Do any Protestants believe in the Assumption?

Our priest delivered an outstanding sermon this afternoon on support within the constant tradition of the Church for the Assumption. This led me to thinking: why would a Protestant or evangelical categorically deny the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven at the time of her death?

It is true that the Assumption does not appear in the Bible, but by the same token, neither does the Bible say that Mary died and that her body remained on this earth and decayed in the usual fashion. In other words, the Bible is silent on the Assumption. Why, then, deny the constant oral tradition of the Church from the earliest times?

To affirm the Assumption, strictly speaking, does not necessarily require someone to believe in the Immaculate Conception, the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, her sinlessness throughout life, nor the efficacy of prayers seeking her intercession. Many evangelicals and others believe in “the rapture” — which is basically the same thing as being assumed body and soul into heaven. How is it different? When explaining the Assumption to non-Catholics or poorly catechized Catholics, I always use the analogy of the rapture, simply because that’s what they understand.

As a side note, some Catholics believe that St Joseph was assumed into heaven as well. It is not a teaching of the Church, just a pious belief of some. And nobody argues that he was immaculately conceived, sinless throughout his life, nor that he, if married before (which he well could have been), was perpetually a male virgin.

It’s just not something that most protestants think about. To most Evangelicals, if it is not in the Bible it is not important. Rather than comparing it to the rapture why not compare it to Enoch and Elijah who were assumed?

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I do believe in the Assumption. In fact, yesterday I presided over an Assumption service in an elderly home.

But I’m also well aware I’m part of a minority.

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Or, if it’s not in the Bible, it should not be taught.

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Since no one knows for certainly sure what happened, and it really doesn’t matter anyway, why not believe and concentrate on teaching the things that matter?

I deal with some people who are basically religious and biblical illiterates. They’ve heard of the rapture from exposure to the larger society, as well as the Left Behind books and films. They would have no idea who Enoch and Elijah even were.

As far as events of salvation history not being in the Bible, for that matter the Bible does not explicitly say that Jesus was never married. Yet people almost universally accept it. Hypothetically — and I am not saying I believe this — Jesus could have married sometime in the 30-odd years’ time frame where the scriptures are silent, His wife could have died childless, and He could have been a widower. Taking a “Bible only” approach, i.e., saying in effect that oral tradition is basically worthless, there is no way either to prove or to refute this hypothetical possibility. And so it is with the Assumption.

It matters a great deal to us. Your statement that a key dogma of the Blessed Mother “doesn’t matter” is very disrespectful to Mother Mary. It is the kind of statement that a Catholic would feel compelled to make reparation to her for.

I realize it “doesn’t matter” to whole groups of Protestants who decided they didn’t need Mother Mary…we pray in reparation for that too.

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CofE member here. The Assumption is not ‘de fide’ for us but our Common Worship Calendar includes the 15th August as a feast day of the BVM but not specifically that of the Assumption. Our Cathedral church held a Solemn Eucharist last night with some lovely Renaissance polyphony including Penalosa’s ‘Missa Ave Maria Peregrina’ and Palestrina’s motet ‘Assumpta est Maria.’

There is a lovely Anglican hymn called ‘Sing we of the Blessed Mother’ which we quite often sing at my parish church. It alludes to the Assumption in the final verse:

‘Sing the chiefest joy of Mary
When on earth her work was done,
And the Lord of all creation
Brought her to his heavenly home:
Virgin Mother, Mary blessed,
Raised on high and crowned with grace,
May your Son, the world’s redeemer,
Grant us all to see his face.’

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I am not at all meanng to be disrespectful in any way. If the Assumption cannot be proven or disproven then I question why it matters. Maybe someone can explain why it matters so much to the CC?

Actually I just reread the OP and now have another question. The OP refers to the death of Mary, I had the understanding that Mary never died but was spared that process of going to Heaven.

There are many, many things in our shared faith that cannot be “proven or disproven” by human means also. For we walk by faith, and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.

I will leave it to somebody else to try to explain the importance of Mother Mary’s Assumption to you, because I have a pressing chore and also to be honest, your statement made me feel too sad and emotional to discuss this, other than to say that one day you will all understand.

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So sorry Tis, I never meant to affect you that way. Does my edit above change anything?

Because it is part of our non-scriptural tradition, and we have the attestation of numerous writers from the earliest times, a historical narrative that P&Es conveniently disregard. We do not believe, as do most P&Es, that Mary was just “another woman”, sinned just the same as we do, and suffered the corruption of death like anyone else. Many also believe that she had a normal conjugal life with St Joseph, and that she had other children after Jesus was born. As far as “brothers and sisters” in the Bible, it is entirely possible that Joseph had adult children from a previous marriage, and these are the people to whom Scripture refers.

There are plenty of Anglicans who believe in it as a matter of piety, but not as a matter necessary for salvation.

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If both the RCC and EOC accept (with differing details and terminology, albeit) the Assumption, I would argue that there must be something to it. In fact, I accept both the Assumption and Immaculate Conception, though I have found trying to convince other Lutherans of this position to be rather difficult. Though I have come to view these as not unscriptural, so long as the Scriptures are understood iconographically, rather than merely literally.

Personally, I find the reconstruction of the feast to just a general Marian feast in the Lutheran world annoying and unnecessary.

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Here is why.

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF
POPE PIUS XII

MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS

DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION

November 1, 1950

  1. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

  2. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

I think the issue here is as pointed out, the apostolic documents did not teach this as a constant teaching of the Church. And I don’t see a lot of evidence that this is a constant oral tradition of the Church either. The narrative of the Assumption was first documented in an apocryphal document that was actually declared to be heretical and later became a doctrine of the Church because of its grass roots popularity. That is why it is a bit of a head scratcher to Protestants why this would be declared a de fide dogma of the Church, with the penalty of anathema for questioning its authenticity.

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Reminiscent of another Anglican hymn, “Sing of Mary”.

Thank you very much for that. I think then I have been correct in my understanding that the CC teaches that Mary never died or had a “time of her death” as was presented in the OP. Am I correct or not?

No, that question is up for debate. The dogmatic teaching is that she was bodily assumed into heaven and that her body was not allowed to be corrupted; it leaves open the question of whether that happened while she was still living or after her death.

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Not necessarily correct. The wording is intentionally avoiding the claim that She did not die. That is still undetermined.

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