Today the Church celebrates the Octave of the Assumption; a memorial which invokes Mary as Queen. The two celebrations of the Assumption and today’s memorial show us Mary as Queen but also as handmaid two aspects that are united in her person. If we look at these two in an ‘earthly’ way we would have to say that Mary was first ‘handmaid’; her fiat at the Annunciation and then queen after her Assumption. If , however, we accept that for God everything is heavenly ‘present’ then it was always was, is now, and ever shall be part of God’s plan of salvation that Mary be Handmaid and Queen. In the Second Vatican Council Constitution on the Church we read that Mary was “taken up body and soul into heavenly glory…and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son” (Lumen Gentium, 59). This ‘taken up’ implies that unlike her Son who died and rose again from the dead, Mary’s life on earth was not death but her assumption, her being taken up into heavenly glory where she is ‘exalted as Queen over all things’.
|Initial from the Ranworth Antiphonale |