This was an old draft, but I found it and liked it, so....
This morning I was not scheduled to be at school until 10 am, so I took the opportunity to attend Assumption services. It was a nice service, and offered an opportunity to meet the new parish pastor. He gave an interesting and clear homily, and seemed to be someone who will be good for the parish.
We sang one of the few songs Catholics both know the words to, and can carry the tune - Hail, Holy Queen. We're not as musically inclined as the choir in Sister Act, or, for that matter, any Protestants, except the Episcopalians and Unitarians, so we sang the sedate version. It sounded good - not great, but solid and filled with fervor.
Assumption is one of those holy days that drive non-Catholics (and SOME sorta-Catholics - those ones that say "I was RAISED Catholic" or "I'm really spiritual, but don't go to mass, because you can worship God anywhere" - although they never seem to take the time from important things like sports and Facebook to actually do that worship thingy) nuts.
Assumption drives them nuts because they think it's about treating Mary as a God, not a person.
Well, it's not. It's more about giving her due as the person that made the Redemption all possible - she didn't have to agree. But she did, and was given the distinction of having her body taken into Heaven, without having to decompose after death like the rest of us. Interestingly, the Church has never actually said whether she died, or was taken before death.
Why treat her so special?
Come on, folks, who of us doesn't think their mom was the best! Oh, sure, our moms were flawed human beings, but we all realize the sacrifices they made for us, and the unstinting love they had for us - even when we acted like butt-heads.
I like to think of it as a just reward for having had to see her son crucified - it must have been awful to watch him suffer. And for not holding it against Jesus after the Resurrection (Jewish Mother Moment - "Oh, sure, Mr. I Can Walk on Water, you couldn't let me in on the plan? Do you know how I felt? Oh, that doesn't matter, who am I? Just the woman who had to ride a camel, deliver in a stable, and you didn't even give me grandchildren!").