Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

assumpt murillo.jpg


Luke 1: 39-56

The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, is the body established in the 1960’s to examine together the beliefs and practices of the two communions and to explore levels of possible agreement. In May 2004 it published its document, entitled “Mary, Grace and Hope in Christ”, a shared statement on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Below is a brief summary of points of agreement reached by its authors: 

“Advances in Agreement

78.As a result of our study, the Commission offers the following agreements, which we believe significantly advance our consensus regarding Mary.  We affirm together the teaching

- that God has taken the Blessed Virgin Mary in the fullness of her person into his glory as consonant with Scripture, and only to be understood in the light of Scripture (paragraph 58);- that in view of her vocation to be the mother of the Holy One, Christ's redeeming work reached 'back' in Mary to the depths of her being and to her earliest beginnings (paragraph 59);

- that the teaching about Mary in the two definitions of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception, understood within the biblical pattern of the economy of hope and grace, can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions (paragraph 60);

- that this agreement, when accepted by our two Communions, would place the questions about authority which arise from the two definitions of 1854 and 1950 in a new ecumenical context (paragraphs 61-63);

- that Mary has a continuing ministry which serves the ministry of Christ, our unique mediator,

- that Mary and the saints pray for the whole Church and that the practice of asking Mary and the saints to pray for us is not communion-dividing (paragraphs 64-75).” 

Having noted that there still remain differences of belief and devotion, the authors of the agreed statement express their hope “that,as we share in the one Spirit by which Mary was prepared and sanctified for her unique vocation, we may together participate with her and all the saints in the unending praise of God.”