Our Lady fell asleep at last after the yeas of living with St. John and waiting for Heaven, and all the Apostles were gathered about her bed. Except St. Thomas. He was off in India preaching the Gospel and couldn't get back in time although an angel is supposed to have told him to hurry. The Apostles carried her body to the tomb and laid it there and some time afterward they discovered that it was gone. They naturally concluded that it had been taken to Heaven (as indeed it had). Then St. Thomas came home, and when they went out to meet him and to explain, he would not believe. He would not believe, the legend says, until he had seen for himself. So they took him to see where they had laid Our Lady's body and in its place were flowers. Looking up, St. Thomas saw her going up to Heaven; and to convince him at least, an angel brought the girdle she had fastened about her rob, and dropped it to Thomas.
From The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland.
For some ideas on how to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, the Women of Faith Site had some great ideas!
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "The day before the feast, gather or buy flowers to place before a picture or statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in your home, and tell (or read) the meaning of the feast to your child or children at bedtime on August 14th. (See Mary's Flowers)
Take flowers to Mass on the Feast of the Assumption, and, after Mass, place them near the altar, shrine or statue Blessed Virgin Mary in your church. (Children enjoy doing making the 'flower offering', so it would be a good idea to have enough flowers for each child to place one.)
If your church has a Mary shrine, have each child light a candle, kneel and say a prayer or a 'Hail Mary'. Even if it does not, you can do this at your home -- the 'domestic Church'.
Get a few votive candles and holders (one for each child), set a statue or picture of the Blessed Virgin on a table or shelf to make a little shrine. Place a rose or other flowers near the statue. Have each child light a votive candle. (Mother or an older child can light the baby's candle.) Kneel and say prayers together.
After Mass talk about the celebration with your child. Discuss the meaning of the feast, and why it is important to Catholics. This would be a good opportunity to talk about motherhood, death and heaven -- and to answer questions. (Take advantage of 'teaching moments'!)
My Del.icio.us Links on the Assumption of Mary
Originally uploaded by bernardoh