
for the advancement of the faithful,
for each faithful worshipper,
for the doubting, for the sinful,
for each heedless wanderer.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary full of grace.

Praise, O Mary, praise the Father,
praise thy Saviour and thy Son,
praise the everlasting Spirit,
who hath made thee ark and throne;
o’er all creatures high exalted,
lowly praise the Three in One.
Hail Mary, hail Mary, hail Mary full of grace.

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