These three traditional Assumption customs are a wonderful way to honor the liturgical solemnity.
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Today is the feast of the Assumption, an ancient celebration of the Virgin Mary. Today we honor her role in salvation history and the eternal destination that Christ prepared for her. Traditionally, this feast day was set apart with special customs and devotions.
Although the Church did not formally define the dogma of the Assumption until 1950, the belief that God took Mary up into Heaven is an ancient part of Church teaching. The faithful have believed that Mary was assumed into Heaven since the earliest days of the Church. Because of this, August 15 is one of the oldest Marian feast days.
Naturally, all kinds of devotions sprang up to honor the Blessed Virgin on this holy day. We still practice some of these: Today is a Holy Day of Obligation and a solemnity. But some of these devotions have been forgotten over the years. These three traditional Assumption customs are a wonderful way to honor the day.
1Praying the Rosary
Today is especially fitting to pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, reflecting in a special way on the fifth mystery, “The Crowning of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.” This devotion reminds us of the eternal significance of today’s feast.
2Blessing of Produce
Historically Our Lady is associated with plants, and this special feast was an occasion for blessing herbs, produce, and flowers. This custom reminds us to offer God the “first fruits” of our labors, as Abel did in the Bible.
You can find a beautiful blessing for home use in The Catholic All Year Prayer Companion, a book filled with hundreds of prayers for celebrating the important seasons and feast days of the Church calendar.
3Crowning with flowers
What happens when you combine plants and flowers with honoring the Queen of Heaven and Earth? Flower crowns, of course!
In many places, crowning the Blessed Mother with flowers was a common practice on this day. Today, you could make a flower crown for a statue of Mary or have your kids or students use this sweet Mary Statue printable with tiny flower crowns.
If you have the time (and the flowers), it might be fun to make flower crowns for the kids too. Tell them the crowns are a sign of their divine filiation, the reality that they are beloved children of the Heavenly King. And it’s a lovely reminder to imitate Our Lady in all things!