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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

Feast of the Assumption Mary mass Day August 15

by Sarah Lyon  and Gordon Nary

The Assumption of Mary is a belief of the Catholic Church, some Eastern Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Church, that the Virgin Mary was physically taken up into heaven at the end of her life.  The Church derived the knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic tradition.

This doctrine was defined as infallible dogma, by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus.  The dogmatic definition was only based on the view that this was what is called the Latin the sensus fidelium  the sense of the faithful.  It was the first dogmatic pronouncement that appealed to the sensus fidelium in a major way..

In his August 15, 2004 homily given at Lourdes, Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as a scriptural basis for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also."

According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ's promise.

Mary's assumption into heaven has been celebrated since the middle ages as Marymass Day which is still a popular celebration in some English, Scottish, and Australian cities and usually takes place on the weekend closest to August 15. Some cities elect a Marymass Queen and stage parades often with decorated horses and horse-drawn floats, flower shows, local bands, and capped with the crowning of the Marymass Queen.

The traditional food served at these events for centuries has been the Marymass bannock. a sweetened pancake, often served with honey.

Bannock is an old English word for fried bread  Some historians claim that bannock may have been the original word for bread. When a round bannock is cut into wedges, the wedges are often called scones. The original bannocks were heavy, flat cakes of unleavened barley or oatmeal dough formed into a round or oval shape, then cooked on a griddle similar to our pancakes.

Marymass Bannock


4 cups oat flour (you can substitute white flour)

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 TB oil

1&1/2 cup water

1/4 cup brown sugar.

1/2 cup white raisins..

honey (optional)


Mix ingredients and add water slowly until you have a doughy consistency.

Knead approximately 10 minutes.

Add sugar and raisins.

Grease and heat a Teflon-coated 9" frying pan. Form and press the dough into a cake that will fill in the frying pan. Lay the bannock cake in the frying pan .and cook over medium heat

When the bottom crust has formed and is browned, flip the cake over.

Cooking takes about 12 minutes.

Serve plain or with with a little honey on top.

© 2017 by Gordon Nary


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