Assumption of Mary – 2023 – Our Lady’s Well Dromelihy Well, Kilmacduane, Parish, Cooraclare and Cree
In the ritual Prayer of the Church, The Liturgy of the Hours around the world, as we greet the new day in praise of God at Lauds the words of Psalm 119 are sung or recited so often:
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word”.
As we gather in this sacred location, Our Lady’s Well, Drumhlihy we are conscious that we have done just that. We have risen today in great hope and in praise of God’s Word!
- Some elements of that journey are most likely similar for many of us!
- The novelty and excitement of a very early start.
- The anticipation of getting up on time!
- The struggle to get out of bed at an ungodly hour!
- Wondering what the weather would be like!
- The hope of something different.
- Awarness of the wonderful gift of a new day.
- A new opportunity to start again.
- The joy of being able to get up and be mobile to journey in pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Well here in West Clare.
Appreciation of this special moment!
In these moments we savour and rejoice in the wonder, novelty, strangeness, and the delight in being here. We thank God for the magnificence of life and health and the beauty of nature around us as we begin the miracle that this new day is! We also bring our heartfelt prayers and petitions, struggles and challenges with us to Our Lord and to his great Mother, Assumed into heaven!
The Assumption – Harvest Thanksgiving
Today we indeed celebrate the feast of the Assumption, Lá fhéile Muire sa bhFómhar, Our Lady of the Harvest. Traditionally in Ireland, the 15th of August is a celebration of thanksgiving for the harvest. We’re almost at the point of saying goodbye to the Summer and entering into the Autumn season.
And so we give thanks. We give thanks to God for all that we have, the gift of life, the gift of health, the fact that we are here this morning speaks volumes. So many people would love to be here today, but can’t, so we rejoice and give thaks for what we have. We give thanks for what the older generation used to call the small blessings, the small mercies of life.
In the spirit of the joyful prayer of the Magnificat, Mary’s great prayer of thanksgiving that echoes in liturgies all over the world today we worship God in this beautiful place and give thanks on this special feast day, on this first day of this very unique novena of grace to Our Lady.
The Meaning of the Assumption
Our faith in the Assumption, is our belief that because Mary was without original sin and because of her exemplary life she didn’t have to endure the transitus of normal death, but was assumed straight into heaven. It’s also called the feast of the Dormition or falling asleep of Mary and is marked in a special way in both Jerusalem and Ephesus. Mary, Mother of God, assumed into heaven has a special place in our spirituality and prayer and devotion.
Like so many generations before us we bring our prayers, out peitions to Our Lady at the Holy Well and her blessed Son in the Eucharist and we know they will get a favourable hearing.
Another powerful line from Scripture speaks loudly to me in this context:
With joy you will draw waters from the wells of salvation…
Today as we come here seeking blessing in the healing waters of the Well of Drumelihy we place our prayers, our petitions, our many challenges humbly before the Lord and in reflecting on the wisdom of the prophet Isaiah in joyful celebration seek the well springs of salvation.
Today, we celebrate and rejoice in the fact that Mary receives the fullness of redemption and salvation in the glorious doctrine of her Assumption into heaven!
- “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word”.
- With Joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.