Today is the great feast of the Assumption of Mary, also known as her Dormition (falling asleep). In an ancient, persistent, and fully affirmed tradition, the Blessed Mother received, among many other singular graces, a special treatment at the end of her earthly life, resembling the treatment granted to the prophet Elijah, who was taken up bodily into heaven at the end of his ministry. This tradition affirms that Mary was assumed bodily into heaven.
This seems odd to some Christians, but Catholics and Orthodox embrace the singularity of Mary as a natural, fitting, and life-giving corollary of the humanity of the God-Man Jesus Christ. The Eternal Wisdom of God could have derived His human body from nothing, or from an anonymous woman, but he chose to reside, during his gestation, in a holy ark of the coming new covenant, a singularly graced creation, whom all generations revere as blessed and full of grace. That is why traditional hymns of this day are so fully invested in singing her praises.
Gaudium mundi, nova stella caeli, procreans solem, pariens parentem, da manum lapsis, fer opem caducis, virgo Maria. The joy of the world, the new star of heaven, Begetting the sun, bearer of the parent: A hand give fall’n ones, bear aid to waverers, O Virgin Mary.
It has been a year since we posted our new translation of the Assumption hymn “Gaudium mundi”. Here is the posting which discusses this:
A comparative presentation of the hymn’s translation is here:
And the music (Gregorian notation) may be found here: